No one wants to deal with any sort of pests or insects in or around their home. When bees start to appear in the spring, many homeowners notice their presence. The most common types homeowners encounter are carpenter bees, honey bees, and bumblebees. Most bees that are found around the home are mistaken as bumblebees when they are, in fact, carpenter bees. Carpenter bees are smaller with a shiny black abdomen. Bumblebees have a hairy abdomen with distinguishable yellow markings.
Carpenter bees are named as such because they bore into wood and lay their larvae deep inside the holes, housing the eggs until they hatch the following spring. Carpenter bees are also often referred to as “wood bees” because of that wood boring behavior. He nesting location is yet another difference between carpenter bees and bumblebees, as bumblebees nest in or on the ground. The carpenter bee likes wood that has been softened from weathering, whether it be bare or treated wood. Therefore, it is advisable to look carefully for carpenter bee holes that look like a drill bit has been used.
Homeowners can usually find a carpenter bee infestation or nests on the underside of wood; this can include fence posts, wood siding, decks, overhangs, window frames, fascia boards, and outdoor furniture. The carpenter bees that fly around the nests are the male bees and are territorial. Like many insects, however, they have no stinger.
Like wasps and the bumble bee, the nuisance the carpenter bees create sometimes means that homeowners need a quick solution for carpenter bee control; one that can be done easily without having to wait or spend a lot of money. Fortunately, there are a few homemade carpenter bee traps that can be easily made at home and work well for carpenter bee control.
A natural, effective, and chemical free way of ridding your home of carpenter bees is with the use of a wooden bee trap because of the bees’ natural instinct to find holes in wood to nest. The trap resembles a birdhouse in some ways, but it is rectangular with a glass jar or plastic bottle attached to the bottom. The bees are attracted to the hole in the wood. They enter the trap through the hole due to their habit of finding a place to nest.
The entrance hole of the trap should be drilled to be half an inch and at an upward angle; this is how big the holes that carpenter bees bore and they are also perfectly rounded. The upward angle is to keep direct sunlight from streaming in. When the bee enters the box-like structure, there is a hole at the bottom where the glass jar or plastic bottle will be attached. When the bee tries to exit through the bottom hole, they become trapped due to the tapered shape of the jar or bottle.
Once the bottle or jar fills with bees, the homeowner is able to easily remove it and replace it with another one. There are other ways a wooden bee trap may be constructed. However, they all have the same basic principles. They have the upward-angled holes that are half an inch in diameter and the bottle or jar (clear colored) attached to the bottom to trap them.
It is important to place the wooden bee trap above where the majority of the nests are located. If the nests are in multiple places around the home, hang up traps near each one. Once the male bees are taken care of, cover up the bored holes with caulk, putty, or paint to keep them from coming back in the following spring. Be cautious of the female bees that are protecting the larvae. While the males have no stingers, the females do. However, their stingers are not very strong and the female carpenter bees rarely sting.
An extremely simple method of trapping carpenter bees effectively is by using household items homeowners most likely already have. Many homeowners have found success in using this method for a wide variety of pests, so do not be surprised if you are killing more than just the pesky carpenter bees.
Obtain a shallow bucket and dish soap, preferably a brand name. Fill up the bucket with water and then add some of the dish soap to the bucket. Be mindful to not add too much of the dish soap, as the smell will repel the carpenter bees from the bucket instead of attracting them, however, give it some suds!
When the bees go to suck up some water, the dish soap will coat their wings and cause them to be weighted down and unable to fly away. The carpenter bees will subsequently drown.
Most commonly associated with flies, sticky traps can be an often-overlooked solution to combating carpenter bees. Most people do not know that making your own sticky trap is a relatively simple way of getting rid of carpenter bees. Making your own sticky trap means that the homeowner can tailor it to their own specific situation. Due to the nature of this method and the materials it can involve, the homeowner has the ability to make these sticky traps in any size and shape and can place them wherever they are needed.
There are several brands of sticky glue (glue that will not dry out) available on the market to purchase. However, you can also make your own at home. Boiling a mixture of a quart of water and a quart of corn syrup will create a sticky mixture. Feel free to experiment with the amount of water in order to fight the right consistency that works for you. Petroleum jelly could also work as a good sticky substance to use as well and is probably already in your home.
The traps can be made from construction paper or cardboard. However, it may be appropriate to smother the sticky glue onto a piece of wood and place it near a nest. The carpenter bees are attracted to the wood and will become stuck to the glue.
Carpenter bees will not physically harm humans, but they create a nuisance and need to be dealt with because they can damage the integrity of word after time with bored holes. Homeowners should take the initiative to remove them from their home with the use of homemade traps and prevent the bees from returning the following year.