How To Get Rid of Carpenter Bees | 12 Potent Remedies


Carpenter bees, like their name suggests, are generally found in the wood. However, unlike termites that tend to eat away and feed on the woods, carpenter bees just burrow into the wood materials to simply create a hollow space to live and breed in. These spaces are primarily created to lay eggs in the spring and then take shelter in the winter.

But, how to get rid of carpenter bees? The problem with these insects is that it’s hard to deduce the degree of damage they cause. While the hole on the wood might seem very small from the outside, the chances are that the hole is a lot bigger on the inside. These kinds of damage are long-lasting and decrease the stability of the wood furniture over time, making them fall off in a shorter period.

Also read: 10 Best Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Here, we will be discussing everything there is to know about Carpenter bees and how to get rid of them for good.

What Are the Signs of a Carpenter Bees Infestation?

Just an overlook on a piece of furniture wouldn’t tell or alert you about an infestation. However, this is where you need to look deeper. If you witness any of the following signs around the wooden furniture, it is a sign of carpenter bee infestation:

+ Circular openings in the wood
+ Sawdust and wood shavings around the furniture that wasn’t there before
+ Yellow powdery remnant around the furniture

Steps to Get rid of Carpenter Bees

Now that you know that your house has been infested with carpenter bees, it is time you take some action. For the most part, you need to ensure that you check on the symptoms and then move forward with managing the infestation around the house. 

1. Try Playing a Loud Sound

Marshall Speaker
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When talking about effective and natural ways to get rid of carpenter bees, the first and most effective way is by playing loud sound. Studies have found that carpenter bees are extremely sensitive to loud noise, which means that they will flee if you play loud music or noise around. If you have found the infestation site, take a loudspeaker or boom box and blast some music close to that area. Also, you need to ensure that you play loud music for at least 2-3 days before they start leaving.

2. Seal Up the Openings

Another effective way to prevent the propagation of the infestation of the carpenter bees is by finding all the sites of infestation first. Once you have sourced them, your next move is to seal the openings with dust or rubber, or wood putty to close the openings. This can help prevent the growth and further infestation of the carpenter bee in the furniture.

3. Paint the Surface of the Wood

Wood Brush Paint
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Carpenter bees tend to be more attracted to bare wood. So, if you have old wooden furniture with bare wood on the surface for a rustic look, you must change that immediately. So, painting the surface with wood stain can effectively change that issue for you in no time at all. A fresh coat of stain can effectively reduce the damage inflicted on the wood like it would with an unstained piece of furniture.

4. Try Wet Vacuuming

Although not a very conventional method, it is considered quite beneficial in getting rid of the carpenter bee for good. However, since these tend to infest in a larger amount, we’d recommend that you switch to a wet vacuum instead of a dry vacuum. A high-powered wet vacuum can pull out the insects from the deeper ends without any damage. Once you are sure you have gotten rid of all the insects, you can then move forward to seal the opening to prevent further infestation.

5. Try Almond Oil

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It might seem odd because wouldn’t put oil further help provide food to the carpenter bees? Well, that isn’t the case at all. Instead, putting almond oil in the openings can effectively eliminate the damage in a shorter period. You can pour a few drops of almond oil in the opening of the small holes and gaps and wait for the bees to crawl out of the space. Carpenter bees can’t seem to tolerate the strong smell of almond oil, which is a primary driving factor. So, make sure you work accordingly.

6. Try Bee Barriers

Although not the most popular route, bee barriers are effective tools that you can use to get rid of the carpenter bees from inside the holes. The barriers help prevent further drilling into the wood of the furniture, preventing them from infesting further. Once you are sure that the bee barrier is in place and has done its job, you can easily pull out the barrier and seal the opening or the gaps with metal coverings or putty to prevent further damage. 

7. Opt for a Citrus Spray

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Like any other insect, you encounter, even carpenter bees aren’t very tolerant of citrus smell and composition. This means that if you are trying to get rid of them for good, a citrus spray can effectively help get rid of the carpenter bees without inflicting any toxicity, especially if you have children or pets in the home. You can start by taking a saucepan and fill it with water. Add a few slices of citrus fruit in it and boil till it reduces to a subsequent amount. Transfer that into a spray bottle and spray it around the infested sites.

8. Try Boric Acid

Boric Acid

One of the most common household items, boric acid, can effectively get rid of the carpenter bees without any hassle. They are a quintessential item in several of the common insect removal projects, so it isn’t surprising that you can use them to get rid of the carpenter bees too. You need to mix one part boric acid with three parts water and make a solution for this. Transfer the solution into a spray bottle and then spray it into the holes that the carpenter bees have created in the furniture.

9. Essential Oils

Essential Oils
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Unlike human beings, insects don’t find the smell of essential oils relaxing or therapeutic. It is quite the opposite impact on them, especially because of how strong the smell is. Carpenter bees, especially, are very sensitive to strong smells. Essential oils like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and lemon essential oil are quite strong for the carpenter bees and will eventually drive them out of their burrowed hole. However, the essential oil isn’t a permanent solution on how to get rid of carpenter bees. So, you need to find something substantial.

10. Try Pyrethrum Spray

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Also known as Tanacetum, pyrethrum spray is extracted from a flowering plant that acts as a natural pesticide. It is one of the strongest non-chemical elements that you can use for getting the carpenter bee out of its burrowing site. It is often used in organic gardening, so you wouldn’t have difficulty finding them in your local gardening supplies store.

11. Contact a Beekeeper

If you cannot do anything to get rid of the carpenter bees from your home, the best and the most ethical thing to do is to call a beekeeper to help you with the infestation and relocate the site of the bee growth to another space. This is especially important if you don’t want to kill the bees and want to relocate them to a place away from home safely. So, if you have the means and don’t mind paying a little extra money to the person doing it, we’d recommend this to be a better option than the other options available.

12. Use Residual Liquid Insecticide

If the infestation isn’t too deep and you can reach in, we’d recommend that you use a residual liquid insecticide at the site of the infestation. This is a potent way to get rid of the carpenter bee for good. There are a few insecticides available in the market that you can consider buying. Just ensure that you keep them away from the reach of children or pets.

If you are looking for ways to get rid of carpenter bees, we hope this article answers all your questions. Just ensure that you keep a check on the effects and try methods that won’t end up killing them brutally.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Gnats? | 12 Effective Ways

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Permanently?

If you are tired of using the different methods to get rid of carpenter bees only for them to not work, we’d recommend that you call a professional to get the same done.

Do Carpenter Bees Bite You?

No, the carpenter bees don’t bite. The female ones do have a stinger but won’t sting you until they are provoked.

Should I Kill Carpenter Bees?

The likely answer would be not to. However, we’d recommend that you get a professional to relocate the same elsewhere.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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