Carpenter Bee Control

Most Effective Products

Dominion 2L Insecticide
Suspended Concentrate
As low as $37.24
FiPro Foaming Aerosol
Aerosol
As low as $28.99
Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide
Water-Soluble Powder
As low as $13.50
Keith's Pro Tips

"In the past, Boric acid was common to deal with Carpenter Bee infestations. The disadvantage with boric acid is that it works slowly, giving the bees time to cause more damage. Fipro Foaming Aerosol on the other hand, works quickly and kills quickly, creating a foam that will control the bees before damage can be done."

Carpenter Bee Control: How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Have you noticed holes in the wood on your property? Whether it be in your fences or siding, drilled holes may be the work of large-sized bees known as Carpenter Bees. Carpenter bees are perhaps the most troublesome of the bees because of the damage they can cause to wood.

Often confused with bumblebees, Carpenter Bees are roughly the same size and color but are not as fuzzy. Female Carpenter Bees can drill into wood and lay eggs. The holes they create in homes can be a problem that can lead to other insects using the holes to gain access to your home.

There are over 500 different species of Carpenter Bees and unlike other types of bees like the honey bee and bumble bee, the carpenter bee is a solitary creature and prefers to be left alone rather than coexist in large colonies. They are called “carpenter bees” because of their tendency to build their nest in some type of wood.

This nuisance pest is unwelcome to homeowners and if left untreated, can be damaging especially to wood elements of your home. If you have a Carpenter Bee problem on your property, worry no more. Our DIY Carpenter Bee treatment guide will show you exactly how to kill a carpenter bee infestation quickly and affordably all by yourself! 

Identification

Carpenter Bee on white background

Identification is an important part of control as you need to determine whether the bee you are seeing is a Carpenter Bee or one of the more beneficial bees that shouldn't be harm. Careless identification can lead to wrong treatment methods, costing you time and money. Here are some key traits to watch out for:

  • Carpenter Bees resemble bumblebees in that they are larger in size than smaller honeybees. While bumblebees have more yellow on their abdomen, Carpenter Bees have more of a shiny black color dominating their abdomen on the back section.
  • The main difference is that bumblebees have hairy bodies while Carpenter Bee bodies are hairless and shiny.
  • Another characteristic to help you identify Carpenter Bees is the fact that it burrows in wood while Bumblebees burrow in the ground.
  • Carpenter Bees burrow and chip off wood to create a tunnel for its colony. Carpenter Bees can damage and stain furniture, wooden panels of doors, windows, buildings, and fences.
  • Carpenter Bees prefer damp moist areas for nesting outdoors and have a queen just like any other insect colony. Unlike the male Carpenter Bees, the female bees can sting upon being provoked.

Use the description and image above to help you in identifying carpenter bees on your property. If you are having trouble, reach out to us and one of our pest control experts will help you to properly identify the pest as well as offer you product recommendations for control. 

Inspection

Bore Hole in Wood from Carpenter Bee

Once you have confirmed that you are dealing with Carpenter Bees, you can move forward with an inspection to determine where Carpenter Bees are found. This will help you to figure out where to focus your treatment applications.

Where To Inspect

Carpenter bees are most active in the spring and fall season and they can give off signs of their presence fairly easily with their conspicuous damage of drilling holes into wooden elements, usually around the exterior of the home. Patio wood, or wooden furniture out in your patio can also be burrowed into by Carpenter Bees.

What To Look For

You should look for active Carpenter Bees or signs of their activity. Keep an eye out for holes made in wood siding, railings, fencing and other wooden elements. The holes Carpenter Bees drill are about a half-inch in diameter. If you were to take apart and observed a damaged piece of would from the side, you may notice a sharp 90-degree turn after the hole is made to create a gallery to lay eggs and to bring nectar and pollen for the eggs.

Other signs include yellow fecal stains on wood and sawdust (frass).

Treatment

Before handling chemicals, make sure you have on the proper PPE in the form of gloves, goggles and a protective mask. If you want to be on the safer side when treating Carpenter Bees, wear a professional bee suit so you won't have to worry about being stung.

Our top recommendation to control Carpenter Bees is Fipro Foaming Aerosol. Fipro Foaming Aerosol contains the active ingredient fipronil which is lethal to Carpenter Bees and the foaming aspect helps to get great coverage and reach to bees that are burrowed deep in the burrowed holes.

Step 1 - Treat with Fipro Foaming Aerosol.

Treating Carpenter Bees with Fipro

Fipro Aerosol, when released, rapidly expands generating a dry foam with an expansion ratio of approximately 30:1 with 1 oz. of product being dispensed in a 5-sec burst producing approximately 1 quart of foam.

When applying Fipro Foaming Aerosol, it is recommended that you begin spraying areas where Carpenter Bees have drilled their holes and made galleries.

Shake the can well and place the straw injector tip on the end of the dispenser.  Holding the injector in place, direct the end to the Carpenter Bee holes you have located and apply, holding for about 8 seconds to allow the product within the injector tube to dispense into the treatment area.

Spray any other area susceptible to infestations like eaves, railings, posts etc. We recommend spraying one time a month as needed during the active Carpenter Bee season.

Step 2 - Seal Holes With Wood Putty

Sealing Bore Hole with Putty

Once the galleries have been treated, use wood putty to seal up the holes to prevent reinfestation. There is a possibility that you can be stung by carpenter bees during treatment so we recommend exercising the proper precautions to ensure the highest amount of safety.

Prevention

Prevention of carpenter bees using Dominion 2L

Once the infested wood has been treated, we recommend carrying out some preventative measures. Use an insecticide concentrate such as Dominion 2L. Dominion 2L is a systemic insecticide that can be used to treat a variety of problematic insects, including carpenter bees.

You can mix Dominion at a rate of 0.3 to 0.6 fl. oz. per gallon depending on the level of infestation. Fill a handheld sprayer halfway with water, add the Dominion 2L and then the remaining water needed. Close the sprayer lid and agitate the sprayer to ensure the product is well mixed.

Spray the Dominion 2L to the wood and spray to the point that the wood is wet. You could also spray where they made gallery entrance holes.  For best results, this preventative application should be done at least two or three times during the peak carpenter bee season in early Spring into the early part of summer.

How To Naturally Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

If you wish to not use chemicals for Carpenter Bee prevention, there are some natural preventative options you can use below:

Spraying citrus scent on the Carpenter Bees

Use any kind of citrus fruits; such as oranges, lemon, grapefruit and lime.  Squeeze out the juice or use the peels of the fruit and put it in a pot of water. Allow it to boil for a while. Pour the citrus solution into a spray bottle and sprinkle the citrus aroma all over the place. The refreshing smell of the citrus fruits leaves an ethereal smell to the house while repelling the bees away. The insect cannot stand the fragrance of citrus fruits.

Brewing garlic, oil and vinegar

Add a few cloves of garlic in a bowl or jar of cooking oil for a few days. Then add some white vinegar into the bowl.  Make sure the white vinegar is more acidic in nature. Spray the solution around the tunnels and keep a regular check on it. If you still spot few Carpenter Bees keep applying until all of the Carpenter Bees have been driven away.

Apply garlic powder directly into the Carpenter bee holes to eradicate the insects. Using garlic powder is more effective.

Using Borate and Wood Preservatives

If the area is unpainted or unfinished then think about applying a long term solution for your carpenter bee products, with Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide. Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide is applied directly to the wood and acts as a repellent and makes the wood indigestible to bees and other wood-destroying insects.

Key Takeaways

What Are Carpenter Bees?

  • Carpenter Bees are a species of bee that can be problematic due to their defining habit of drilling holes into wood, especially wood that makes up the structure of a home.
  • Carpenter Bees can be confused in appearance for Bumblebees but can be differentiated through their hairless and shiny bodies while Bumblebees are very hairy. Another difference is Carpenter Bees nest in burrowed wood while Bumblebees nest in the ground.

How To Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

  • Our top recommendation for treating Carpenter Bees is Fipro Foaming Aerosol. Locate the burrowed carpenter bee holes and spray the product directly into the holes. You can then seal the holes with wood putty.

Preventing Carpenter Bee Reinfestation

  • Prevent future potential infestations of carpenter bees with a preventative treatment of Dominion 2L. Mix the Dominion 2L in a pump sprayer at a rate of 0.3 to 0.6 fl. oz. per gallon of water and treat wood that has been damaged or you suspect Carpenter Bees may target.
  • Alternative methods of natural Carpenter Bee prevention include using citrus scent in areas where Carpenter Bees have been active or treating wood with Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide.
Questions and Answers
  1. Q:The stuff that is used to keep wasps from nesting can it also keep wood bees from nesting in wood columns?
    4/26/24
    A:Yes, the product FiPro is great for controlling wood infesting pests.

    Colin

    6/7/24
  1. Size:
    CSI
    Dominion 2L Insecticide
    $37.24 - $170.99
  2. Size:
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    FiPro Foaming Aerosol
    $28.99 - $28.99
  3. Size:
    SOLUTIONS
    Solutions Sprayer - 1 Gallon Poly
    $36.99 - $36.99
  4. Size:
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    Professional Bee Suit
    $74.31 - $96.60
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