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How to Get Rid of Borer Bees

Living in the US, you would come across different species of bees that are either beneficial for your garden or harmful to people who have allergic reactions. There are honey bees that pollinate flowers and crops throughout the States. Honey bees also establish colonies, at times on your property and if it gets severe or they start stinging, you would be compelled to take measures. 

Then you have large, hairy bumblebees that can lend you a painful sting if they feel threatened. You would find them building colonies either underground or above the ground, near burrows or under debris. Similarly, ground bees, also known as digger bees, build their nests in the ground and are important pollinators. However, they are harmless to wooden surfaces of your house, as compared to borer bees.  

Borer bees, also called carpenter or wood-boring bees, are different from honey, bumble or ground bees because they build nests in wooden structures around the house and can cause infrastructural damage if allowed to persist. Borer bees are also important sources of pollination so you may sometime have to think twice before taking measures to kill them. They are valuable to the environment but if they start expanding their colonies on your property, become aggressive and start stinging, that is when it becomes crucial to drive them out and keep them away in the future. If anyone in the house suffers from allergies, a bee sting could lead to an extreme reaction.

First things first in dealing with borer bees

Male borer bees get aggressive while protecting their colonies, which could alert the other bees; otherwise they do not sting. If anyone goes near their nests, the bees start hovering around them. Contrarily, the female bees would not hesitate in stinging you if you roam near their colonies or whenever they feel threatened.

Initially, the nests are not very large because borer bees are solitary bees and you would find hardly ten of them in each generation. There would be only one female for a colony, with the males protecting the colony.

When deciding on the plan of action, you need to identify what type of bees you have to deal with, whether they are inside or outside the house. Borer bees, as compared to bumblebees, are hairless, with yellow heads and green, black or blue abdomens.  

You could identify a borer bee infestation as they build and expand their colonies in wooden structures – railings, windows, doors and outdoor furniture. When these bees have begun nesting, you would find sawdust on walls, floors or doors, depending on whenever they are building colonies. It might even go as far as discovering residue, bee excrement and pollen on walls or inside holes. When bees start expanding, you would find them in large numbers around the house.

Borer bees prefer soft wood to build their colonies, such as redwood, pine or oak. They may also seek shelter in places that have not been painted to final finish or need renovation.

Let them hear it

Have you heard that bees are sensitive to vibration? When you place a sound box near their nests, the sound would make them aggressive, drive them out of the holes and try to get them as far away from the source of the sound as possible. While you are carrying out the task, shot all doors leading to the other rooms and cover yourself in protective clothing. Open the windows and entrance or exit doors to let the bees out.

Spray the holes with strong odors

These are fragrances that you could tolerate and may even make the surfaces smell pleasant. The strong smells are effective in repelling bees and other insects or pests. You could either make your own sprays or get them from the local pharmacy. Tea tree oil, almond oil and citrus – orange or lemon – sprays are effective in keeping the bees at bay.

Use them on the affected areas every few days or whenever they get washed off. Make sure you clean the entire residue first then apply the solutions.

Deter with diatomaceous earth

This treatment should be done with proper covering because if earth gets into contact with skin, it may cause irritation, redness or rashes.

It works in keeping away not just bees but other insects and pests as well. It also gets washed off easily so you would have to keep applying it repeat until the bees are driven away completely. Clean the affected areas properly prior to applying the treatment. Apply DE inside the holes and cover them with steel wood during the day as that is when the bees are out of their holes.

Vacuum them up

Unlike other treatments, you want to carry out this process when the bees are in their holes, to allow you to get the maximum number and get rid of them. Use the hose pipe on the holes or other open spaces to suck them out.

Furthermore, you don’t want to neglect the issue or leave it for a later date because the bees are still building nests in the initial stages; therefore, the nesting process slows them down.

Other measures include sealing the open spaces around the house to prevent bees from coming in. Furthermore, if you want a quick remedy, use aerosol to drive them away. Aerosol is extremely harmful to insects so you want to use it, do so with care. Apply a small amount inside the affected areas and cover with steel wood.

Solutions Pest & Lawn Can Help With Your Borer Bee Problem

At Solutions Pest & Lawn, we have a number of items that are perfect for controlling borer bees or carpenter bees. Some of our top recommendations Demon WPFenva Star cap as well as Firponil Foaming Aerosol.

We even have an entire section dedicated to the top products to control borer (carpenter) bees and how to apply the products properly. Check it out here.


Borer bees must be dealt with immediately as soon as the problem has been identified. You wouldn’t really want the roof to fall over you just because you thought the bee are harmless. So make sure you eradicate them before it gets too late.

For more expert advice, contact us by phone at 800-479-6583, by email at askapro@solutionsstores.com or via live chat on our website!

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