How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Naturally

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How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Naturally

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Dominion 2L Insecticide
Suspended Concentrate
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Keith's Pro Tips

"The best time to spray for carpenter bees in around night time when they will most likely be resting in the holes. Wait til the end of the day and spray Fipro Aerosol then for best results."

How To Get Rid of Carpenter Bees (Chemical & Natural Remedies)

This page is an expert guide on getting rid of carpenter bee infestations using the products and methods suggested by our experienced pest control specialists. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee you will be successful in eliminating Carpenter Bees from your home.

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.

Unlike honeybees, Carpenter Bees aren't aggressive so you don't have to worry about them going out of their way to sting you but they are notorious for the damage they cause to wood. Female Carpenter Bees will create holes in wood and form galleries where they will create a nest for laying eggs.

If you fail to intervene, the problem will only get worse and worse as seasons pass because Carpenter Bees will return to those same holes and extend the galleries out. In this guide, we will show you what you can do to get rid of Carpenter Bees and what natural remedies you can use to keep them from targeting your precious wood.


Carpenter bee

Before you can carry out a treatment approach, you need to make sure that the pest you are dealing with are, in fact, Carpenter Bees. Here are a few notable traits and tendencies to help you to properly identify Carpenter Bees on your property:

  • 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.
  • Male Carpenter Bees have a noticeable white mark on their heads while females do not. The small Carpenter Bees usually nest on flower stems and empty out the pollen, while the larger Carpenter Bees usually nest in woods.
  • 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.


carpenter bee inspection

Where To Look 

Carpenter Bees are commonly active in the Springtime between April and May and can be found around eaves of the home, porch rails and under decks, looking for a place to drill a hole and create a nest.

What To Look For

The main thing to indicate where Carpenter Bees are active are the holes they have drilled which are about a 1/2 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.


If you have confirmed that Carpenter Bees are damaging your premises, you will need to conduct a treatment using professional products. Before carrying out chemical treatment, make sure you are geared up for the job with the proper Personal Protective Equipment (gloves, protective eyewear, etc). To protect yourself from bee stings, you could also wear a professional bee suit prior to application.

We recommend using Fipro Foaming Aerosol to treat the holes and then seal the holes with wood putty.

Step 1: Treat with Fipro Foaming Aerosol 

Treating Carpenter Bees with Fipro

Fipro Foaming Aerosol contains the active ingredient Fipronil which is lethal to Carpenter Bees and the fact that it foams, helps to ensure that it will reach deep into the carpenter bee galleries and kill any bees and eggs that are hiding inside. Apply the straw applicator tip to the Fipro can and then spray into holes on eaves, railing and posts directly into the drilled holes.  

Step 2: Seal the Holes With Wood 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 of carpenter bees using Dominion 2L

After the carpenter bee holes have been treated and sealed, you are going to want to make sure Carpenter Bees do not make a return. Our top recommendation to keep Carpenter Bees away is an application of Dominion 2L. 

Dominion 2L is an insecticide concentrate that is designed to control various wood-destroying insects like Carpenter Bees by creating a non-repellent barrier that the pests will not detect. Once the Carpenter Bee comes into contact with it, they die shortly after. Best of all, the Dominion 2L remains effective for up to 90 days after application.

Determine how much Dominion 2L you will need to mix by calculating the square footage of the treatment area (length x width = square footage). Apply a 0.05% to 0.1% solution (0.3 to 0.6 fl. oz) in a gallon of water to treat 1,000 sq. ft. To mix, fill a handpump sprayer halfway with water, add the appropriate amount of Dominion 2L based on your calculations, then fill with the remaining half of water and agitate the sprayer to ensure the product is well mixed.

Spray the wood with the Dominion 2L mixture to the point of wet and spray in or around the holes they've made. Repeat the application during the active season of the Carpenter Bees between the Spring and early summer.

How To Naturally Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

If you wish to not use chemicals for Carpenter Bee prevention, we have 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.

Oiling the bees

Certain oils have a property that repels the Carpenter Bees and keeps them at bay. Mix some lavender oil, Tea tree oil, Jojoba oil and Citronella oil in a bowl. Pour the mixture of oil into a spray bottle and spritz the whole area with this essential oil mixture. The essence of the oil refreshes the home and keeps the Carpenter Bees far away from home. The organic spray causes no harm to others and serves as a repellant for the Carpenter Bees.

Use almond oil or its essence to ward off the Carpenter Bees from your home. It contains Benzaldehyde an ingredient that acts as a repellant. Pour it in the holes to deter the larvae and bees. The oil works for around 3 to 4 months.

If only tea tree oil is being used. Put 1 tablespoon of Tea tree oil in 8 ounces of water. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and apply into the tunnels to get rid of the bees.

Put 20 to 30 drops of natural eucalyptus oil in 1 ounce of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake it well. Spray it in all the tunnels and wooden surfaces where the bees can be found. The mixture serves as a natural repellant.  The scent of eucalyptus makes the bees escape the tunnels.

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 Boracare. Boracare is applied directly to the wood and acts as a repellent and makes the wood indigestible to bees and other wood-destroying insects.

Mixing a potion to make the bees disappear

Add one tablespoon of pure (99%) rubbing alcohol, 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, and 5 to 6 drops of lavender essential oil and 6 drops of Tea tree oil into a spray bottle. Close the lid and shake it well. Each one of the ingredients will work in different ways the oils will act as repellants and keep the Carpenter Bees away while the rubbing alcohol and apple cider vinegar will kill the insects. Spray the solution into the hole and directly on the bees. It will help in eliminating them out of your home.

Sealing the tunnels with woven wire

Spray some vinegar on a mass of steel wire and soak it well enough. Block the hole of the nest with the steel wool. The vinegar will act as a deterrent and the steel wool will block the tunnel and make it difficult to pass through it. This strategy prevents the Carpenter Bees from invading and coming back to nest in the same tunnel. Wear gloves before carrying out your task and use scissors to trim the steel wool according to the size of the hole. Carpenter Bees will not be able to chew the steel wire and hence keep them away from invading the tunnels.

Other alternative methods

Few other tricks to keep the Carpenter Bees out of your way are as follows:  

  • Varnish or paint the walls and all wooden surfaces at home. It deters the Carpenter Bees from chewing into the wood.
  • Swat the carpenter bee with a badminton racquet. Squash the fly particularly right after it transforms into an adult carpenter bee. This old fashioned technique works when you see them buzzing around your home, you can take a good aim and hit it.
  • Use an appropriate size vacuum nozzle that will fit the tunnel hole. Vacuum inside the hole to suck the bees from inside the tunnels and eradicate the colony of Carpenter Bees. Use this approach during the initial stages of the nesting and at the evening time when all the bees are in the tunnels. It is the most effective approach to getting rid of the Carpenter Bees.

Key Takeaways

  • Carpenter Bees are a species of bee known for drilling holes and damaging wood in siding, patio decks and other wood areas of a property or structure.
  • Using a combination of Fipro Aerosol spray to inject into holes and then sealing them with wood putty is what we recommend to end a carpenter bee infestation.
  • Prevent the return of Carpenter Bees with natural home remedies like using essential oils, using a wood preservative or other non-chemical options to keep Carpenter Bees away.
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