Wood boring bees

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ski, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Does anybody else have those darn wood boring bees tearing up their house or deck? These are huge bumble bees. Over the last several years they have gotten worse around my house. First my deck, but now over the last 2 years they have taken quite a liking to the wood on my shed. They are tearing it up!!! Any ideas on what to spray to get rid of them or what to use to fill the large holes??
    ski
     
  2. Darwin

    Darwin If your gonna be a bear..

    The best thing I have found for them is a badminton raquet!
    The spray can sometimes stain your wood and I have not found one that works very well. I usually plug the holes with dow rod or a tree branch that will fit into the hole.
    I am curious to see if anyone has any long term suggestions......
     

  3. My youngest is having a blast hitting them with a wiffle ball bat. Helps improve his game. I too have seen an increase over the last several years.
     
  4. krustydawg

    krustydawg KrustyDawg

  5. Delta Dust.

    Spray the dust into the hole(s) they have created. Wait a few days and then fill the holes.
     
  6. ezbite

    ezbite the Susan Lucci of OGF

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    few years ago my uncle built a gazebo and they tore it up, looked like swiss cheese. he waited until dark and hit the holes with wasp killer(i think raid). it worked, killed them all and they just fell out to the ground. im putting up a pressure treated fence right now and yesterday i saw one land on a crossmember beam, sit there a while and take off. guess they dont like pressure treated.
     
  7. You don't have to wait until dark. The carpenter bees you see are all male, they can't sting. They just strafe you. You can hit them out of the air with your hands, badminton rackets, BB Guns, or whatever. That said, the spray rarely works on the females unless it has a residual component. The tunnels usually make a right angle shortly after their inception so it can be hard to get contact-only sprays to hit the females.

    The females are all up in the wood, laying eggs and boring tunnels, the males bring back food and stuff. Only the females have ovipositors, and a stinger is simply a modified ovipositor, so you really don't have to worry about getting stung by carpenter bees.
     
  8. ezbite

    ezbite the Susan Lucci of OGF

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    would you say that in english..:p
     
  9. Yes!!! I first noticed them last summer and thought they were the regular bumble bee variety until my neighbor said no they're the wood boring kind. This year they are everywhere and boring holes in the joists of my pole barn. Yesterday I sprayed the holes with Drione dust, the same stuff I use on yellow jacket swarms. Very similar to the Delta dust mentioned by Weatherby. That seemed to do the trick for now.
     
  10. My home is brick/wood combo - it is an A frame with brick base and wood the rest of the way up - looks like a lodge. I purchased from the original owner and his wife who were in their mid 80's. They had not done much updating or maintenance to say the least. When I moved in the carpenter bees had established themselves very well - literally dozens of nests.

    I can tell you with absolute certainty no poison/ spray, etc will get rid of these bees. You may kill the bees you see, but as Commadore explains the nest is contained within your wood and the population is established. For the first 2 years I battled these bees with everything out there - even paid a "professional".

    The bees go in a couple inches and then bore the length of the wood - the typical nest contains 12-16 bees. In extreme cases where the bees have been left to work for years they can absolutely destroy a structure - it will collapse.

    ezbite - they won't chew paint, stain, or fresh treated wood, however within a few years they will be all over it.

    The ONLY permanent solution is to spray each and every den (hole), fill the hole, and re paint/stain. Take either dow rod or wood filler and fill the holes. I plugged the holes with dow and then fill with wood filling compound. The next day I sand flush and re-stain. The males will return to the den, but they won't dare try to make a new entrance. It lasts about 3 years before they will make a return in the spring and begin drilling new areas. If you stay on top of it in the spring you won't have any issues.

    I filled over 300 holes in my house!!! Be sure to check the backside of facia (sp?) boards, etc. I had over 100 dens in my facia boards and simply replaced them due to damage. Don't be lazy and get EVERY den, or they will continue to damage your wood.
     
  11. My boys love this method.:D:D My oldest is now claiming to be the "Master Exterminator". He just topped 50 last evening.:eek: In all I suppose we have killed nearly 100 from our barn so far this year. Last year I sprayed all of the holes with Sevin dust. I was led to believe that the dust would be carried back to the queens and infect them and kill them. They still came back so I don't know whether I was not complete enough with the spray method or whether as others suggested that the spray will not get them all. I need to go back over and close all of the holes again. I agree that they can be quite a nuisance but they have not gone a long way toward destroying the barn. They are in the unpainted rafters and it is more of a visual problem thus far than it is a structural one. However, I do want to remove them soon or it could become a problem.
     
  12. FOSR

    FOSR name of Alex

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    I have heard that a couple of bee species that are usually called "bumblebees" are doing better these days because of the decline of the honeybee population - they are taking over the role.

    Isn't that new wood/plastic composite insect-proof? A good place to sunset those placstic grocery bags...
     
  13. 7-Dust or what Weatherby said. I put it in one of them squeeze ketchup bottles you take on a pick nick and squirt it in the hole. The bee will get it all over him and take it to the nest. That kills them. Then plug the hole.
     
  14. After I killed mine I filled the holes with caulk and smoothed over with a putty knife. NO problems this year, but they are flying around the barn, I have not found any new holes yet.
     
  15. cantsleep

    cantsleep 3rd shift blues

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    I have also seen an increase in the numbers of these pests the last couple of years.
    I blame Global Warming.;)
     
  16. CountryKat

    CountryKat Fish On!!!

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    I had 4 nest in my garage a couple years back. I tried everything. I ended up getting some foaming wasp killer. Spray it in and it will foam up and expand. Ended up getting them all on the first try. I also did this late in the evening.
     
  17. My next door neighbor just had to have all her wood replaced in her eaves and trim on account of bees. It cost her over $5000. She ended up getting siding over all her wood.
     
  18. The overhang on my house is 2x6 Tonque and groove cedar as are the exposed 4x12 beams. After 50 years, even cedar is tasty for carpenter bees. I try to spay pesticide several times each season, but dozen carpenter bees still bore a hole. I get on a later a few times a season (they are actively chewing my house right now) and spray wasp killer. i'll follow up with the caulking gun; click click click you're dead. They have come back regularly for 17 yrs. After I paint the threatened wood, the carpenter bees don't come back for a few years.

    They also have been boring into my treated 2x4 rails on my fencing in the past few years so 17 year old treated lumber is now tasty.

    Good luck. Nothing worse than sitting on you patio and having saw dust fall on your head as insects eat your house.
     
  19. Spray in expanding insulation foam works good to and it seals the hole.
     
  20. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    I anticipate my shed will fall over any day now due to these bee's :D