Bee infestations are tougher than most other infestations for two reasons. First, bees are crucial aspects of the ecosystem and are responsible for endless amounts of plant life via pollination. Second, they sting you, and it hurts. The following will explore some of the things you need to do if you find yourself with too many carpenter bees.
Figure Out What’s Going On
There are many types of bees, but you’ll know carpenter bees are the ones you’ve got if they’re crawling in and out of holes in the ground or one of your own structures. The holes they burrow tend to be about half an inch in diameter. Carpenter bees don’t eat wood, so the structural damage you might be facing is nowhere near as bad as termites or some types of ants. This being said, over generations, carpenter bees can do a number on your deck or siding.
Let Everyone Know
Friends who frequently come over and members of your household, as well as neighbors, might want to be told that you’ve got a bee infestation. People might be allergic to the stings or just prefer to stay cautious in the areas where the bees tend to hang out. Ensure that you know how to treat stings and that any children are warned about sticking their fingers in those perfect toddler-finger-sized holes carpenter bees like to dig. Seriously, carpenter bee holes and children’s fingers are like magnets.
Hire a Professional
Getting rid of bees can be a tough job—especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re stuck wondering how to get rid of carpenter bees, you might not want to risk the stings and instead hire a professional. A bee exterminator will talk you through the options and help you choose a bag of dust or spray or method (there are carpenter bee traps if you’re someone bothered by the idea of killing pollinators) that will do the trick. They’ll also safely apply it so that you don’t have to worry about upsetting the bees and dealing with their wrath.
If you do decide to go a spray or dust route, be sure that family pets and children are kept away from the area long enough for proper ventilation to occur. The poison that kills tiny living creatures can make slightly bigger creatures like children and dogs sick (especially if they tend to put things in their mouth or lick things).
Once you’ve dealt with your current bees, you’re probably going to want to prevent them from coming back. To keep carpenter bees from choosing your wood to live in, you can make sure your varnishing is up to date. Citrus oil and loud noises and vibrations also deter carpenter bees (blastic music out on the deck while you’re doing yard work is also tons of fun).
The above tips should help you deal safely and practically with a carpenter bee infestation. Of course, every home is different, and there is a variety of infestations that could be ongoing. To know for certain, you’ve got carpenter bees, and figure out what to do about them in your area, reach out to a professional.