I have seen too much damage to consider these bees harmless. The damage can be very expensive to repair and can cause injury.
You indicate no structural damage, yet I have seen many banisters and eves weakened to the failing point.
I also find it interesting that you defend the bees yet give recommendations for using powerful insecticides to control them.
Now I do recommend plugging the holes, you can also use a small flexible wire to kill the bees in the holes. Just use caution while twirling the wire in the hole. I never like having to kill anything but sometimes it has to be done.
Thank you for the information. I recently spoke with an exterminator that said he would give me a discount to exterminate the nest in our garage overhang (they enter by the light over the garage door.) He was only going to charge me $250.00. I was more than willing to pay that 'small amount' because my son is allergic to bees. Now knowing it is mostly the males (without stingers) that are hovering - I will save my hard-earned money. We did plug holes last year but they drill new ones. We did not fill them after dark though. I will try your suggestions and keep you posted!
mindnova: Please note the following statement in the article: "Exceptions to this are instances of repeated colonization of the same spot, in which case, the wood becomes structurally weakened. Our friendly Woody Woodpecker also contributes to damage by working on places where there might be something to eat."
Additionally, these bees produce only one generation per year, giving homeowners the opportunity to take measures to discourage colonization the following year.
In all my articles, I always try to offer ALL methods of control. Using chemicals to control damaging colonies of carpenter bees is the LAST method in the article. I do not use insecticides on my property; however, Ohio State University Extension recommends SevinŽ powder for those who wish to exterminate these insects.
boneill51: glad I could save you some cash! Carpenter bees will return to favored nesting places yearly, so take some time to seal and paint all your inviting wood surfaces and they'll go somewhere else.
Thanks for your comments.
The info in this article is greatly appreciated! We bought a house that had set empty for awhile. The carport had been taken over by these bees. The first year was the worst because, I assume, they were use to nesting without a problem. I use to joke that I had to wield a bamboo stake like Luke Skywalker from Star Wars while trying to work in the yard. Although the huge bees seemed aggressive, I never was stung. Once the bees realized that the place was no longer an easy nesting area, they have become less of a problem year by year without us doing anything. Seems funny, but I kinda miss them.
LOL I swear it seems they hover just to stare at you sometimes...I got mad at my Dad for killing some of them. Since the honeybees are in decline, we need the carpenters around our gardens! I didn't want them to die, just to go live elsewhere. I mean, we're surrounded by woods--can't they drill their holes in the many fallen trees out there?
I dislike these bees very much. We have them every summer. We have a cedar deck and a roof on part of it. We often see the saw dust on the deck floor. We stain our wood but don't paint it. We have lots of woodpeckers and I welcome them. They eat insects and ants. I saw one woodpecker eat a wood roach over an inch long. The woodpeckers do forage from the dead trees we have in our forest in the back yard. Unfortunately, the wood bees invade our cedar deck. We swat them and try to find the holes they make and fill them. They are difficult to keep under control.
A few weeks ago, we were inundated with carpenter bees. They were flying everywhere and the males were very territorial. Since we live in a NEW, treated log home, we were very concerned. They bored holes behind the fascia boards, behind the gutters, behind whatever offered a safe place for drilling their holes and making their tunnels for nesting. In defense, all we could do was to get out the tennis rackets and bring them down. You had to give them a really good whack and then you had to step on them - otherwise they just got right back up and flew away.
We soon learned to recognise the females, they had a yellow spot on their faces and were not very agressive. However, the males had a "get in your face" kind of agressive attitude which made them easy targets. During the last few weeks, we just see an occasional bee flying around.
So as you can tell, we are not fond of these invaders because of all the potential damage to our home.
we painted and sealed the exsisting holes that these bees drilled and guess what? they still came back, lol i just keep filling the holes in, i cant stand to kill them. i hope i can make them mad enough they will just move on, if i keep filling in the holes they are drilling. it is amazing that they can do this type of thing and the holes are perfectly round !
A few years ago, I noticed a carpenter bee starting to make a hole in my pressure treated deck railing. I stuck a piece of duct tape over the spot. The bee hovered around the tape for a while, acting confused, but eventually she gave up and went away.
I sprayed wd-40 into the hole in the evening, the bee emerged quickly and died. Next I inserted a piece of (rubbing) alcohol-soaked cotton, then packed with fine steel wool and calk. Overkill, do you think?