Please help...Carpenter Bees getting inside house

toobie-ornotJuly 13, 2014

We noticed carpenter bees coming out from a gap against the house between the concrete porch and the front door wood step. So a family member sprayed inside that gap after dark and immediately sealed the gap. And I'm not sure if this was the correct way to take care of the problem.

Ever since that gap was sealed, I've found three carpenter bees in less than 24 hours inside the house in the room where the front door is located (where it was sealed outside). I have no idea how the bees are getting inside, since I haven't opened that door. One bee was sitting on my sofa this morning, but it was very docile and I was able to place the bee outside. Then a half hour ago, I saw another bee in that room.

What is the proper way to eliminate carpenter bees? Is it possible that some of the bees are still alive inside their nest where it was sealed, and they're trapped in there? How small of a gap can these bees fit into?

Any advice is appreciated.

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There is certainly an opening somewhere from the inside of the walls to the room, you just haven't found it yet.

I have had good luck with products and advice from this website (link below).

Also you can Google 'carpenter bee control' and probably find oodles of fact sheets and recommendations.

Here is a link that might be useful: Do My Own Pest Control - Carpenter Bees

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 5:06PM
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You never want to seal any carpenter bee gaps until the late fall. Leave them all open until then. Otherwise if you seal them in they'll burrow another one to get out, especially if you didn't spray them with something that has an immediate knock down effect.

They first appear in April or May, whenever temps go above 70 degrees. This was a long and really cold Winter so I know I didn't see any until closer to June. They dig tunnels and lay 5-6 eggs in each one for the first few weeks. Then you'll see them occasionally throughout the rest of the summer in the early mornings or evenings when they are leaving early to get food and then bring it back at the end of the day to store in the tunnel for their larvae. Activity will tend to die down after a couple months when the original generation of adults dies off. Then in the fall the larvae will come out to feed one last time and then go back in the hole to hibernate through Winter.

You want to leave the holes un-sealed until then because you are going to treat them with a dust insecticide such as 7dust from Home Depot. Puff it into each hole you can find and then just leave it alone. This is a way more important step than attacking one bee at a time. The adults will pick it up and carry it inside with them and then the larvae will touch it and die when they come out in the fall. Patch the holes in September or October when you know for sure that everything in there is dead.

Next year get some traps and put those up, and have an exterminator put a 90 day residual strength repellent spray on all exposed exterior wood. Be prepared to still see a few of them burrow fresh holes, which you can then deal with using more of the dust. If you follow this routine they won't go away over night but activity should die down to little or nothing after 2-3 seasons.

If you are around an area where there is a heavy population of them then putting up traps and have your exterior wood treated by an exterminator should be the routine every year as soon as temps go above 70 degrees.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:33PM
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We have had good luck trapping carpenter bees this spring/summer using a trap like the one one in the link.

I don't sell anything through Etsy but I did find a trap there quickly and am using it as an example.

Here is a link that might be useful: Carpenter Bee Trap

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:56PM
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I would hire an exterminator.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:59PM
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Thanks so much, everyone, for the help and information. I haven't seen any more carpenter bees in the past month.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 2:11AM
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There is nothing that keeps them away permanently. Close any gaps to outside so they are not burrowing into the main structure of your house, assuming all the ones currently inside are dead or gone as another poster mentioned.

This post was edited by Peter1142 on Mon, Aug 25, 14 at 15:49

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 3:48PM
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