How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Spring is finally here. Don’t you just adore the new life in your gardens when the plants wake up from their long sleep? The flowers blossom, and your property looks livelier. However, plants and flowers are not the only things that come to life.

So do pests. Particularly, carpenter bees. Although carpenter bees are docile insects, they can do significant damage to your property. And the best way to know they’re around is when you notice holes in the wood on your premises.

These bees are borers, and the female species drill holes in wood, where they build nests for laying eggs.

If you notice carpenter bees-related damage on your property, you need to act pronto. Failing to intervene will only make things worse. But how do you get rid of carpenter bees from your property?

Well, that’s an issue you don’t have to stress about. There exist several ways of getting rid of these borers. And this post will walk you through some of the most effective methods.

Without further ado, let’s get down to it.

What are Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter Bees belong in the genus Xylocopa of the Apidae family. There are hundreds of species around the world, and their name comes from their nesting behavior. They usually burrow into dead wood, creating tunnels for the female to lay eggs.

The carpenter bees resemble bumblebees, but they are larger than honeybees. They have a shiny black color on their abdomens and backs. You can distinguish the male carpenter bees from their female counterparts from a noticeable white mark on their heads.

Large carpenter bees nest in woods, while their smaller counterparts nest on flower stems. These bees burrow and chip off wood to create their habitat. While at it, they can damage and stain your wood panels, furniture, windows, doors, and even fences.

Consequently, you need to get rid of them when you notice an infestation. However, getting rid of these insects doesn’t necessarily involve killing them. You must factor in that they help in pollination.

That said, here are a few methods to get rid of Carpenter Bees:

1. Use Sound

Interestingly, carpenter bees are quite sensitive to sound. Therefore, you can get rid of them by playing loud sounds on your speakers. To accomplish this, set up your speakers next to the area that they’ve infested. Do this for two to three days. It will encourage them to leave.

This method is preferable because it is safe and less bothersome. However, there’s no guarantee that this is a permanent solution. Moreover, you must factor in those living around you because the noise might be a nuisance to some.

2. Use Natural Citrus Spray or Oil

Carpenter bees hate the smell of citrus. So, you can grind a combination of citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, lime, and grapefruit. Boil these fruits in a shallow pot filled with water. And then fill a spray bottle with the citrus extract and spray it in the tunnels the bees have made.

Alternatively, you can purchase some citrus oil and spray it into the burrows. You could also wipe down the areas highly impacted by this oil. It will prevent the bees from creating a nest in the hole(s).

3. Use Almond Oil or Essence

To get rid of carpenter bees from your property, you can apply almond essence or spray next to the bees’ nests. Carpenter bees are usually repelled by this scent. Therefore, it is a proven way of keeping them away.

4. Paint Exposed Wood around Your Home

Another proven tactic of keeping carpenter bees away is painting exposed wood on your property. Assess your home and make sure that there’s no bare wood surface. That’s because these bees prefer unstained and untreated wood.

So, that fresh coat of paint will keep these little insects away.

5. Seal up Existing Holes in your Wood

During springtime, carpenter bees come out looking for homes to lay eggs and nest. So, if they notice pre-existing holes in your wood or any Wooden Divots, they will most likely settle there.

To prevent them from nesting there, you should seal up these imperfections in your wood. You can use wood putty to fill up these holes.

6. Use a Wet Vacuum

You can also use a wet vacuum to get rid of carpenter bees from your property. However, you need to use a high-powered wet vacuum. Additionally, you should vacuum in the evening when all the bees are back in the nest.

However, keep in mind that vacuuming will not get the larvae. Therefore, you need to seal up the burrows afterward.

7. Use Carpenter Bee Traps

Are carpenter bees common in your area during spring? Does your home not have any active carpenter bee nests? Well, you can ensure there are none by setting up carpenter bee traps.

They work as great deterrents against these insects because they attract carpenter bees scouting the area. Once they get in, the bees get trapped, eradicating their chance of nesting on your property.

8. Treat Your Wood with Borate

Apply Borate to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

If you’re looking for a chemical way to get rid of carpenter bees, using borate is a guaranteed solution. You need to apply borate wood treatment to both finished and unfinished wood. This method not only protects your wood but also deters carpenter bees from boring.

9. Use a Tennis Racket

Like most insects, carpenter bees fly. You will notice them during spring as they fly around looking for burrows to lay eggs and nest. They are usually very active during this period.

Therefore, you can use a tennis racket to smack them. However, keep in mind that this method will most likely kill them.

10. Boric Acid

You most likely have boric acid in your home. It is a common household item that’s used for different tasks. Similarly, you can use it to get rid of carpenter bees.

But how do you go about it?

Well, mix one-part boric acid with three parts water in a spray bottle. And spray the mixture inside the entrance hole. This mixture is poisonous to these bees. Therefore, it will exterminate them in about an hour.

11. Use Insecticide

Insecticides either repel or kill insects. Therefore, you can use the same to get rid of carpenter bees. Depending on an individual, you can use insecticidal dust or spray.

To ensure that the insecticide works effectively. Apply it around and inside the nest’s entrance. You can purchase the insecticides with your gardening equipment.

12. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth

If you’ve used a vacuum to get rid of carpenter bees, sprinkling diatomaceous earth will finish the job. It is used to kill both larvae and bees, and you need to sprinkle it inside the nest.

Diatomaceous earth contains microorganisms that destroy the exoskeleton of any pets it touches. The product has long been used to control pests. And it could accomplish similar results in your carpenter bees-infested home.

Most importantly, wear protective clothing when sprinkling it – long sleeves, gloves, and a mask. Doing so will prevent rashes on your skin. Moreover, make sure to seal the nest after the treatment.

13. Use Steel Wire to Seal the Tunnels

Alternatively, you can use Woven Wire to get rid of carpenter bees. You need to spray vinegar on amass of steel wire and ensure it is well-soaked.

Now, take the soaked steel wool and use it to block the nest’s entrance. The vinegar acts as a repellant, whereas the steel wire blocks the hole.

14. Call a Professional Bee Removal Team

Although carpenter bees are not as aggressive as other types of bees, they can cause problems on your property.

Usually, the male hovers outside the nest, protecting it and fighting off intruders. Conversely, the female carpenter bees defend from inside the nest, where they lay eggs. The females also have stingers.

If these insects infest your home, you need to get rid of them. But if you don’t know how to go about it, you can simply call professional bee removers. Such individuals have the knowledge, skills, and experience to get rid of carpenter bees.

The professionals will do a clean job and not cause further damage to your home.


Although carpenter bees aren’t aggressive, they cause significant damage to your home. Therefore, you must get rid of these insects immediately after you notice an infestation.

If you don’t have the know-how, this article has listed the most effective tactics.