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Getting Rid of Carpenter Bee's: A How-To Guide

So, have  you noticed curious, tiny piles of sawdust around your home?

First, a bit of back story on these destructive little guys. Most Carpenter Bee activity occurs in early Spring through mid-Summer. Carpenter Bees drill an initial hole and then the bee will make a turn and excavate a tunnel along the grain of the wood. This tunnel, which can be  several inches long, becomes the cavity where the female deposits her eggs.  The female lays several eggs in individual chambers.  In addition to making new holes, Carpenter Bees also enlarge old tunnels. Serious damage to wood will result if left unattended. Further damage can occur when Woodpeckers come around to feast on the Bee larvae. The Woodpeckers will peck at your house just like they do a tree, thereby making proverbial Swiss cheese of your log home!

Carpenter Bees are drilling into your home? Here is how you stop them.

You can use a WD-40 approach or an insecticide approach:

To treat with WD-40 acquire the following items:

  • WD-40 w/ red applicator straw
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Log Home Caulk
  • Small star-head screwdriver
  • Appropriate protective gear for your face, hands and body.

1. Put the red applicator straw onto the can of WD-40.
2. Insert the red applicator straw as far as you can into each Carpenter Bee hole.
3. Spray WD-40 into the hole until it bubbles out. This will coat any existing Carpenter Bee larvae. In some cases you will spray into a hole with an adult Carpenter Bee in residence. The Bee will usually stumble out of the hole and will soon die.
4. Roll the aluminum foil into a small ball.
5. Insert the aluminum foil on the tip of the screwdriver and stuff it into the Carpenter Bee hole.
6. Caulk each hole with a log home caulk .
7. Follow the above procedure with every hole that the Carpenter Bees have drilled.


To treat with insecticide acquire the following items:

  • Appropriate insecticide (like Sevin Dust)
  • Plastic syringe
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small star-heard screw driver
  • Log home caulk
  • Appropriate protective gear for your face, hands, and body.

1. Fill syringe with insecticide.
2.Insert insecticide in the Carpenter Bee hole.
3. Wait several days.
4. Roll the aluminum foil into a small ball.
5.  Insert the aluminum foil on the tip of the screwdriver and stuff it into the Carpenter Bee hole.
6. Seal the hole with log home caulk.
7. Follow the above procedure with every hole that the Carpenter Bees have drilled.


Preventing Carpenter Bee’s: Spare yourself the stress and the bees; use a preventative!

 1. Citronella-based  additives like NBS 30 for exterior finishes.

  • This stain additive will repel Carpenter Bees as well as Lady Bugs.
  • You can use NBS 30 in many wood finishes and stains except Perma-Chink Systems Lifeline Advance, Ultra 2 and Ultra 7 water-based wood finishes( the additive can cause surface irregularities when used in these products).
  • Make sure to only add the citronella based insect repellent on the final coat of stain.
  • You will notice the odor for quite a while, but that is how NBS 30 works!


2. Painted homes or log homes with a gloss finish generally repel Carpenter Bees.

  • Bees are repelled and will usually not drill into painted surfaces.
  • Testing indicates the hard, slick surface the glossy finish creates is unattractive to Carpenter Bees.


3.  Deltamethrin-based insecticide like Bug Juice.

  • Works well with all types of finishes.
  • The deltamethrin disables the Bee by infiltrating mucous membranes.
  • If your home is covered in dirt and pollen the insecticide becomes ineffective because it must make physical contact with the Bees in order to kill them.
  • In order to maintain effectiveness of a deltamethryn-based product wash your log home once a year with a log home cleaning product such as Log Wash.


4. Pyrethrum based insecticide like BeeGone

  • Can be used on finished and non-finished wood as a topical application.
  • Apply with a garden sprayer.
  • Must repeat monthly during Carpenter Bee season, as the product may wash off in the rain.
  • Follow the directions accurately.
  • Available for sale in all states but New York where product sale is limited to pest control experts.

A big thanks to Bill Frykberg from, William F. Lynon of Ohio State University, and Vince Palmere from Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. for providing the information for this article. Thanks to Joe Loong for the Carpenter Bee photo.

Still have questions about Carpenter Bees and your home?  Call at 1-888-208-2248 for some friendly help.

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