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Lawn & Garden

How to Fix Holes Created by Carpenter Bees


Have you walked outside to find saw dust on the patio or deck? This is how most people find out that carpenter bees are boring into their wood siding or fascia boards, destroying their most valuable asset. I was checking out the gutters on my house when seeing all the holes that the carpenter bees had drilled below the gutters, on the fascia boards.


Carpenter bees are the large shiny black bees that act like they are going to sting you when you walk outside in the late spring and early summer. They are similar to bumble bees but with less hair and they do not have yellow stripes on their abdomen like bumble bees do. They are solitary bees that do not colonize.


Carpenter bees have 4 life cycles. They are egg, larva, pupal and adult stages. The adult will bore a hole just under ½ inch round into unpainted, unfinished and untreated wooden porches, fences and fascia boards to lay eggs. This takes a lot of work so sometimes they will use existing holes from years past. They have been known to bore through a painted surface if it is older, which was the case with my house. Once they have finished their tunnel, they will leave a large food ball made of regurgitated nectar and pollen with their eggs so the larva will have something to eat on until they pupate. They then, block the tunnel with wood pulp for the young adults to remove.


Although it takes 7 to 8 weeks for these bees to reach adulthood they will stay in the tunnel for an additional 3 weeks before coming out in April or May. You can find carpenter bees throughout most of the United States where they may only reproduce 1 time up north where winters are long, they can reproduce twice in the southern United States where the warm season is longer.


Although the male is the aggressor, it is unable to sting and the female can sting but will not unless it is provoked. Because these bees like many others feed on nectar and pollen, they are important pollinators and beneficial for agriculture.


They can bore holes in the house and other things that do not need holes in them. By filling in the holes, you will greatly reduce the chances of them returning and boring holes again. Keeping a fresh coat of paint will also deter their return as well. The Home Depot sells wood filler to fill these holes. You will just need to get a putty knife to push it deep into the hole and to smooth it out. Once it dries just paint over it with the exterior paint of your choice.

 Minwax 12 oz. High-Performance Wood Fillernull Economy 1.5 in. Flexible Putty Knife

Of course you will want to teach those whom bored holes in your most valuable asset a lesson. We have that as well. The Home Depot sells a Carpenter Bee and Yellow Jacket foaming aerosol that will pin them down and kill them and preventing them from coming after you. If you are for a slower, more visible death for these home wreckers then we have you covered there too with these carpenter bee traps.

 Bees N Things Carpenter Bee Trap

Swing by your local Home Depot garden department and let our professionals get you squared away and stop by the paint department while you are there.



Other Related Articles:

What are Digger Bees & How to Get Rid of Them

Your Introduction to becoming a Beekeeper

Killing Yellow Jackets

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Posted 2016-06-16T16:39:35+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL