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Carpenter Bee season is coming up.

Carpeter bees are large (1 inch) yellow and black bees which become active in early spring. They resemble bumble bees but do not live in colonies, have fewer hairs and no pollen sacs one the hind legs. They appear around homes and are a nuisance. Although it is rare to be stung by one, their sheer size is scary and people stay clear of them.

Their nest is much more of concern. These nests, if left untreated, will result in extensive structural damage and will result in costly repairs within a few years.
The female will go in and out of the nest so patience will show where the entrance is. Killing the individual bees with a liquid insecticide will not destroy the bee's young.

BIOLOGY-- Carpenter bees get their name from their ability to drill through wood and nest in it. Their drilling will create a near perfect hole approximately 1/2 inch in diameter. This hole usually located on the underside of any wood surface including logs, siding, soffits, overhangs, deks, fence post, facial boards, and window frames.
Although the hole appears to be only and inch or two deep, it doesn't end there.

The female will turn 90 degrees and bore a channel from 6 inches to as long as 4 feet.
The channel serves as a main corridor form which she will drill small chambers a few inches deep. These chambers become egg holders. She will deposit and egg, bring some food, and then seal it off to ensure the egg's development.

The male spends most of his time flying around the nest playing guard. This is ironic as nature has left him ill prepared; he has NOT STINGER! Only the female can sting. Simply killing the male will not solve your problem.


Treating the carpenter bee holes is simple, easy and safe. The best and most effective product to use is DRIONE DUST, and a Crusader Duster. If you are appling yourself please use goggles, gloves, and a dust mask. You can also call a pesticide company in your area to also come and treat the holes.

We hear all kinds of stories how people kill them.
Badmitten racks, baseball bats, tennis racketts.

We had a grandfather who paid the grandkids a quarter everytime they killed a Carpenter Bee! HA HA

Trying to help the consumer out there!


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One tell-tale sign of Carpenter Bees is little piles of sawdust on the topside of your finished logs. This is most pronounced if you have round logs, but I've seen sawdust trails down the side of square dovetailed logs as well. So look around next spring and watch for little sawdust piles under holes a little smaller than a pencil. The sawdust piles are sometimes the size of a quarter and over 1/4 inch high. I'm going off memory here, but I've seen them for years and I'm still astounded at how much sawdust they kick out. You won't believe the size of the critter that crawls in and out of it.

I've worked all over the country and ran into them almost everywhere, so unless your house is in Antarctica, you are probably in danger of having these bees.

Follow Kelly's advice. She knows of what she speaks.

One question Kelly. I've been told that after spraying the dust in the hole that one should caulk that hole over. Have you heard of this? It makes sense on the face of it, but I've no idea if its something that should be done or not.
Hi ChinkerBob,

Your are absolutely right!!!

I would recommend to wait a couple a days after applying the DRIONE DUST before caulking the hole so that any other Carpenter Bee's flying in will also get the product on them and DIE.

Also the best time to apply the DRIONE Dust is at Dusk. The Carpenter Bee's all go in the hole at night.

Don't be surprised if 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, or 8 come dropping out of one hole after apply the DRIONE Dust.

Again Carpenter Bee's do not digest the wood. The chew the wood and disgaurd it. Until they get the DRIONE DUST on them and clean themselves that's when they will DIE.

They drill that perfectly round hole.

You'll never find a drill bit that will drill that perfect sized hole!!!

I hoped this helped!!!

Helpful tip of the day. If you are going to fill the holes a few days later, as Kelly and I so wisely suggest, use a small piece of masking tape (preferably the green stuff you can leave on for awhile) to mark the hole so you don't forget where they are.

If we were talking about beavers, this tip wouldn't be needed :-)

Good suggestion!

Hopefully there isn't any beavers out there doing this!

I've never seen beavers attack a log home, but I was chinking a house situated on a river in Oregon 10 or 12 years ago. While I was there the landscapers delivered about 15 full grown aspen trees (around 25-30 tall). They set the trees (roots wrapped in burlap) on the ground so that they could be planted the next day. That night beavers came ashore and cut down almost all of them. I don't remember their exact value, but I know it was well over $1000 apiece even back then.

That was a problem even a chinker couldn't fix.
My wife, Julie, has noticed bees going into small holes in our logs. I have seen a couple of holes about 1/4" in diamater which are perfectly round, but haven't noticed any sawdust yet. I did see what looked like a firefly come out of one of the holes once, but we don't have fireflies in the west. So I'm not sure what it was. I'll be watching very closely this spring for any unwanted drilling on our logs. Thanks for the info. Dave

The Carpenter Bee is huge compared to the size of the hole they climb in and out of. They are bumblebee sized. No missing them. They will be active in the spring if you have any. I usually see the sawdust on the log immediately beneath the hole when the hole is on the bottom half of that upper log.

Look for holes in log ends too. They're not all that picky.

If one flies out while you're inspecting one of the little holes, you will jump. I've seen it hundreds of times and I still can't believe they fit in that little hole.
Dave, these are most likely Potter wasps or Raspberry Horntails. Treat them the same as you would carpenter bees. They do very little damage, but woodpeckers will sense their larva and ruin the finish on the logs.

Carpenter bees do quite a bit of damage throughout the US to any exposed wood. I have treated homes with damage so extensive that rafters and fascia boards have had to be replaced. This damage was not actually done by the bees, but by the woodpeckers locating the bee larva in the wood. The woodpeckers can sense where the larva is, and go along the bee chambers and extract the entire nest. The bees prefer to enter vertically, but I have seen plenty of horizontal holes as well, especially on the lower sides of rounded logs and log siding. They always leave nasty stains around the entrance holes of excrement and pollen when they are landing.
This is the time of year to really treat these holes because both males and females will over-winter in these holes. When spring arrives, only the females will be in the holes. They lay an egg, leave a pollen ball (they do have pollen sacs on the hind legs), and seal each chamber. The last egg laid is the first to hatch. If you treat the hole after she has begun to lay eggs, then seal it, the larva will chew their way out and create an alternate hole. The female will indeed give a nasty sting, but she is not agressive at all. The male does not sting and has a yellow spot on his forehead.
Drione Dust (made by Bayer) is an excellent product, but has a short residual time. Delta Dust, also made by Bayer, has up to a nine month residual and is excellent on all the other critters. These dusts both work fine if you can reach the holes and have a bulb duster to apply them. There are a good number of sprays on the market as well. All of the synthetic pyrethroid classes of insecticide sprays are excellent on carpenter bees and other insects. Look at the label and if the chemical name ends with "thrin" it is a synthetic pyrethroid e.g. Beta Cyfluthrin, Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Lambda Cyhalothrin. Of course, you will need a good sprayer to reach those higher holes or you can call a good pest control company and have them treat it. By the time you purchase the chemical and a sprayer, you will have spent a fair amount. Also, you are risking injury on a high ladder to boot. Call all the pest control companies in the area to see which ones treat for those and check the prices. I charge $85 for this service and I am the only one in this area of NC and VA to do so.

For the DIY crowd there is a spray called Ultra Hot Shot, ant and roach, which contains the "trin" chemicals that Bugman mentions. I buy it at home Depot. I use it here in Florida on ants and cockroaches. It seems to stop their ability to breath from what I can tell and takes them out almost immediately. It appears to leave a residue which continues to kill them for 3 months. I have sprayed it into holes where I have spotted ants and they just come pouring out and die. The total chemical in the can is .125% so it must be really powerful stuff which points to wearing a mask and rubber gloves and washing up if you are going to do a lot of it. You can use it inside but do so very carefully if you have pets. A split second blast stops them in their tracks, no need to keep blasting.

I sprayed it into my very low attic where I suspected roaches, part of Florida living, were coming from. I used my leaf blower and injected the Hot shot in the exit airstream. DO NOT put it into the intake as it might possible ignite from the spark of the motor as I don't know what the "inert" ingrediants are. It seems to have worked.

Whatever you do, do NOT use this Ultra Hot Shot near any flames or electrical appliances. It contains alcohol, Isobutane, propane, oils, and Butane. I have never used this product, because I get to use the "good stuff", but I am certain it will kill whatever insect it touches. Carpenter bees are actually pretty easy to kill with about any insecticide. The key is to get them early in the morning or late in the evening. If you have lots of honeybees in the area, evening is preferred. Keep in mind that non-target insects like bees and butterflies will also die when they come into contact with any insecticides that drift onto non-target areas. Always read the label. Joe, I like the way you improvised with the leaf blower. I have a piece of equipment that similarly "atomizes" the chemical when I treat for heavy mosquito or roach infestations; costs a heck of a lot more than a leaf blower, but works under the same principle.
Are there any chemicals available in NYS that can be applied to the log home (wood surfaces) that would prevent the carpenter bee from starting a hole to lay it's eggs in the wood areas of a log home?
I am experiencing several carpenter bee nests being bored into various wood structures of my log home. I will try your recommendation of injecting Drione dust into the exiting holes that I have discovered on various areas of my log home. I have tried spraying wasp & hornet spray into the holes and the carpenter bees just seem to leave the hole and fly away with no effect from the insecticide.
Any advice would be appreciated.


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