Every year about this time I start to see what look like bumble bees flying around my deck posts and trim boards.
They just hover around and before you know it, it looks like someone drilled a perfectly round hole in the wood and there’s a small pile of saw dust right below. The truth is that this is the handy work of carpenter bees.
Carpenter bees, if left untreated can do a lot of structural damage to a house. The holes that they drill are actually nesting sites where eggs are laid and will eventually hatch. The hatchlings will then eat more of the wood and if you let it go long enough, it could cause you to have to replace the board. In the past, I’ve tried different ways of getting rid of them – everything from a tennis racket (which while a ton of fun, is not very effective), to wasp & hornet spray, to just plugging the hole up with caulk – but every year they come back.
After doing some research, it’s actually not that hard to get rid of them, you just have to use the right tools and techniques. According to various sources online, the best way to treat them is to first spray the hole using as special foaming carpenter bee spray – I found one made by Spectracide at Home Depot for around $6-$7. You first spray the hole and then after 48 hours you plug the hole using a dowel rod and some glue which you then cut off flush. You can either try to match the dowel to the hole or you can buy a little bigger dowel rod and matching drill and then make the hole slightly larger so that you get an exact match before plugging it.
The last step is just to sand the cut off dowel, touch up the paint and you’re done.
So, if you have this same problem, give this method a try and see how easy it is!