12 Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Naturally

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Bees and wasps can be dangerous, but carpenter bees bring a new danger, damage to your home.

You might feel trapped by the limited options to get rid of carpenter bees.

It may feel like the only option to get rid of your carpenter bees is using toxic chemicals.

Don’t worry; I’m here to help.

This post will review 12 natural ways you can use to get rid of carpenter bees.

Use these natural methods to keep your home chemical-free while still getting rid of carpenter bees.

Let’s dive in.

1. Use Bee Hotels

If you are looking for a natural way to get rid of bees, there nothing better than using bee hotels.

The idea here is to give bees their own home so that they do not use your home as their nest.

This is a great way to push the bees away from your home, avoid any damage to your wood while also not harming or causing the bees to loos their home.

This is a win-win situation for you and the bee.
You probably want to place the bee hotel as far away from your home as possible for the best results.
If you have a large yard, you probably want to place as far as you can put it in the back yard.

I would avoid hanging it in your front yard so that passersby are not scared or concerned by the flying bees.

If you don’t have a large yard, I recommend putting it high up in a tree. This will keep the bees from flying around your yard but will still give them a home.

Getting bees to transition from their current home to the bee hotel is not always an easy task. You will need to place the bee hotel near their current nesting area.

Over time, the carpenter bee should transition.

You can cover up any current holes to give it extra encouragement, but you may be trapping larvae inside.

2. Citrus Oil and Other Essentia Oils as Repellents

Another way to get rid of of carpenter bees is to use circus oil. Citrus oil or even orange oil have show to be highly effective at repelling insects such as cockroaches, termites, and bees.

To keep the carpenter bees away from your home, you can apply the essential oil to the wood around your home.

This will drive the bees awy and make any wood less attractive. The only issue with using essential oils such as citrus is that they do not last very long.

It’s likely that to remain effective you will need to apply the essential oil at least once per week and possible more often depending on the conditions.

The great thing is that used a pressurized sprayer and combining citrus oil with water you can quickly apply the oil to your yard and any other wooden areas that my be attracting carpenter bees. 

3. Paint or Stain Wood

Wood that is not pained or stained is vulnerable to the damage caused by carpenter ants.

By applying a fresh coat of paint or staining the wood, you will give it an extra layer of protection.

This layer will make it much harder for carpenter ants to penetrate the wood.

While its not impossible, often times the paint or stain will be too much for the carpenter ants to penetrate.

Even if you’re fence or wood is painted it will begin to deteriorate with time. Carpenter will take advantage of any areas that have less coverage or that are pealing.

Be sure to apply a fresh coat of paint or stain even if you have applied one in the past. This will give you added protection.

4. Cover Carpenter Bee Holes

If you are trying to get rid of carpenter bees then covering up the holes is a must. You can do this very easy using a caulk gun.

Its important that you remember to remove any larvae that are inside before you caulk the hole. If you leave the larvae inside there is the possibility that they burrow out and make another hole.

Also if you leave the larvae inside, this can draw woodpeckers. When in search for food, the woodpeckers will attempt to remove the larvae from the sealed holes.

Carpenter bees tend to return to the same holes so its important to cover up the holes even if the bees have left the area.

This will make it harder for carpenter bees to create galleries in the wood around your home.

5. Carpenter Bee Traps

Another way you can get rid of carpenter bees is using a bee traps. This will allow you to capture any carpenter bees around you house.

Once you have trapped the carpenter bees you can decide if you want t to kill them or try and relocate them to a different region.

You can also pair carpenter bee traps with carpenter houses. First, remove them from their current galleries using the traps. You can then release them in a confide location with their new house.

This will allow them to make a home of their new house. Once they have accepted their new home you can relocate the hotel to a location away from your home.

Since carpenter bees do not sting, moving their homes around is typically not an issue.

6. Use a Vacuum

A vacuum is another effective and completely natural way you can get rid of carpenter ants.

I recommend using a wet-dry vacuum rather than a traditional vacuum cleaner. Wet-dry vacuums are great because you can add water on the inside to prevent the carpenter ants from flying around.

You can also add boric acid or soap to the water to help kill the carpenter bees faster once they are inside the vacuum. 

Vacuum are easy to use because you can target any holes carpenter bees have created. This makes it easy to quickly gather many carpenter bees without much issue. 

In some cases, I have also positioned the hose right next to the carpenter bees hole and left it on for a few hours. 

As any carpenter bees approaches the hole, they will get sucked up by the vacuum. 

7. use a Polyurethane Gloss

A polyurethane gloss is a great way to add a layer of protection and shine to your unfinished wood. 

The layer of protection also increased the durability of the wood, making it less likely to succumb to water damage.

There are two different types of polyurethane: water and oil based.

Water based polyurethane offers less protection especially against water and heat. For outdoor protection, I highly recommend you use an oil based polyurethane.

If you use water based polyurethane finish its possible that after a short period of high heat or excess rain the carpenter bees may find vulnerable areas to create tunnels in the wood.

The oil based polyurethane is built to withstand harsh conditions that wood may experience outdoors.

This will make the wood much more durable and less likely that the carpenter bees will be able to create tunnels in the wood again.

8. Use Pyrethrum Spray

Some people debate whether this truly counts as a natural alternative. Prethrum is the all natural alternative to the common Pyrethrin used in insecticides.

Pyrethrin is a synthetic, man-made compound that is designed specifically to kill insects. This is one of the most common chemicals found in insecticide sprays and foams.

Pyrenthrum is the natural alternative. This chemical are produced using plants and is completely organic.

You can find this chemical in sprays and other insecticides but are not commonly used as pyrethrin.

Both of these chemicals are contact insecticides which means that the insect must come in direct contact with the spray to die.

Pyrethrum does not have a residual effect which makes it difficult to treat infestations.

Since carpenter bees are docile and do not sting. Getting close enough to a hive or to flying bees is not difficult.

9. Apply Boric Acid or DE

Boric acid and DE are two dust that are commonly used to kill many insects and pest around your house.
Both Boric acid and DE are all natural alternatives that allow yo to kill carpenter bees.

Boric acid will kill carpenter bees upon injecting. If you inject dust into a carpenter bee hole, they will inject to when they try to escape and as they are inside.

DE allows you to kill carpenter bees through contact. When the bees come in contact with the DE, it will slowly break down their exoskeleton, eventually causing them to dehydrate.

The benefit of using a dust is that you do not have to continue applying. DE and boric acid remain active as long as their is sufficient to get on the carpenter bees.

It is important to track the locations you place Boric acid and DE. If rains, i highly recommend you reapply because it possible that it will wash it off.

While boric acid remains effective in water, DE does not. And once it is no longer raining, the DE and boric acid barrier will be deteriorated allowing carpenter bees to enter more freely.



10. Loud souds and vibration

Loud sounds and vibrations have been shown to repel bees. Although, the effectiveness is not documented.

Carpenter bees tend to avoid loud noises and do not like when their nests are vibrating for consistent periods of time.

You could try placing speakers next to the areas where you have carpenter bee activity.

Turn the music up as loud as you can to force the carpenter bees to reac as quickly as possible.

I also suggest placing the speaker flat of the wood surface that carpenter ants are drilling into. This will increase the vibration that the carpenter bees experience.

There are a few downsides to this method, first you will likely disturb your neighbors before the carpenter bees fully vacate your property.

Second, there is no guarantee that they will leave and stay away from your home.

Its possible that they will leave and return as soon as they do not heat the music.

To help avoid this you can plug up any holes they created to make it as hard as possible to start their nest again.

Since, carpenter bees do returning to the same holes, areas to create their nest. Its possible that the carpenter bees will start making new nest on your wood despite the others being covered.

Its important to note that there are some claim that using wind chimes will keep carpenter bees away. The reality is that the likelihood that they will effectively keep carpenter bees away from your home is very small.

Wind chimes do not produce noise often enough or loud enough to effectively repel carpenter bees.

While this is a risky choice, you can knock out two birds with one stone by having a party and getting rid of your carpenter bees. Just be sure to invite your neighbors so they don’t stop the party early.

11. Treating Wood With Boracare

Bora-care is an all natural chemicals that is made of borates the same compound found in boric acid.

Bora-care is all naturally and highly toxic to many insects.

To use this solution it needs to be mixed with water following the label instructions. 

Once the solution is created apply it using a pressurized sprayer. 

The pressurized sprayer will help you apply an even coat that can be absorbed by the wood. 

The solution should only be applied to wood that is unfinished. This means it should not have any paint, seal, or gloss over it. 

This will prevent the bora-care from soaking into the wood properly. 

Bora-care only works on unfinished wood because it can be absorbed by the wood. 

Once the bora-care is absorbed it creates a protective layer around the wood. 

It repels bees but also any bees that do begin creating holes in wood treated with bora-care will eventually die. 

If you have finished wood that you want to treat with bora-care you can use the injection method. 

This involves drilling small holes into the wood and injecting the bora-care into the wood. 

This process is much harder and typically requires professional assistance.

While this method can be effective it does leave the wood damaged and requires careful monitoring for the wood to be treated evenly.

12. Use Natural Repellents

Another way you can get rid of Carpenter Bees naturally is to use natural repellents. 

You can use various household items to repel carpenter ants and keep this away from your home. 

This includes using apple cider vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and in some cases lemon is also said to repel carpenter bees. 

I personally do not recommend using natural DIY methods. 

The main reason is that these solutions are not always effective. Also even if they are effective they typically require frequent reapplications which an be time consuming. 

If you need to apply the solution daily, how effective is the solution. 

This method is a good way to start repelling bees as soon as you find them in your home. 

You might not have the necessary tools to repel carpenter bees but using common household items will help you start treating them immediately. 

After you have identified the carpenter bees I recommend you use a solution that is more effective and long term. 

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