How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees

How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees?

Knowing how to get rid of carpenter bees is crucial as these bees can cause extensive damage to softwoods. Carpenter bees do not feed on wood but create nesting to lay eggs and take shelter. It creates holes that may seem small on the outside but the galleries are much bigger. In today’s post, I will focus on how to get rid of carpenter bees without killing them. There are several toxic and non-toxic ways to eliminate carpenter bees. Here, I’ve also included tips to prevent infestation and stop them from doing further damage. You can keep on reading to know how to get rid of carpenter bees.

How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees?

You can consider these methods to know how to get rid of carpenter bees.

  1. Use Citrus Spray
  2. Use Essential Oil
  3. Use Vinegar
  4. Use Borate
  5. Use A Vacuum
  6. Use Bee Traps
  7. Use Paper Bag
  8. Seal Pre-existing Holes
  9. Use Electric Rackets
  10. Use Diatomaceous Earth
  11. Use Insecticide
  12. Use WD40

Carpenter bees are not social insects, so getting rid of carpenter bees doesn’t involve dealing with a large hive. Citrus spray, essential oil, vinegar, and borate offer an effective means to eliminate pests. Without wasting much time, let us now check out how to get rid of carpenter bees.

Simple Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees

Although carpenter bees are harmless they can still cause big problems in your home. If your house has a carpenter bee infestation, here is how to get rid of carpenter bees naturally.

  1. Use Citrus Spray

For a natural solution, use citrus scents to get rid of carpenter bees. You can make your own citrus spray by boiling up citrus fruit peels in water and spraying it around the affected areas. Or else add a few drops of citrus oil to the water. Make sure you spray citrus spray on your wood every few days to keep it protected.

Let us now check out how to get rid of carpenter bees on the porch or deck.

  1. Use Essential Oil

Carpenter bees hate the smell of essential oils like almond oil. Almond essential oil has similar repelling effects to citrus spray. To get existing carpenter bees to leave, mix the almond oil with water and spray it on wood. Otherwise, you can also apply the oil directly to carpenter bee nest holes.

  1. Use Vinegar

Do you know how to get rid of carpenter bees with vinegar? Another easy way to repel carpenter bees and save your property is to use vinegar. Vinegar acts as a natural homemade insecticide to eradicate carpenter bees. Simply mix 1 cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Now, spray this solution directly on the bee’s nest hole.

  1. Use Boric Acid

Apart from vinegar, boric acid is another common household item that can be used to get rid of pests. Just mix 3 parts water with 1 part boric acid in a spray bottle. Then spray this solution inside the bee hole. Boric acid is poisonous to these insects and will exterminate them within an hour!

  1. Use A Vacuum

You can also vacuum the carpenter bees out of their nest by using a vacuum with a small attachment. This method works best when the nests are new and not very deep. You simply have to vacuum inside the hole to suck the bees from inside the tunnels. Remember that vacuuming will not remove larvae.

  1. Use Bee Traps

Carpenter bee traps can also help you to get rid of carpenter bee infestation! Purchase a bee trap from a local garden store and place it directly near the area of infestation. This bee trap will attract carpenter bees and prevent them from escaping. If you don’t have a severe bee infestation, you can hang the trap above the bee holes.

  1. Use Paper Bag

Have you thought about how to get rid of carpenter bees with a paper bag? This hack involves taking a paper bag, blowing it up, and then hanging this around the affected area of your home. Paper bags will create a wasp nest which will repel carpenter bees as wasps are carpenter bee predators.

  1. Seal Pre-Existing Holes

The holes of carpenter bees are nesting galleries where they lay eggs. These galleries are much bigger and more damaging than visible to the naked eye. You can seal their entrances with plugs, cork, or putty. Make sure you kill or eliminate all bees before sealing holes or else they may chew new openings in other locations.

  1. Play Loud Music

Loud music can irritate carpenter bees as they are very sensitive to sound. The vibrations from the music can be unpleasant to them. Simply play loud music next to active nests for a few hours to encourage them to leave. Now, take preventive measures on the wooden structure as soon as all the bees left.

  1. Use Electric Rackets

In spring, carpenter bees fly around looking for a new place to lay eggs. When they are very active, you can use an electric racket to smack and kill carpenter bees. This method won’t help you get rid of your bee infestation.

Keep on reading further to know more about how to get rid of carpenter bees.

  1. Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of algae and can be used to destroy any pest. It is a natural pest control substance that is composed of microorganisms. You can apply diatomaceous earth to the nest and seal up the nest after treatment. Make sure you wear gloves, a mask, and long sleeves as this substance can cause skin rashes.

  1. Use Insecticide

Insecticide dust and powders can easily remove active carpenter bee nests. By using a hand duster, apply insecticide dust/powder to the holes to kill the existing bees. This will also prevent further growth of the bee population. You can also use liquid insecticide to get rid of bees’ infestation.

  1. Use WD40

After trying all-natural DIYs, you can prefer WD-40 for quick results. Here, I will tell you how to get rid of carpenter bees with WD-40. Simply apply WD-40 directly to the bee holes in their nests to eliminate these unwanted insects. Make sure you keep a healthy distance while using WD-40 and don’t spray near heat sources or open flames.

Tips To Prevent Carpenter Bee Infestations

Till now, I hope you’ve understood how to get rid of carpenter bees outside. It is not enough to just kill the bees. You need to stop their cycle of reproduction. Here are a few tips you can consider to prevent future carpenter bee infestations.

  • Apply insecticidal dust/powder to the holes.
  • Make sure you seal the holes with plugs, putty, or caulking compound.
  • Paint outdoor wooden surfaces with varnish to discourage bee infestation.
  • Spray insecticide on outdoor wooden surfaces including rail sidings and under decks.
  • Cover exterior openings of your home with mesh screens to prevent bee incursions.

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How Long Do Carpenter Bees Stay Around?

Carpenter bees are very active from early spring through summer around houses and other wooden structures. These insects earn their name because they bore one-half inch wide holes that appear to be perfectly round on exterior wooden surfaces.

What Is The Best Deterrent For Carpenter Bees?

Almond oil and citrus oil are carpenter bee repellents. A good way to deter females from nesting is to spray a layer of almond oil/water mixture on any susceptible areas. Do this a few times throughout the spring to discourage bees from nesting.

Can I Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees Myself?

Pesticides offer an effective means to eliminate the pests. Carpenter bee sprays can be applied on and around the holes in the wood and is effective on newer intrusions. Spray insecticide more heavily in early spring to prevent infestation and then treat regularly throughout the summer.

What Does Vinegar Do To Carpenter Bees?

Vinegar has this smell that can ward carpenter bees off or even kill them. Acetic acid causes the pungent smell and sharp taste. A high concentration of vinegar can cause carpenter bees to die from suffocation. Hence, if you want to only repel them, use a lower concentration.


In the above post, I’ve discussed everything about carpenter bees and how to get rid of them in detail. Carpenter bees are mostly found in spring and are called wood bees as they bore into wood. They can drill holes into any wooden structure in order to lay their eggs. You can use citrus spray, boric acid, vacuuming, and bee traps to stop them from doing further damage. Even vinegar can kill the carpenter bee larvae in the nest and the strong smell will deter adult carpenter bees. Once you learn how to get rid of carpenter bees, you can prevent future bee infestations.