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Wood-eating Bees
May 4, 2006 7:02 AM   Subscribe

How do you get rid of wood-eating bees?

I am not sure what they're called -- I've heard them called bore bees. They're big and they don't fly very well and now that the weather is warming up, they're chewing away at my garage and I think (I have a bad feeling), my house. Any tips on how to eliminate them without making the whole place toxic - or is that the only option?
posted by nnk to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
 
Boric acid works well
posted by buggzzee23 at 7:12 AM on May 4, 2006


Correct link
posted by buggzzee23 at 7:14 AM on May 4, 2006


I have them noshing on my garage too. I have used the hornet spray and saturated the wood. They come back (or emerge from) to the same spot year after year, so I would also appreciate some assistance. Oh, and I have no problem going completely toxic...chemicals are our friends.
posted by Gungho at 7:15 AM on May 4, 2006


Here's a nice write up on carpenter bees. It seems that painting the surface is a big deterrent, and spraying the entrance with wasp spray and then blocking the tunnels is the preferred extermination method. Good luck! At least they're not very dangerous. (Males have no stinger. Females do, but aren't aggressive).
posted by cosmicbandito at 7:21 AM on May 4, 2006


They are extremely beneficial insects.
If you can possibly mark the nest and leave them alone, do so.
Otherwise, go out at night (when they're all inside) and spray a can of bug spray in the hole at the bottom of the nest. The ones that make it out won't be in any condition to bother you.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:25 AM on May 4, 2006


Thanks! Knowledge definitely gives me some peace of mind. It sounds like although they have a quite a presence, buzzing around right now, they don't do huge amounts of damage so leaving them alone for now might be o.k.

A little painting might be in order too!
posted by nnk at 7:54 AM on May 4, 2006


w-g plu, how are they beneficial?
posted by Rash at 9:42 AM on May 4, 2006


Wasps kill many of the plant-eating insects (like aphids) that are are a nuisance in your garden. They will either eat them directly or lay eggs on them so the hatching larvae can eat them. They won't bother you unless you freak out and get them caught in your clothes or hair, or unless you intrude on the nest. In the autumn, when the weather turns cold and food is scarce, they get a bit more agressive. They are much cleaner than flies because they prefer live food; I let them feed from my dinner plate. They love salmon.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:15 AM on May 4, 2006


BTW, they're not eating the wood; they're making paper for the nest.
I know someone who put out sheets of construction paper for them, and saved the colorful, arty nest after they were finished with it.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:20 AM on May 4, 2006


WG pandemonium, you don't know what you are talking about. Carpenter bees do not eat insects and they do not make paper for nests. They eat nectar & pollen and bore into wood to make nests.

Their only benifit is as pollinators though there is some debate about how effective they are.

In general you should not try to wipe them out (e.g. destroy their nests in dead trees), but that is no rational to let them destroy buildings.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 10:40 AM on May 4, 2006


We also have carpenters bees that are boring holes into the fascia on our garage. We spray and then plug the holes. But sometimes the woodpeckers come to feast first. Much bigger holes!
posted by campheatwole at 11:01 AM on May 4, 2006


My mistake. I thought nnk had paper wasps.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:52 PM on May 4, 2006


Foetry Guy - I am pretty sure they are carpenter bees. They're much bigger than honey bees - but I do have a flowering tree (cherry, I think) next to the garage, so it does give me pause.

thanks again everyone.
posted by nnk at 6:03 AM on May 6, 2006


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