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Out of all the bee species, carpenter bees are considered one of the least threatening to humans. The males don’t even have a stinger and the females will only use theirs when they feel threatened. However, despite their docile nature, I wouldn’t want to share my home with them.
Still, many of us have experienced the disappointment of finding a colony of carpenter bees that have taken up residence in our homes. The first thing you’re going to want to know is how to get rid of them. There are many methods you might use but will wasp spray kill carpenter bees?
Yes. Wasp spray is an effective way to deal with a carpenter bee infestation. Products such as Raid Wasp and Hornet Killer are particularly useful but there are also foam insecticides that are ideal if the bees are in a hard-to-reach area.
Insecticides are very effective but some people don’t like the idea of killing the bees, instead preferring to repel them. In this guide, I’ll talk about how to use wasp sprays for carpenter bees as well as give you some alternative methods.
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When people talk about wasp spray, they’re largely referring to an insecticide that is used to kill a variety of creatures. However, wasp sprays are usually marketed as just that, although some are sold as ‘wasp, hornet and bee’ killers such as Raid; one of the leading household brands.
These aerosol products are very effective in tackling carpenter bees and can be used when you’ve got relatively easy access to the creatures. It is incredibly important to follow the directions on the spray can as using these products incorrectly could cause the bees to become aggressive.
There are also wasp killers that come in the form of expanding foam. One of the most well-known is the Spectracide foam which is designed not only for yellowjackets but also for carpenter bees. This is a brilliant option if you don’t have easy access to the bees as the foam will expand into those hard-to-reach areas. Once the bees come into contact with it, they will die.
In situations where the carpenter bees have burrowed very deeply, you might consider using a wasp killer like Fipro which contains the active ingredient fipronil. The foam again expands right down so it’ll make contact with the bees, killing them quickly.
One of the best ways to stop carpenter bees from invading a space is to use the correct type of wood. These bees will burrow into the wood but they’ll only do this if it is raw untreated timber. If you are using treated wood then there’s really no need to worry.
In addition to this, you have to keep in mind that carpenter bees are going to have a much more difficult time burrowing into hardwood so always go for things like oak or maple if you’re looking for a preventative measure.
If you have any sort of unfinished, untreated, or unstained wood then there is a risk of carpenter bees setting up a home within it. Make sure to always paint your wood. Even if you don’t want to add color to it, there are plenty of clear wood treatments out there that will stop carpenter bees in their tracks.
Also, make sure that any holes in your wood are filled. Take the time to regularly check wooden structures for cracks or holes and deal with these as soon as you find them. Even in hardwood, these holes are an open invitation for critters like bees but keeping them sealed and inaccessible is a surefire way to send the bees packing.
Some people want to get rid of their carpenter bee infestation without actually harming the bees. I totally understand this because while bees can be a pain, they are an important part of our ecosystem. Where you can remove them without harming them, I’d strongly advise you to do so. Using powerful insecticides such as wasp killers should only be the answer when there’s no other way.
So, for those of you that want to try a less harsh method of attack, there are plenty of natural, non-toxic wasp and bee killers out there. Something like Outlast NBS 30 Additive is ideal since it’s made from natural plant oils and is totally non-toxic. The product is designed to repel the bees rather than kill them and will make the area highly unattractive to them.
It’s also possible to make a DIY carpenter bee repellent using natural oils. Things like citronella oil are perfect as bees really don’t like the smell and it’ll keep them away better than anything else.
However, it’s a good idea to add other things like tea tree oil, lavender, or jojoba; none of which are particularly attractive to carpenter bees. Even if you have had to use a wasp-killer product to eradicate the infestation, a homemade remedy like this is good to use afterwards to prevent history from repeating itself.
Wasp killer products such as Raid are undoubtedly one of the best methods to get rid of carpenter bees for good. However, as I mentioned earlier, some people don’t like the idea of these products.
As well as using natural insecticides, there are other things you can do to stop an infestation in its tracks. Some of these methods are less harmful to the bees while others are better for the environment. If you’re looking to take a more natural approach, you may consider any of the following.
Carpenter bee traps are ideal for homes where there is currently an infestation and as a preventative measure. These traps are designed to attract the bees when they’re flying around scouting for places to nest. But once they’re inside, they cannot get back out. It’s important to keep in mind that a single trap will attract bees within around a 15ft radius. Therefore, if you have a bigger backyard, you will need to place traps in several spots to achieve the best results.
Earlier, I talked about using essential oils to repel carpenter bees and you can also use almond oil to treat your wood. This oil is brilliant at getting rid of carpenter bees as they cannot stand the smell. If wood is treated with almond oil, there’s no way that these bees will use it for nesting.
While this is more of a way of preventing carpenter bees, there have been some success stories of people spraying it around the entrance of a nest to evict a current infestation. While this may not be 100% guaranteed, it’s worth trying if all else fails.
It sounds like madness but if you’ve got a particularly strong vacuum cleaner and an attachment that’ll get into the nest then you could use this to suck the bees up. However, keep in mind that this approach is best used on newer nests when they aren’t as deep. Established nests will likely be far too deep for even your longest, narrowest vacuum attachment to get into.
Moreover, be mindful that it’ll be almost impossible to suck up any larvae so once you have vacuumed up all the adult bees, seal the nest to prevent future problems.
Carpenter bees are susceptible to noise, especially loud music, due to the vibrations it creates. There have been a lot of reports of people successfully getting rid of carpenter bees using this method although keep in mind that it doesn’t always work.
That said, one of the best ways to use this method is to play loud music to get the adults to leave the nest temporarily. Once they have gone, this gives you a small window to seal the nest so that, when they return, they have nowhere to go. It’s also helpful to use something like citronella or almond oil around where you have sealed to stop the bees from trying to burrow their way back in.
I’d also suggest placing some carpenter bee traps around the area to catch any bees that hang around for too long.
Diatoms are a type of algae and when they are fossilized, the result is a product known as diatomaceous earth. This is usually used for gardening and similar things but the microorganisms within it are ideal for pest control as they’ll actually kill the pests on contact.
This isn’t a good method if you’re not looking to cause the bees any harm but it is ideal if you just want something natural.
Do keep in mind that diatomaceous earth can cause skin irritation so it’s worth wearing protective gear such as gloves and long sleeves when applying it to the nest. It’s also a good idea to wear a mask so that you don’t breathe in any particles.
Once you have applied the diatomaceous earth to the nest, don’t forget to seal it so that you aren’t faced with future problems.
With so many natural options out there, using chemical insecticides like wasp killer should be a last resort. These products are incredibly effective but with the number of chemicals they contain, they are not the most eco-friendly option.
Where an infestation is small and manageable, I would recommend going for a more natural approach such as vacuuming, using essential oils, or scaring the bees away with noise before sealing up the nest.
However, there may be times when these natural approaches just don’t do the trick and you’ll have no other choice but to use a chemical product. For example, when the nest is very deep and established or you aren’t able to get inside to remove all bees. In this case, be sure to follow the instructions to the letter and protect yourself when using the spray.
Carpenter bees are a common pest in the USA with many homeowners discovering a nest in wooden structures. These bees can be a nightmare to get rid of and while there are several natural methods, a lot of people want to know will wasp spray kill carpenter bees.
It’s something that most of us keep in our homes as standard so when you spot a carpenter bee nest, it’s easy to reach for the can of Raid and go to town. The good news is that these products are very effective in killing carpenter bees and will eradicate them with no problems.