Many woodboring insects can cause significant damage to your home. While carpenter bees aren’t as destructive as carpenter ants or termites, the bees can still lead to problems!
Carpenter bees can run rampant without proper control, costing you money and devaluing your home. If you’re struggling to handle these pests, we can help! Check out our article to learn how to get rid of carpenter bees with vinegar, plus other tips that may help!
How can Carpenter Bees Cause Damage?
Similar to other woodboring insects, carpenter bees will use their sharp mandibles to carve into wooden structures. Termites prefer to consume the wood they burrow through, causing thousands in damage as they eat through your walls.
Carpenter bees instead chew through wood to lay their eggs, forming small holes on the outside and creating long horizontal tunnels. These tunnels are often visible on the wood’s exterior if the bees burrow too close to the surface.
Unlike other bee species, carpenter bees are solitary and won’t congregate in a traditional hive. While some types may coexist or even live in small nests, most carpenter bees create nests solely to house their young.
After boring through wood and creating a suitable nest, a female carpenter bee lays its eggs inside “cells” that hold one egg, according to the University of Kentucky’s entomology department.
Each egg develops inside a cell, and newly hatched bees exit to repeat the reproductive process. Adult carpenter bees will hibernate during the winter before emerging as the weather heats up, so you may notice carpenter bee damage during spring or summer.
While carpenter bee damage isn’t as severe as carpenter ants or termites, they can still destroy fencing, railings, decks, and roof eaves. If left unrepaired, more carpenter bees may use these burrows to lay eggs or extend the tunnels.
They can even leave wood with unsightly feces stains. With its brown hue, carpenter bee excrement can detract from your home’s beauty and even damage paint if the bees have built within your roof eaves.
Read on to learn about carpenter bee control methods and how to get rid of carpenter bees with vinegar!
The Danger of Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees can damage your home, but can they also harm you?
Like most other bees, female carpenter bees have stingers that they can use whenever they feel threatened. However, carpenter bees are unlikely to attack unless you’re directly tampering with their hive.
Male carpenter bees are highly aggressive but can’t harm you at all. If you linger too close to a female bee creating a nest or disturb their hive, the male bees may fly close to drive you away.
Despite their bravado, these pests lack a stinger and cannot injure you.
Are Carpenter Bees Helpful?
Despite their affinity for causing damage to the wooden structures around your home, carpenter bees serve a needed purpose.
Like other bees, they are essential for the environment and are excellent pollinators. Distributing pollen from one flower to another, carpenter bees can help fertilize local flowers and other plants.
Without bees, we wouldn’t have access to many fruits or crops we hold dear. If you need a good cup of coffee in the morning, you can thank bees for their help!
However, while we need bees to maintain many crops and fruits, they are a nuisance in many residential areas.
If carpenter bees are far from your home, you can safely leave them alone. They won’t sting or attack you unless you’re too close to their hive. Most species only bore through unfinished and unpainted wood, so they shouldn’t head toward your home to nest.
Carpenter bees can still burrow through construction projects, stair railing, and furniture made of unfinished wood. Their feces can even leave behind difficult-to-remove stains that may further damage the paint and wood.
Before proceeding with a pest control option, consider the proximity of the bees to your home and if they could potentially cause damage to any unfinished wood on your property. Avoid needlessly removing the insects unless they’re directly harming your home!
Use Vinegar to Ward the Bees Off
Whenever carpenter bees start overstaying their welcome, you can utilize several natural methods to eliminate them. Here’s how to get rid of carpenter bees with vinegar, a DIY pesticide!
We’re all familiar with vinegar’s pungent odor, but did you know that many insects can’t stand the smell? Vinegar is the perfect repellent to keep nuisance bugs at bay– as long as you can stand the stench!
Carpenter bees similarly avoid the strong smell. If you’ve noticed carpenter bees hovering around your home or railings, try spritzing a water and vinegar solution around the area. Unless they’ve built within the wood, the bees should disperse.
Because vinegar doesn’t have the same potency as many commercial pesticides and repellents, you may have to reapply the solution to your wooden items. Constantly using vinegar could get tiring (and smelly), so don’t solely rely on this method to keep the bees away.
Also, try applying paint or a finish to protect your wood from carpenter bees and other pests. Here’s a great video to give you the basics of finishing wood!
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees with Vinegar Spray
Grab vinegar and an unused spray bottle for an easy at-home pest control solution. Fill half of a 32 oz bottle with water and then add vinegar. After mixing the liquids, you’re ready to approach the carpenter bee nest.
During the evening, carpenter bees rest securely inside their nests. While we encourage you to contact a pest control agency before dealing with stinging insects alone, the carpenter bees will be easier to handle as the sun sets.
If you don’t spot active bees, feel free to saturate their nesting areas thoroughly with your vinegar mixture. After interacting with the vinegar, the hidden bees will die soon after. You can potentially eliminate the larvae hidden inside if the vinegar permeates the wood.
Check out this article to learn more about non-invasive pest control methods like repellents!
The Drawbacks of Vinegar
While these methods illustrate how to get rid of carpenter bees with vinegar, it isn’t foolproof.
Vinegar isn’t a long-term option, and there’s always a chance the pests stick around.
Plus, the vinegar solution may not be strong enough to eliminate all of the bees if mixed improperly. If you try to use vinegar on active bees, you could deal with angry insects afterward!
Vinegar could also discolor or stain your wood, so be wary of your application. It may also quickly harm your greenery and leave behind undesirable dark spots if you mist it near your lawn or garden!
Do I Have Other Options?
If you’re still searching for the perfect solution after learning how to get rid of carpenter bees with vinegar, don’t worry. We can help!
While typically docile, carpenter bees are still stinging insects that can attack when threatened. To keep yourself safe, rely on proof. pest control to combat these pesky insects!
After a thorough inspection, we’ll locate the site of a nest and eliminate the adult bees and larvae. When you’re struggling with pests, be sure to give proof. pest control a call!