If you've finally constructed the deck of your dreams after planning and saving for years, you may be dismayed to find precise holes dotting your railing or stairs as carpenter bees make your deck their new home.

Carpenter Bees Tearing Up Your Deck? What Are Your Options?

Although these bees can be highly destructive to wooden eaves, fascia, and decking, they're also pollinators, and you may want to investigate some humane relocation options before you opt to exterminate them for good.

Read on for some humane ways to eliminate your carpenter bee problem, as well as other eradication methods.

What Are Some Humane Ways to Manage a Carpenter Bee Infestation?

For situations in which you'd like to keep these bees around to pollinate your flower or vegetable gardens, you'll just want to make your deck a less attractive option while giving these bees somewhere else to go. 

Carpenter bees are primarily attracted to untreated, soft wood-because they burrow in this wood for shelter and consume it in the process, chemicals like stain or polyurethane or ultra-hard wood like cedar generally aren't very hospitable. If you give your deck a good coat of stain or sealant before warm weather hits for good, you may be able to minimize the number of carpenter bees that attempt to transform your deck into their new home. 

However, you'll want to keep your entire deck in mind when applying these chemicals-simply painting or staining the top surface will leave the underside of your deck wide open to carpenter bee intruders. Even if you don't care about the aesthetics of the underside of your deck, you'll want to spray it with a coat of polyurethane to avoid making it an easy target.

You'll also want to encourage your carpenter bees to resettle elsewhere after treating your deck. Often, this can be as simple as purchasing a few blocks of soft fruit wood-like apple or cherry wood-and placing them somewhere on your property far away from your deck. By giving these bees somewhere else to burrow, you'll provide them with shelter, and keep them close enough to pollinate your garden, without making your deck their home.

As an additional deterrent, you may want to plant some bee-repellent plants, like eucalyptus, mint, and citronella, around the perimeter of your deck. Not only can these plants serve as an attractive border, they'll deter carpenter bees, wasps, and other pests you won't want around your entertainment area.

What Are Your Other Options to Rid Yourself of Carpenter Bees?

If these methods aren't working well, or if your deck has already sustained quite a bit of damage and won't survive another bee infestation, you'll want to take steps to immediately eradicate these pests. You'll also want to utilize an eradication method that won't cause any additional damage to your decking and won't impact your ability to patch it or make other structural repairs.

Most often, this means using a targeted insecticide to kill any bees, including eggs or larvae, and treat the nesting area to repel these bees going forward. These insecticides are designed to affect only the carpenter bees and shouldn't have an impact on frogs, harmless snakes, or other friendly wildlife. They also shouldn't affect the structural integrity of your deck and will remain effective even after being pummeled by rain or hail.


At Ace Walco, we've got the equipment and expertise to tackle your carpenter bee infestation-whether you'd want a more humane method or prefer insecticides to eradicate these bees for good, give us a call and we'll be able to help. We can also offer helpful advice if you're not sure which elimination method is best for you and your property.

Do you have a pest that is bothering you?

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