Picture this. It’s summertime, and you are enjoying a barbecue with friends and family out on your deck. Your guests begin to hear the buzz of flying insects, and you notice bees invading your space. Upon further investigation, you see holes in your deck, up in your eaves, or maybe around your shed.
If this is the case, you likely have a carpenter bee infestation. Thankfully, we’ve researched the very best carpenter bee traps so you can keep your wooden structures free of these burrowing pests.
Why are carpenter bees problematic? From the name, you can guess they have an affinity for anything made from wood. A common misconception is that these bees feed on wood structures, but in reality, they use wood to burrow and nest. This can cause significant property damage and jeopardize the integrity of wooden structures.
Best Carpenter Bee Trap – Quick Look
To keep these insects away from your home and garden, let’s look at the five carpenter bee traps we recommend for this issue.
- Comes in a two-pack
- 12-month window warranty
- Highly rated by customers all over the world
- Customers report that your bait must have an aroma to work—sugar water doesn’t always attract the bees
- Room for consumer error when applying own bait
We love that you can reuse this product for years. Not only is this one of the most highly reviewed products on the web, but happy customers have also posted dozens of photos proving that this trap works. Another pro is that the Y8Y Solar Bee Trap works with other flying pests, such as hornets and yellowjackets.
- No chemicals, scents, or killing agents are necessary
- The design includes bird guards to protect wildlife
- Simple to use
- No bait necessary
- Manufactured in the USA
- Success varies widely according to customers
- Without anything besides the color to lure, some customers didn’t feel it did enough to attract the pests
- Not reusable
- If the bird guard becomes damaged or broken, it has the potential to harm small birds and bats
The Rescue! TrapStik has been a go-to for many customers facing carpenter bee problems. It comes in a three-pack, so you can hang it in multiple locations or replace it when necessary. The Rescue! TrapStik works by attracting flying pests into the trap with its bright colors. Once inside the trap, the carpenter bees get stuck on the sticky residue.
- Specifically targets carpenter bees
- Has a natural look that doesn’t draw the eye when placed on a deck or patio
- Simple design with easy-to-follow install instructions
- No harmful or toxic chemicals
- Honeybee safe
- May take a while to be effective
- If the product doesn’t appear to work, capture a few bees yourself and place them in the jar to attract others
- Some customers feel the product is overpriced
Brian and Bradley Blazer founded the B Brothers after personally experiencing the destruction carpenter bees can cause on their property. With one brother being a wildlife expert and the other an engineer, the two brothers worked together to create one of the best carpenter bee traps in the business.
Customers love the simple design and look of the product. One tip suggests buying at least six traps and placing them around your property to get more significant results, so you may have to spend more money to solve your carpenter bee problem.
- Easy to install
- No chemicals or treatments required
- Also works to deter wasps and yellow jackets
- Bad weather can quickly damage the product
- Customers may not enjoy the look of a fake wasp nest on their deck or balcony
This is a great option to try if you are dealing with various flying pests on your property. The idea is that carpenter bees, yellowjackets, and wasps will avoid this area if they think a wasp colony already occupies the territory. This product is easy to install, and there are no harmful chemicals or toxins that threaten your ecosystem.
- Multiple entry points trap more carpenter bees
- Detachable design makes for easy cleaning and re-use
- Attracts numerous types of pests, including mosquitos and robber flies
- You have to make your own bait
- Fragile materials and design
- Some colors work better than others
The Stingmon 4 Pack Wasp Trap offers an excellent multi-entry product to catch as many carpenter bees, wasps, or yellowjackets as possible. While you can choose different colors, most customers report success with the yellow or clear options. Take care not to drop this trap, however! Customers have complained this trap is fragile and can break easily.
Types of Carpenter Bee Traps
If none of these options seem like the best carpenter bee trap for you, plenty of other options are available! You may be overwhelmed by the different insect traps available, but knowing the four main types can help you start your research.
Nest Mimicking Traps
Typically, nest mimicking traps are straightforward in design. A wooden object with a hole emulates an ideal nesting spot and connects to a mason jar. You can then place bait inside the hole to entice the carpenter bees further.
When the bees enter, they become trapped and unable to escape. You can remove the mason jar as the dead bees collect at the bottom. After cleaning it out and replacing the bait, you can reuse this trap many times!
Check out our guide on fake wasp nests for carpenter bees!
These simple traps attract carpenter bees with bright colors or other bait. As the carpenter bees come closer to investigate and land on the trap, they become trapped and unable to escape.
If you’re interested in buying one of these traps, make sure you purchase one with an included bird guard. This ensures that wildlife will not become trapped. Without the bird guard, you risk catching small birds, bats, and other creatures.
Customers love multi-entry traps because they can trap multiple carpenter bees at once. With multiple entry points, there are more places for the bees to enter, and more become trapped. Multi-entry options are a reliable choice for the best carpenter bee trap.
Typically, these types of traps are also brightly colored to catch the carpenter bee’s attention. You are also encouraged to add bait. Standard baits include sugar water, vinegar, and even wine or beer.
Solar-Powered Light Traps
Many products try to trap carpenter bees at night using solar-powered lights. This may be effective for pests that are active at night; however, carpenter bees return to their nests during the nighttime hours, so you’re unlikely to trap them then.
This fact alone makes the light aspect ineffective when targeting carpenter bees. However, solar-powered light traps can still be effective for catching carpenter bees during the day. These traps often resemble multi-entry or nest mimicking traps.
Tips and Tricks for Attracting Carpenter Bees to Your Trap
Once you have made your selection, it’s time to start trapping! While some traps come with built-in bait, many require you to add your own. Remember, some types of bait will attract other pests, so choose bait that is best for carpenter bees. Here are our best tips and tricks for attracting carpenter bees to your trap.
- Make the current nest inaccessible. Some users douse the nest in water or seal the entrance off with strong wood putty. Other options include taping the opening shut or squirting soap into the drilled hole.
- Make sure the trap looks attractive—to the bees. Carpenter bees are attracted to bright colors. While you may want your trap to blend in with your other patio decor, it’s best not to paint, stain, or alter your trap in any way.
- Place the trap near the nest. Once you’ve made the current nest inaccessible or undesirable, offer the trap as an alternative near the old nest. This ensures the trap is near the carpenter bee’s travel path.
- Choose the right bait. While other pests are attracted to vinegar, carpenter bees like sweet bait. Hummingbird nectar (sugar water) typically works well. Some users report success using beer! Check out our guide on carpenter bee bait!
- Use dead carpenter bees. While this sounds morbid, the scents and pheromones of dead bees attract live ones. The good news is that if a trap works to kill bees, more will investigate!
What to Consider When Purchasing a Carpenter Bee Trap
As with all products, there are specific aspects to look out for when purchasing the best carpenter bee trap. These are some questions you should consider when researching these products:
- How durable is the product? Will it hold up against the elements?
- Can you reuse it?
- Do you want a trap that comes baited, or do you want to create your own bait?
- Is it easy to maintain?
Read customer reviews and talk with your neighbors. Good marketing can be convincing, but first-hand experiences are the most helpful in knowing which product to trust. Take the time to read through good and bad reviews. Remember, your specific needs are the most important, so make a decision based on what you believe is best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do homemade carpenter bee traps work?
Yes! If you have the time, access to a few materials, and patience, you can build your own carpenter bee trap. The simplest type of trap to create would be the nest mimicking model. Plenty of DIY videos and instructions are readily available if you choose this route, which can save you money, though may be more costly in terms of time.
Are carpenter bee traps honey bee safe?
This varies widely by product. If you are concerned about harming your local honey bee population, research which traps will target carpenter bees only.
Where should I place my new carpenter bee trap?
Ideally, traps should be near the current nest, in a location that has plenty of sunshine and free-flowing air. This ensures that the carpenter bees will find the trap enticing. Setting the trap where rain can’t damage is also a good idea. Check out our guide on where to put carpenter bee traps!
Can I prevent a carpenter bee infestation?
Carpenter bees like burrowing in clean, unstained wood. To avoid having carpenter bees set up shop in your yard, you can paint or stain any wooden structures. If you want a more natural approach, almond oil deters carpenter bees from burrowing. Unfortunately, these are only preventive measures, and will not stop an infestation that is already present.
If nothing works, what should I do?
If you’ve done everything correctly and your trap still isn’t producing results, call a local exterminator or pest control expert to help you with the infestation. Since carpenter bees can cause damage to wooden structures, it is crucial to minimize their numbers as soon as possible.
Is Buying a Carpenter Bee Trap Worth It?
The answer is yes. The level of damage carpenter bees can do to your property is extensive if left unchecked. Online comment sections, talking with neighbors, and educating yourself on how each trap works will allow you to make an informed decision.
After you have acquired your carpenter bee trap, carefully read all the bait and installation instructions. Customers often become frustrated at the lack of results simply because they did not install the trap correctly.
If you feel disappointed with your trap, there are a few options for a fix. The first is to reread any instructions to make sure there wasn’t a mistake with the setup. The next option is to move the trap within the bees’ travel path. The third option is to switch up your bait. Add more sugar or try something new like honey.
Learn as much about carpenter bee behavior as possible. Knowing their preferences, likes, dislikes, and typical behavior will allow you to select a trap that works. Research which traps are scoring high on online reviews, and go with a popular choice that includes plenty of videos, photos, and helpful tips in the comment section.
With just a little time, research, and money, you can find the best carpenter bee trap for your home and ensure that your property will remain free of damaging pests, and get back to those summer barbeques bee-free!