How To Protect Wood From Carpenter Bees – 5 Effective Methods To Prevent Carpenter Bee Damage!

Update as of January 29th, 2024: Even though carpenter bees may seem harmless, they can invade your privacy and unintentionally cause damage. It may be necessary to find solutions to eliminate these pests and protect your wooden structures. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of 5 methods for safeguarding wood from carpenter bees.

Bees are generally seen as pests and feared by many because of their ability to sting. But even if carpenter bees seem similar to all other bees, they are quite different. 

how to protect wood from carpenter bees

How? Unlike bumblebees, carpenter bees do not move and act as a colony, nor do they randomly sting. Well, they could if they feel threatened and need to defend themselves and their territory. Carpenter bees are also known to move in male and female pairs, build up their little nest after burrowing into tree trunks and, then, try to cater for their young ones. 

Now, let us take a look at how to protect wood from carpenter bees.

How To Protect Wood From Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees always burrow into woods, causing damage in the process just so they can build a nest for themselves and their offspring, so it is extremely important to take some steps to protect wood from carpenter bee damage!

But as relentless as they are in their destructive activities, they also aid pollination, which helps our fruit and vegetable plants grow. This happens during their hunt for food when they attack flowers or plants for nectar. They pick up pollen and help transfer it from one part of the flower to the other part, so fertilization occurs. 

However, they are still seen as pests, and the sight of them can be quite terrifying for some. So there is a need to keep them far away to avoid further destruction of wooden structures. 

The question becomes: How should I protect wood from carpenter bees? Here are some tips:

1. Use Carpenter Bee Traps

You may want to consider trying bee traps out. It’s often seen as a good way to get rid of bees but keep in mind that it does target adult bees. The truth is, carpenter bees are quite different from other bees and the best way to get them into a bee trap is to understand their habits. We created a video on how to make a carpenter bee trap!

carpenter bee traps

Since carpenter bees love to burrow into wood, the best trap setup should be made using such wood material for easy attraction. You can drill it to fit into the exact diameter of holes the pests usually spend their time drilling. Make sure the trap has little to no lighting above. Once they notice a conducive spot, they will simply head into it. 

As soon as they confirm it to be a safe space for their eggs to get hatched, they may try to come out but then get trapped at that point. That’s because the only source of light would be beneath the wooden trap. It works because these bees do not fly directly upwards or downwards and can only crawl up a container. Without light, they will get stuck and stay trapped. 

That’s about it. Would need bait to attract those bees into that trap? The answer is no. The best bait is having a bee get inside that trap, and watch how others follow suit soon after. They often release a chemical substance into the air which in turn influences the behaviors of other bees. That’s what we call pheromones

There are other ways to get Pheromones released into the environment to attract bees into the trap if it becomes really difficult getting at least one bee into the trap. On the other hand, it should be noted that these pests love the warm nature of high structures, so placing the bee trap in such an area is an easy way to get them into the trap. 

2. Paint Wood and Seal Possible Entry Points

Carpenter bees get attracted to wood that is left naked, worn out, or unpainted. Painting wood is one of the most efficient ways to prevent the attraction of carpenter bees, be it in the cupboard area or any cabinet built in and around the home. 

So it is necessary to check out all the holes and openings on your property and seal them up. When holes are not properly sealed in a home that has been infested with carpenter bees, there is a probability that bees might continue to spring up from eggs laid inside those holes. 

Even if you want to take things a step further by painting the wood, sealing still ought to be prioritized. Using a sealer and paint on the exterior is enough to help prevent these pests. Because carpenter bees live for years, they often will return to previous nests, so sealing holes is very important!

3. Use Hardwood When Possible

Carpenter bees love to burrow into softwood that hasn’t been treated. So you might want to do extra checks on the kind of wood used during construction activities in your home. Going for hardwood types that are properly treated can make a  difference on whether the carpenter bees invade your home or not.

4. Use Substitute Materials Rather Than Wood Where Possible

Using substitute materials in any form of construction rather than wood may be the safest option. Most woods sold and used for construction may not turn out hard. They may also not be treated well enough to withstand bee activities. 

Wood will wear and tear with time due to pressure and exposure to water or heat. And this can cause damage to the wood or even make carpenter bees more comfortable to take up that spot. So consider using substitutes like brick or even cement in construction. They have proven to be more durable for whatever construction they are used for.

5. Try Repellents To Keep Carpenter Bees Away From Wood

There are multiple different products that you might already have in your home that have been proven to keep carpenter bees away. Some of the most popular include using:

Final Thoughts On Protecting Wood and Your Home From Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are known to seek shelter in places like homes during winter or spring, where they can hibernate while awaiting a perfect season like summer to emerge. They may not be noticed during cold seasons, but winter is the best time to quickly put in place all the right measures to help keep these pests from disturbing your home. 

Consider reaching out to professional exterminators if you try out all the different preventative measures but fail to see any real success. Your local pest control expert can help out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on how to protect wood from carpenter bees, and I hope this helps you keep your home protected!


Leave a Comment