I had a question pop up on the show two weeks ago - "How do you prevent carpenter bees? How do you keep them from coming back?"
Oh boy. Here we go – it is, of course, that time of year for our favorite little badminton bees.
Carpenter bees over-winter and are coming alive this time of year. Then they find a mate and set about making holes in your siding. Or your deck railing. Or your garden trellis. Or your, well, you get the hole picture.
BTW – the bee’s hole is a perfectly round ½” hole that goes about one inch into the wood, then makes a 90 degree turn and follows the grain of the wood. Then the female lays the egg and, if that weren’t enough, deposits some food for the hatching bee to eat.
So it is important that you don’t just plug the hole as the new bees will just eat their way back out.
So when you find a hole treat it with Dinotefuran (those listening to the show on April 29th will no doubt remember that I can not pronounce Dinotefuran on the fly – give it a shot. How did you do?)
After treating the hole, fill it with paintable wood putty and paint it to match the rest of your deck and you are good to go.
How to prevent those bees from coming back?
They make carpenter bee traps which work with varying success.
Since the bees enjoy unpainted, unstained soft wood (like cedar) you can pre-treat those areas with the Dinotefuran and hope for some success. Otherwise, kill, plug, and paint.
(dyno-teff-urine if you care)