Carpenter bee extermination!! Do it while they’re there!

Carpenter bee extermination.  I received a call on Tuesday from a client who has carpenter bees at their home. The problem is that woodpeckers are destroying the fascia board in their attempt to gain access to the developing larva. The customer was obviously upset with the answer that I gave. Here goes…

Unfortunately, the time to treat carpenter bees has passed. The optimum time for treatment is upon emergence and during the egg laying process which is usually in the spring. The reason that treatment is best during this period is due to the biology of the pest itself.

Carpenter bees drill a hole about the size of a dime (perfectly round) and then burrow in half the distance of the thickness of the wood; then they burrow a 6-7 inch cavity after making a 90 degree turn. The female lays eggs then regurgitates a slurry of pollen and nectar so that the larva have something to feed on after hatching. This process takes place after each egg.

The problem is that this slurry closes off the chambers and makes an application with a pesticide difficult if not impossible to deliver so that all 6-7 bees come in contact with the products we use.

At this time of the year a better tactic may be to use something to scare away the birds. I also let the client know that should the situation become desperate and the damage is uncontrollable full replacement may be a good option (not what the gentleman wanted to hear).

I also informed him that possibly a fall application may work, but that since most of the damage occurs in the spring it may be best to wait until that time. The gentlemen was not happy, but glad to hear the damage from the bees will stop, I suspect that I will hear from this client in the spring as full replacement is very costly.

In another segment I will explain the treatment for this prolific and quite annoying bee.

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