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Carpenter Bees house porch

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May 18, 2007
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Richmond Hill, ON

Carpenter Bees house porch

I was noticing a few days ago a bee coming and going from a hole where the brick mortar meets the aluminum siding ceiling of my porch. Did a little reading about this and after some research, was surprised to learn about carpenter Bees. I read that they chew holes in wood for nesting. Possibly they may return the next year to the same spot. I haven't seen the one bee since so I can't visually identify the species, but should I be concerned? Looking for thoughts and experience with these insects.

Thanks.
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Jan 25, 2007
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vectorxy wrote: I was noticing a few days ago a bee coming and going from a hole where the brick mortar meets the aluminum siding ceiling of my porch. Did a little reading about this and after some research, was surprised to learn about carpenter Bees. I read that they chew holes in wood for nesting. Possibly they may return the next year to the same spot. I haven't seen the one bee since so I can't visually identify the species, but should I be concerned? Looking for thoughts and experience with these insects.

Thanks.
Carpenter bees are very obvious holes in wood. You have normal wasps between brick and siding.
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Oct 6, 2010
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Yeah, that's not a carpenter bee. I have a lot of carpenter bees around my property. They are very large bees and males hover to protect an area suitable for attracting a female to mate. They do not sting but you would see a huge phallus drop from their abdomen that resembles a stinger. They can't hurt you and normally avoid people. Will dive bomb you for good measure but not actually hit you.

Jerico is probably correct in suggesting you have a wasp problem.
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I have a 6x6 retaining wall in the back yard and last weekend we noticed a little mound of sawdust in front of one of the joints between the 2 6x6's. Brushed it away, and the next day there was more. Saw some ants running around, saw what I think was a wasp fly into the gap. Not sure which was causing the issue, but I sprayed a bunch of Wasp and Hornet Raid into the crack as well as along the other joints, and there hasn't been any more wood dust on the patio.
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vectorxy wrote: I was noticing a few days ago a bee coming and going from a hole where the brick mortar meets the aluminum siding ceiling of my porch. Did a little reading about this and after some research, was surprised to learn about carpenter Bees. I read that they chew holes in wood for nesting. Possibly they may return the next year to the same spot. I haven't seen the one bee since so I can't visually identify the species, but should I be concerned? Looking for thoughts and experience with these insects.

Thanks.
Other posters are likely correct, you have a wasp problem, not a carpenter bee problem. If you see the bee, it should be pretty apparent which one you're looking at because carpenter bees are fatter (almost as big as a bumble bee). Google pictures to help you identify when you do see one. If going into brick gaps, whatever you do, don't seal them up with bees still inside. If you search other posts on RFD, people who have done that ended up finding wasps inside their house. They have strong pincers and will find a way.

When I dealt with wasps in brick gaps, I just sprayed those wasp/hornet sprays into the gap and kill any loose entrants for a few days. I've used both foam and non-foam (you can use non-foam to spray the returning wasps, or have some fun with an electrified tennis racket). If there are a lot or they are forming a nest far away from the hole, this may not work.

If you don't see a lot of activity, it might just be nothing as well. Many insects will inspect these brick mortar gaps. If you do have an issue, you will notice a lot more activity. If you don't even know what they look like, I would guess it isn't an issue, but something to keep an eye on.

And FYI, having also dealt with carpenter bees, they will actually bore a perfect hole into wood - remarkable actually. If you are quiet, you'll even hear them or in my case, visually see falling saw dust from my window (I too was wondering where this saw dust was coming from!). In that case, you kill, add poison to the hole (because the eggs will hatch and bore out making the wood like swiss cheese), and then plug. I plugged mine using a round dowel (forget which size but it was a perfect fit), then saw off the excess and sand down to level.
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Jan 25, 2007
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onlineharvest wrote:
And FYI, having also dealt with carpenter bees, they will actually bore a perfect hole into wood - remarkable actually.
The holes I have seen are pretty drill bit like. A little elongated but not much.
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Oct 28, 2008
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I had bee problem in my hose reel box last month too.
I mixed dawn dish washer liquid and water (1:1 ratio) and sprayed the area.
Washed down their nest after they left.
Then they made another nest in the gap between the exterior light and brick wall.
Sprayed same solution again.

And finally never seen them again.

Just make sure you have proper protection when you spray.
I had my Jean, hoodie, gloves safety glasses on when I was doing it.

Good luck.
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Had wasps coming in through the basement window everyday for several days in a row, sometimes several times in a day even. I couldn't find the hole they were coming in through because it's blocked by bushes and plants, but I had bought some caulk just in case they showed up again, but they never did. Later on, I found they had built a small nest outside of my garage and near the window.

Look for a nest nearby.
Last edited by QuicKi7 on Jul 3rd, 2020 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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koffey wrote: Yeah, that's not a carpenter bee. I have a lot of carpenter bees around my property. They are very large bees and males hover to protect an area suitable for attracting a female to mate. They do not sting but you would see a huge phallus drop from their abdomen that resembles a stinger. They can't hurt you and normally avoid people. Will dive bomb you for good measure but not actually hit you.

Jerico is probably correct in suggesting you have a wasp problem.
Carpenter bees don't sting? We have some out back on the deck and I've been thinking of spraying but I'd hate to kill things like that though especially if they don't sting. wonder how I can get them to relocate?
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I haven't seen any males flying around or any saw dust since the last time. Maybe you guys are right they're wasps but my wife swears it looked like a bee, I'll keep an eye out for them and might spray some wasp foam poison stuff at night. If I'm going to seal anything up it'll probably be in the fall. But looking at how the ceiling is put together they could easily get back in from the channels on the outside perimeter. Hopefully it's nothing.
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I've had success with this sort of shop vac setup for eliminating a lot of the wasps. Gets them leaving or returning. Still needed to spray afterwards.


I'd get on this early. I wouldn't leave it.
And DON"T SEAL IT until you are certain they are done. If you seal it up with live wasps in there they will chew through almost anything and if the easiest route is into your house then that is the direction they will go.
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vectorxy wrote: I haven't seen any males flying around or any saw dust since the last time. Maybe you guys are right they're wasps but my wife swears it looked like a bee, I'll keep an eye out for them and might spray some wasp foam poison stuff at night. If I'm going to seal anything up it'll probably be in the fall. But looking at how the ceiling is put together they could easily get back in from the channels on the outside perimeter. Hopefully it's nothing.
FYI, many people mistake a wasp for a bee.
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IcarusLSC wrote: Carpenter bees don't sting? We have some out back on the deck and I've been thinking of spraying but I'd hate to kill things like that though especially if they don't sting. wonder how I can get them to relocate?
Females sting, males don't have a stinger.
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carpenter bee is dark big insect, similar to bumblebee but less hairy.
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I know ours are carpenter bees from the railing on our deck they hang around (sawdust, holes, look, etc) :( They like to hang around in pairs it seems.
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So I saw a black bee today with a bit of yellow near it's head. Tried to snap a picture but it was quick to climb through the hole in my porch ceiling. I kind of snapped a blurry picture of it going in but it hovers like a bee. I also see some wasps going in as well on the other side. I didn't get a chance to spray maybe tonight in the evening.

First picture is the entry point and the second is the blurry pic of the bee going in. 99 precent certain it's a carpenter bee not sure if I should call orkin or just spray every evening? I haven't had a chance to review the shop vac video not sure how comfortable I am doing that. Slightly Smiling Face

I really don't feel like tearing down the whole ceiling so if can seal it up in the fall I'd rather do that.
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[OP]
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May 18, 2007
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Thanks, I finally got a chance to watch this video with the shopvac. I don't know if this will work with carpenter Bees but I might give it a try. I also did notice wasps at another location that I might also try this method with.
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May 7, 2016
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vectorxy wrote: First picture is the entry point and the second is the blurry pic of the bee going in. 99 precent certain it's a carpenter bee not sure if I should call orkin or just spray every evening?
I had a couple of carpenter bees drilling a hole in my patio. I sprayed them with wasp foam, but didn't seem to do anything (I know they are different animals, but they don't sell anything to kill carpenter bees). I covered the hole with tape and a couple of weeks later the bee was dead and I covered the hole with wood filler.

No need to call Orkin for such an easy job.
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The easiest deterrent for a carpenter bee is a nice little stash of spruce. If you find they are drilling into your deck, get a few slabs and cut them up, toss them into a corner. These bees typically don't like to nest in pressure treated wood, unless it's old and dried out.
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koffey wrote: The easiest deterrent for a carpenter bee is a nice little stash of spruce. If you find they are drilling into your deck, get a few slabs and cut them up, toss them into a corner. These bees typically don't like to nest in pressure treated wood, unless it's old and dried out.
I have a bunch of scrap pieces of 2x4. I think they usually come in spruce, fir or pine not sure if it's too late to Start this now.

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