Carpenter Bee Facts & Control

Typically the female carpenter bee will stand guard at the nest entry hole. These are but one of the buzzing, flying, stinging insects plaguing” us. It is unpleasant to be out in our yard to work, play or chill. Certainly one of these bits can bore through framing lumber, especially when chucked into a ½-inch drill. Sometimes the only sign of infestation may be the tiny, round exit holes made by emerging adult beetles. Different bits are required for different size of clearance holes and they are probably not cost effective unless a large number of a given hole size need to be drilled and countersunk. Signs may be less obvious with smaller death watch outbreaks as adults sometimes emerge from cracks instead of holes.

Could have killed my friend with my stupidity… < shudder > So, ever since, I’ve scrupulously avoided candle holders made of wood. Not all woods are treated the same when it comes to machining, and the brad point drill bit is no exception. For use on interior and exterior wood that will be protected from excessive rain and not in direct contact with soil. When the Bee eats into the wood it wood make it so nasty that they would leave.

Using good building design and practices, including proper ventilation, drainage and clearance between the wood and soil will tend to reduce the moisture content of wood in a structure, creating less favorable conditions for beetle development. Plugging the holes with a cork instead of using wood filler means the tunnels will be accessible for emerging bees when they hatch from their protective egg chambers. Your drill will certainly get a workout—and you may risk frying the motor—if you use a bit larger than 2 inches.

Remember also that old holes release odors and smells that tend to attract new carpenter bees looking for a good nest sight so be sure to treat as many as possible with Drione and seal them up. This will insure they don’t become a recycled” nest. If the structure is a log cabin or one with natural wood siding with shakes that are exposed, expect to be attracting wood bees every season.

My phone rang and I went to answer it, got pulled into some other things and when I came back 40 minutes later the wet wood had shrunk a bit freezing the bit in the hole. The last part of your question tells me that you understand an important, basic fact about using these bits: It takes a big drill with lots of torque to spin them. This would be a pain but a necessary one if the ship auger indeed would drill the most accurate straight hole. They’ve also been known to find buried wood piles and other cellulose in which to nest.

I have seen people do this and all they get is the smell of burning wood and a really blunt drill bit. Then discourage them from doing it by spraying the exterior wood with effective Tengard SFR product. The presence of small piles of fine flour-like or talc-like wood powder (frass) on or under the wood is the most obvious sign of infestation. Now after the holes are sealed, spray the homes exterior with either Cypermethrin or NBS to keep new bees away.

You can drill deep holes with a hole saw if you chisel out the wood plug as you go (Photo 8). This is useful when you only have access to one side of thick material and your hole saw isn’t long enough to go all the way through. Remember also that old holes release odors and smells that tend to attract new wood bees looking for a good nest sight so be sure to treat as many as possible with Drione and seal them up. This will insure they don’t become a recycled” nest. Those are in fact the main type of drill bits that you will need to drill through wood.

The shank on this type of bit doesn’t slip in a chuck and can be quickly inserted and extracted from the SDS chuck on the power drill. Carpenter bees will build their nests in existing holes, if they can find them, so if you have a trap full of carpenter bee-sized holes hanging near by, they’re likely to crawl inside to check it out, and when they do, you’ll have them trapped. It is best to err on the smaller side when choosing a bit; a pilot hole can always be made bigger, but not smaller. Here is what a typical wood bee hole will look like when seen on a 2×4 piece of pine.

Spade bits are the tool of choice for drilling holes up to about 1-1/4 in. in diameter for running electrical wiring and other uses. Water-soluble glue is used to cover a group of holes with acid-free tissue paper, through which beetles will punch their way if present. Basically, to stop this from happening in the future, you’ll want to treat the holes the way our article explains. Independent of what I’m trying to drill into, it is even hard to turn when I’m not drilling into anything. Insects will follow cracks between adjacent shakes upward underneath the overlapping upper shake in order to lay eggs, hide, pupate, and overwinter.

Rent Free.” At the end of the summer, I’m thinking these boards will have a number of carpenter bee holes in them, with the baby bees who will emerge next March. If left open these entrance holes may allow water and rot fungi to attack wood, which in the long run will cause more damage than the bees themselves. Secondary invaders include species from groups already mentioned, but also may include termites, carpenter bees and carpenter ants. Then seal the hole with caulking compound, wood putty or a dowel and paint the wood.

Leaving the holes open one day won’t affect the treatment and if you seal them after 24 hours, the treatment will be equally as effective. The big advantage of treating the nest this way is that you’ll avoid any contact with the bees since they’re too big to fit through the holes you drilled and therefore will not be a threat. Beetles emerging from finished articles, such as furniture, were probably in the wood before the finish was applied.

Slow the drill speed and back out the hole saw occasionally to clear the sawdust out of the groove and keep the hole saw cool. To insure you get adequate coverage, drill out a 3 foot square area with the drill holes spaced 6 inches apart from one another. Lastly, the other benefit of using corks is that they will enable you to tell which holes have been treated and which (if any) are new. This ‘pulling’ action means that the bit is really unsuitable for use in a power drill. Be sure to gauge the size and position of any hole you drill so that it doesn’t damage the framing lumber.

Mix the product at rate of one ounce per gallon and sprinkle the mixture to those wooden surfaces where these bees are willing to bore to create a nest. It also makes it difficult to find and control the insects because it’s hard to know how long the larvae have been present in the wood. Like the Hole Saw above, these combination saws can cut large holes but they consist of a number of different sized round saw blades, usually ranging from about 25 to 62mm in diameter. Deep inside, the queen lays vast numbers of eggs, while the workers range afield gathering food for her and her offspring.

It’s not likley to be death watch beetle if it originated in India, more likley it is a Asian timber yard pest that has emerged because the wood in the furniture wasn’t kiln dried correctly, or at all. Carpenter bee holes should be repaired to prevent bees from enlarging the tunnels year after year. Of course, treating can’t hurt but if you don’t have live beetles of some species exiting the wood floors, I don’t know that the all the work and cost of getting the floors treated can be justified. Even by reversing the work piece, that leaves more than 2 inches not bored with little assurance that the holes from each side are co-linear.

In contrast to old, abandoned holes, new holes will not have taken on the weathered appearance of the surrounding wood. The powder outside the holes (frass) is fine to coarse, many times with small pellets. These tasks present the highest risk that the wood will split when screwed into. It is just worth mentioning that there is no need ever to use the hammer function, when drilling wood. Any bit bigger than that probably dictates that you rent a more powerful drill; ditto if you’re going to be cutting a lot of holes.

No doubt having it applied after the bee problem is fixed is the way to proceed and if I was to speculate, I’d say the combination of properly treating the existing holes combined with the RhinoShield, you should be able to get the best long term results and ultimately, a bee free exterior to your home. Log cabins and structures with natural wood siding give the odor which attracts carpenter bees every season. They tend to be expensive, but provide high precision and finest finish of any drill bit.

You would risk cracking the wooden sections of a box plane at that temperature. When the adults emerge, usually in June, some species leave small holes about the size of a pin in the surface of the wood; others make holes the size of pencil lead. Because of this, fumigation will not prevent future re-infestation if the wood is exposed to adult powder post beetles looking to lay their eggs. Reducing the wood moisture content to approximately 12% slows the development of the larvae. Best used in a power drill held in a drill stand as there’s little in the way of a central point.