How To Get Rid of Those Large Black Bees Hovering Around Your Deck
As their name suggests, these bees don’t live in bee hives like other bees, instead they bore their homes into the bottom of your deck and live there. So let me tell you some interesting facts about these bees. First, the ones flying around your head and fighting with one another are the male bees. Believe it or not, as aggressive as they are the male bees are harmless. They don’t seem to do much all day except fight with eachother. The one that does all the work is the female bee and she’s the one you want to stay away from. The problem is, she’s the one you need to get rid of. It’s the female carpenter bee that bores the hole in your deck for all the bees to live.
Carpenter bees prefer dried out weather worn wood to build their homes. If your deck is brand new then chances are the bees wont be interested. But if your deck is at least three or four years old and hasn’t been weather protected then your deck may be a target. Staining your deck wont help keep these bees away.
So what should you look for? The first thing you might notice are the male bees themselves. This is a good indicator that there might be a female bee boring a hole in your deck. Carpenter bees prefer to make their homes in the 2 by 8 inch joist (support) boards of your deck boring the holes up from the bottom. They dig the holes up vertically for a few inches before they continue the hole for a couple more inches horizontally at a 90 degree angle. This type of home helps to keep the hive dry and secure.
Here is what the holes look like:
When I realized that I might have a Carpenter bee problem at home I decided to call a pest control company to see how to get rid of them. After they told me it would cost at least $100 to take care of the problem I decided that maybe I could deal with it myself.
So here’s what my neighbors and I did to get rid of these bees. The first thing we did was buy some type of bee killing spray. The kind that shoot from a good six to ten feet away. Since our goal was to keep the bees away instead of killing them it didn’t really matter if they didn’t die. Then we went around the deck looking for the holes shown above and simply sprayed them with the pesticide. If there was a bee there boring out the hole then we would spray it as well from a distance. The bee would just pull its head out of the hole and fly away. Then everyday we would go back outside and spray the holes. One website suggested plugging up the holes with whatever but I found it sufficient just to spray the hole or holes every other day or so. After a week of spraying the bees went away.
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