How do I eliminate wood bees?
Would removing the wood trim in the yard and wood fences on the property, all of which are full of indentations and holes from wood bees, solve the wood bee problem without poisoning or otherwise killing the bees. Then, is there a recommendation for what sort of wood to use for fences and wood trim on the ground which divides the front yard areas when we replace the old wood? I realize that painting or varnishing wood is a solution but particularly with the wood trim in the yard, not sure that painted or varnished wood is appropriate or would look right. Is there some treatment to wood, if left unpainted, that would deter the wood bees from re-colonizing the new wood?
Removing the infested wood and throwing them away could be a good method to get rid of the wood bees. Just to know, the male wood bee is unable to sting. It is the male that is most often noticed. They usually hover in close proximity from people causing unnecessary panic. The female however, is capable of stinging but rarely does. She must be extremely triggered (i.e., touched) before she will sting. So, you may need to wear gloves, pants and long sleeve clothes when removing the infested wood. Wood bees can be killed by many insecticides, however giving the circumstance that they are close to inhabitable home and the desire is not to use harmful chemicals, there are other alternatives to deal with this problem:
- Wood bees can be killed by spraying the tunnels with aerosol carburetor cleaner. The can of this cleaner usually has an extension straw that can go directly into the tunnel to avoid any spilling.
- Wood bees are extremely sensitive to noise and vibrations. Setting up a soundbox or boombox next to their dwellings can encourage them to leave. They are also get a sense of fear from smoke. Combing the loud sound with some smoke either from a hand held smoker or from a small fire in a pit fire with smoke directed to the tunnel opening can be effective. This method is both safe and no-hassle. Make sure to repeat using this loud noisy until you see no more bees flying around.
- After wood bees have left the nests, stuff their hole with steel-wool. Wood bees can't dig through steel wool, so they can't come back to the old nest. Also, use some wood putty or caulk to patch the spot.
- The entire wood surface should be painted or varnished. Stained wood is not usually protected from attack. The bottom line is that heavier, thicker finishes are best.