How to Kill Wood Bees

Wood bees, also known as carpenter bees or bore bees, drill holes through unpainted softwoods, such as cedar, pine and redwood. These bees tend to make their homes in decks, fence posts, window frames and siding, where the female bees hatch larvae. The holes are approximately 1/2-inch in diameter and the tunnels extend up to 4 feet into the wood. Although wood bees are very docile toward people, their accumulation in exterior home surfaces is usually unwanted. Certain control techniques and solutions are effective at killing wood bees.

Wood bees can invade unpainted softwoods.

Purchase an insecticidal dust containing 5 percent carbaryl content. This type of insecticide is often used by pest control professionals as it is very effective at killing wood bees.

Put on work gloves, goggles and a respirator to protect you from the insecticide. Chemicals in insecticides are harmful when inhaled.

Inject the long sprayer snout on the insecticide deep into the hole in the wood. Treat the hole with the insecticide, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Leave the treated wood alone for a week, to allow the female bee time to distribute the insecticide dust within the tunnel. Insert a small cork into the opening of the hole.

Use wood glue to glue the cork into the hole, once you have achieved a snug fit. Paint the wood surface with two coats of exterior primer, using a paintbrush. Allow each coat of primer to thoroughly dry, according to the manufacturer's directions.

Paint over the dried primer with two coats of finish paint, using the paintbrush. Allow each coat of paint to thoroughly dry, according to the manufacturer's directions.

Things You Will Need

  • Insecticidal dust
  • Work gloves
  • Goggles
  • Respirator
  • Small cork
  • Wood glue
  • Exterior primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Finish paint


  • Use all-purpose lubricating oil instead of insecticidal dust.
  • Use pieces of wood dowel rod instead of cork.

About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.

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