solitary bees eradication

Asked May 6, 2013, 6:39 AM EDT

We have many solitary bees attacking our front porch posts. Numbers have increased to the point of 20* this year, boring holes in the wood poles.

Monroe County Pennsylvania bees

1 Response

The solitary bees are likely carpenter bees looking for locations to lay eggs. Carpenter bees do not eat wood; they bore into the wood and lay their eggs. The larvae do not eat wood; they eat the pollen and nectar that has been left for them by the female. Most of the bees you are seeing are likely males. The males patrol areas where good nesting sites are, waiting for females to come lay eggs.

Unlike termites, which eat wood, these bees do not cause structural damage. Carpenter bees cause damage similar to woodpeckers, which make holes to get at insects in the wood.

You can prevent carpenter bees from boring into wood by painting the wood or screening it. The screening needs to be wire with holes no larger than a carpenter bee, about 1/4-inch across.

If you wish to kill the bees, there are a number of products you may use. If you kill the bees that currently are coming to the porch posts, it is likely that other bees will come take their place, as the porch posts must be an attractive location to lay eggs.