Quantcast Carpenter Bees

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Pressure treatment with preservatives will prevent beetle attack, as well as termite infestations. Dif-
fusion treatments with boron also protect wood from attack by beetles. Brushing or spraying wood
with residual insecticides has been used to control beetles. For current information on acceptable in-
secticides, the Engineering Field Division (EFD) Applied Biologist should be consulted.
The use of good building design will also help control beetles. Good ventilation in crawl spaces and
attics, good drainage and proper clearance between wood and soil will help to reduce the equi-
librium moisture content of wood in buildings, and, thus, create conditions less favorable to beetle
It has been a common practice when treating for old house borers to drill heavy timbers at frequent
intervals and attempt to force in insecticide under pressure. Absorption of the chemical is erratic.
Thus, the effectiveness of this procedure is questionable.
Fumigation quickly and completely controls infestations of wood-boring beetles whether the wood
is in storage or service. In addition to acting rapidly, fumigants are useful when an infestation is
very extensive, or is in building locations that make other control procedures impractical. Because
of the current uncertainty over the availability and use of residual insecticides, and the large turn-
over in home ownership requiring certification that structures are insect-free, fumigation has recent-
ly become a more common control procedure. Sulfuryl flouride is the fumigant widely used for the
control of wood-boring beetles in houses. Fumigation is an expensive process, and it offers no
residual protection from reinfestation. In addition, it is necessary for the residents to leave the
premises for one or more days.
4.3.6 Carpenter Bees.  Carpenter bees are found throughout the United States and are
similar to bumblebees. They nest in wood structures and are more of a nuisance than a serious prob-
Carpenter bees usually choose wood that is soft and easy to work. They particularly like redwood,
cypress, cedar, white pine, and southern yellow pine. Bare unpainted wood is preferred; lightly
painted or stained wood is also subject to attack. They also will tunnel wood that has been lightly
pressure-treated for above ground use with water borne preservatives.
The only external evidence of attack is the entry holes made by the females. The original entry hole
is perfectly round and approximately 1/2 inch in diameter. The tunnel turns abruptly at a right angle
after being extended approximately the length of the bee's body across the grain of the wood. The
tunnel is extended with the grain from 4 to 6 inches in a new site and is smooth walled (Figure 4-
29). Frass accumulates on surfaces below the site of activity. Frass is usually the color of freshly
sawed wood, and varies with the species of wood under attack. There are no fragments of insects
mixed with this frass as with the carpenter ants.
An old gallery may be extended or used without further burrowing. When an old gallery is


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