Bees that want to bore holes in my carport beams

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Every year around this time I have a problem with bumble bees that want to bore holes in the exposed, unpainted beams of the roof of my carport. I've been chasing them off with wasp spray but sometimes one will be successful in drilling a deep hole in the beam, which I fill up with silicone as soon as I spot it.
My B-I-L said they usually won't do this if the wood is painted. I'd be willing to paint them if I was assured it would discourage the bees but there are about 25 beams that are 14 feet long and it would be a pretty big job. I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this problem and if so should I use some kind of wood-protecting stain or a regular latex paint. I think I've seen some of the stains advertised as being "bug-resistant" but I don't know if this would include bumble bees.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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On Mon, 03 May 2010 17:31:39 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@dennism3.invalid (Dennis M) wrote:

Identify the "bees".
A Carpenter bee is smelling the sap in unfinished wood. I call Carpenter bees "bumble bees". Saw one last week or so. Cover the sap odor with paint or stain - your call.
pic:
http://pestcemetery.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/carpenter-bee-bumble-bee-pestcemetery.jpg
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Carpenter bees do look like regular bumble bees. They do seem to prefer unpainted wood but they are not fazed by PT lumber. And they do occasionally bore a hole in my white painted trim. They don't eat the wood and they are solitary so they don't form a colony. They are also not agressive and generally won't pay any attention to you unless you're bugging them. Even then they will usually run before stinging. They bore their holes out of the weather so the holes don't result in problems later. I find it entertaining to cover their holes with clear packing tape. I don't worry about them much though.
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wrote:

Carpenter bees may not form a colony but they sure will destroy a house with their nests. They'll bore 10' up unto structural lumber (which won't be structural anymore). They tend to stay where they're born so if you don't take care of them every year, they'll increase exponentially. BTW, the brown paint on my house doesn't faze them at all. They just love the taste of the exposed (trim) rafter ends. If you have them you should be worried.
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Oren wrote:

http://pestcemetery.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/carpenter-bee-bumble-bee-pestcemetery.jpg
Just the last few days I've been squirting what I thought were carpenter bees with a water spray bottle. According to that picture they were bumble bees, but they sure where after the wood. I think either kind is very docile, I remember as a kid finding my little brother petting bumble bees! They just look so soft and fuzzy he couldn't resist. He didn't get stung. We had lots of clover in the lawn and the only time they ever stung us was if we accidentally stepped on one with bare feet (our bare feet, not the bees bare feet).
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On Mon, 03 May 2010 17:31:39 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@dennism3.invalid (Dennis M) wrote:

They are carpenter bees, not bumble bees, although they look quite similar. They love my cedar soffits.
Painting the soffits has significantly reduced the problem, but not eliminated it. So I would say it helps, but doesn't completely eliminate the problem. When I see a borehole, I puff in some powdered insecticide (I forget the name) listed for carpenter bees and then fill the hole with polyurethane caulk after a few days. Then touch up the paint.
It's only a matter of time till I get tired of the routine and rip off the cedar. I like the look, but It's a bad choice living in the middle of woods where there are a zillion pests that seem to love it, from downy woodpeckers to the bees.
Good luck,
Paul F.
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They used to bore holes in my shed, but I painted the wood with used motor oil, and they won't touch it now.
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That's a good idea, I wonder if one of the local oil change places might be willing to give me enough used oil for the job.
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Most likely, they will give you all the old oil you want. Though, it does increase the risk of fire.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Yeah the same thing occurred to me after I began pondering the motor oil solution. My carport roof is sheet metal with a brown surface on top and it can get pretty hot in the summer.
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Don't just fill the holes with caulk or wood. They'll just eat their way out somewhere else and you get another hole. Sorry but you have to kill them.
I've found that spraying wasp kill spray on the ends of the wood keep them from coming back.
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But that won't kill the eggs and they *will* be back. Dust in the spring (and late summer if you're paranoid) and fill the holes in the fall. Filled holes won't be an attraction for any interlopers next year.
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wrote:

Just spray with hairspray and they'll die. The larvae won't hatch, or die without the adults (never seen the babies come out after a hairspray kill months before). The filling up is just cosmetic. They'll come back or not, but can be killed instantly with the hairspray. I've killed about 15 just this week. I've been watching their favorite spot and every time I see one, I nuke it. It rained today, so it's a new start tomorrow!
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Not true. The larvae have no need for adults. They'll hatch into next year's crop.

Wrong. It closes the nest so interlopers don't find an empty home that's "just right".

You'll be doing it forever if you don't treat the cause.

Goody. Make that 150 next year then 1500...
Do it right and save your house.
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On May 5, 12:48am, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Umm, I never have to kill them after the first two weeks. It's always between 30-50, and only in the early Spring, and always in a different part of the property. To make it simple for you, it's not like the larvae ever hatch and make it out of the building. These are new bees every year.
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wrote:

Of course you only see the bees in the early Spring. That's when they're bees. They hatch in August and winter over in their larval state. In the spring they emerge as bees, and do their thing. If you don't do the job right you'll have them back every year. ...and yes, if not treated properly, they certainly *do* make it out of the building - the next spring. Since they're territorial, you may get a few interlopers every year, but they'll be few. Do the job right.
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Umm, no. There are never any NEW holes in any buildings - I kill off the bees as soon as I see them hovering around looking for a place to bore in. I haven't had any wood damage or holes to patch in more than 10 years, since I started using hairspray to kill them. Yeah, you have to be very proactive and spray the bastards IMMEDIATELY, but you just aren't understanding what I'm saying about spraying them. Or you just don't get it. Or you just don't believe it. Whatever.
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No, I don't believe you. If you have bees, you have holes. That's the way nature works.
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Dennis M wrote:

The ones you usually see are stingless males. They have white faces and don't bore. They alert you to the presence of females in the wood. So does sawdust.
Most of the year, it's just grubs in the holes. Squirting a puff of diatomaceous earth in a hole is supposed to kill them when they emerge.
I like to kill the mothers so they won't tunnel and store food for the grubs. I use a pump-up sprayer with an insecticide made from concentrate. I put the nozzle into the hole and squirt. Sometimes six will stagger from one hole.
A stethoscope will tell if there are any bees chewing in a board. If you can get all the mothers one spring, there shouldn't be much trouble the next year.
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wrote:

Now that is funny, at least to me....
I would expect a visual clue in the beams. Now we can listen?
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