Carpenter bee trap

I’ve had a hard time deciding to make this since carpenter bees are beneficial pollinators, but are also very destructive when it comes to the wooden parts of a house.

When we moved into our house, one of the things we knew we needed to repair was our garage. Almost every board in it has been replaced, there was a point when we used a truck to pull the back wall back to (almost) plumb, and a new roof was installed. In order to get rid of the old lumber, I cut it into smaller pieces and with each cut I found holes. These were big holes, about a half inch in diameter, and they had been made by carpenter bees. Some of the boards resembled Swiss cheese and I was surprised they had any structural integrity left.

Last year, I found the carpenter bee had returned. There were holes in the wood braces over our back door. I plugged them with steel wool and that seemed to prevent them from returning.


Bee hole plugged with steel wool

Last week we had a warm spell, and the bees were back. I am normally an advocate of outdoor insects, but with all the work we have done, I don’t want these guys to start building housing developments in our house or garage.

I decided to try making a carpenter bee trap. There are several versions of instructions on the internet, but I chose this one since it used a single 4×4 piece of wood rather than building a box.  A hole is drilled up the center, then holes along the side are made at a 45 degree angle. The idea is that after the bees crawl in, the upward angle prevents them from seeing light to get back out, so they move downward and into the glass jar.

We’ll see if it works.