Allen Norwood

Carpenter bees stymie Charlotte homeowners

A carpenter bee sits atop a Duranta flower.
A carpenter bee sits atop a Duranta flower. AP

You can net them or swat them with a racquet. (The neighbors might wonder about your erratic ballet, but what the heck.) You can trap them. Or fill their holes with hot glue.

When it comes to carpenter bees, Observer readers have tried all those tactics and more. To wit:

Our only success with carpenter bees has been to use an electric fly swatter; they’re inexpensive and effective. Ours came from Harbor Freight. I hate to use poisons around our foundation since we have wonderful skinks and lizards.... The only way I have found to fill the holes is to drive a screw into the hole before using a solvent-based wood filler. – Jan Mahannah

Your thought on sticking foil into the holes the bees bore inspired me to try cotton balls. I soaked the cotton balls in bee killing insecticide, took a screwdriver and pushed the cotton balls as far into the holes as possible. Some tunnels were quite short while others required more than one soaked cotton ball.... Not waiting for them to begin new tunnels my husband got out the badminton racquet and took a few swings. –

Suzanne Alms

Last year I killed 25-30 bees. This year I have only seen two.... The only issue is that the neighbors think you are crazy when they see you swinging the racket in the air if they don’t know what you’re doing. – Ray Spratt

I use my pond net. I scoop them up as they hover and quickly spin the net trapping them. Then I execute them. Got 12 or 13 this year so far. Works for me! – Bob Williams (who enclosed a picture of a deceased bee, RIP)

I’ve always had good luck getting rid of them by filling their holes with my hot glue gun. Maybe it’s the heat that makes it work. Try it. – Joyce Ahlstrom

A quick and environmentally safe way to get rid of carpenter bees is to spray the bee holes with WD-40. Use the red “point spray” tube that comes with the WD-40. Bees that are inside the hole will come out and drop to the floor and die. Bees will not return to the hole. – Joe Cansler

I bought a carpenter bee trap at Christmas Made in The South craft show from a man who had lots of wooden products he makes for sale. And it WORKS! We must have captured 50 or more bees. The trap has a wooden top that looks sorta like an acorn with slanted holes around it. The bottom has a glass jar screwed into it. The bees go in, fall into the jar and go crazy trying to fly back up to the wooden part. On the man’s suggestion, we did not empty the jar right away since he said the bees inside would attract more bees. – Rebecca Walters

This year I decided to get on the offensive. My trap built last year “caught” maybe 8-10 bees. Hardly worth the effort. This year I put Home Defense insecticide in a small pump sprayer, which gave me 10-15 feet of reach... These bees hover so they can be touched with the spray and that is all it takes to kill them. I also sprayed inside their holes. I also leaned out upper level windows to spray the bees and their holes in the eaves of the house. – Judd McAdams

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