Greetings. I have an existing carpenter bee infestation. I have read and understand what I need to do to treat the nest. It is now the end of August. The bee activity is low. When should I treat the nest with dust? Now, or next year? Thanks.
If you read our carpenter bee control article, you’ll learn that female carpenter bees will be very active in the spring laying eggs and gathering food. Now as the summer months wind down, so too will their activity. But at the same time their developing eggs will be eating and then pupating into adults. And depending on local temps, these pupae will either hatch in the fall or wait till next spring to emerge and begin their lives as breeding adults. Either way, they’ll be in the nest and though not visible, very much alive and kicking.
As for adults that were active in the spring; the males will typically die off during the summer but female carpenter bees will still be very much alive. However, they typically wind down their activity and become a lot less active following all their hard work in the spring. So as the summer winds down, they’ll become less and less visible unless the developing pupae start hatching.
Now whether or not pupae hatch in late summer, early fall or the following spring will depend largely on where you reside. In the extreme southern states like FL, LA, etc., we routinely see a lot of newly hatching bees in August and September. In states like GA, VA and other middle of the country regions, it’s hit or miss. Some years we’ll have a second generation hatch but then its equally as likely that we only have one generation per year.
Regardless of when the pupae decide to hatch, it’s always best to get the nests treated as soon as you identify the problem. I say this because the recommended treatment, Drione Dust, will remain active for 6-12 months. This means if you treat in the fall you’ll be covered no matter what. So if pupae start hatching this year, they’ll die once they encounter the Drione. But if they choose to wait till next spring to emerge, the Drione in place will still be plenty active and this will lead to their demise then too.
In summary, there is no reason to wait. Get the nests treated now, let them sit open for 1-2 days and then cork them off to keep the Drione active for as long as possible. This way you’ll have the problem handled and be done with it once a for all.
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