I have a bench that was outside that I thought would make a nice rustic coffee table. I refinished it, and put it in my living room. It had some carpenter bee holes, but I didn’t think much of it, until after a couple of weeks the bees started slowly coming out of the holes. I found one laying under the coffee table, and when I turned the table over, another one was slowly coming out of one of the holes. They are sluggish, but still. How can I get these bees out of this bench, so I can use it indoors?
As you’ve either figured out based on your experience or from our website article, carpenter bees will use their nests as a place to overwinter or hibernate. You can read more about this behavior in our post here:
Most of the time people with the problem you’re experiencing have no idea where the bees are coming from like the example in the post above details. In your situation, you’re well aware of the source. That’s a big head start and allows you to take matters into your own hand since you can literally move the “source” in or out of the home. As I see it, you have two options that are both practical and feasible.
1) Taking the coffee table back outside and leaving it in the cold will cause any bees in the wood to go dormant again. When spring arrives and the air temperatures warm, they’ll become active and leave the wood. At that point you can treat all the exit holes they have with DRIONE DUST. You can then cap them with CORKS or wood dowels, refinish as needed and bring it back inside. If you didn’t want to seal the holes you could leave them open. Any visible dust can be wiped away with a damp rag and you’d be all set to use the table inside without bee problem. And if leaving the finished bench outside in the winter weather isn’t an option, maybe you have a carport or garage which is generally cool where you could store it? That would do just as well.
2) You could treat the piece now but it could involved more work. I’m assuming you sealed all their nest holes and if you did, they’ll need to be reopened so you can dust them with Drione. Once they’re all dusted, you can cork them and finish the piece as you wish. The only difference between doing it now versus the spring or summer would be the extra work in reopening holes. And since they’re not fully active, it could take awhile for the piece to release all the bees it’s harboring. Alternatively, if you wait till the spring and let the bees emerge naturally to get active, you’ll know for sure you get all of them.
Now if you didn’t seal any holes and they all are open right now, simply dusting them with Drione and placing the piece somewhere like a basement or other part of the home where it’s nice and warm is all you’ll need to do. I’d even go as far as to put a small space heater close to the piece to help get the bees active. This extra heat would help get the bees moving and as soon as they crossed over the Drione, they’d die.
Hope this helps. Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Crusader Duster: www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/dusters/crusader
Carpenter Bee Control: www.carpenterbees.com
Give us a call if you still have questions.