I have carpenter bees in my hollow porch column. It is open at least half way on the top. I have another column that does not appear to have them and also has a half opening on the top. What can I drop down there to kill them. I saw some sawdust on the column and sprayed it with water as I was trying to clean my porch as I had a viewing, my house is up for sale.A few of them stung me and took 2 weeks to stop the itching and puffiness. What can I do? I was going to call an exterminmator but not sure what that would cost.
If you read our CARPENTER BEE CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn they don’t typically attack. In fact, only the female can sting and it would be quite unusual for you to encounter more than one at a time. I’m actually thinking you might have BUMBLE BEES, which closely resemble Carpenter Bees, and are more likely to sting in numbers. The good news is regardless of which species you actually have, both can be treated by dusting the column with the DRIONE DUST and a HAND DUSTER we have featured in our carpenter bee article.
At this point I suggest you observe the column from afar to see where the bees are entering their nest. If it’s carpenter bees, there will be holes drilled which are most likely being used for nests. This would explain the sawdust you found. But I have seen Bumble Bees use such columns for nesting and I’ve even seen bumble bees use carpenter bee holes as a way to enter the void so again, it could be either. Many times the wood used to make these columns isn’t that thick and when carpenter bees drill, they will inadvertently drill all the way through a piece and end up abandoning the hole altogether. Carpenter bees don’t like holes that empty out into an empty space but bumble bees love this. And bumble bees typically like to use small holes as a way to enter a nest cavity so this might be what you have going on in your column. But it really doesn’t matter; if you dust the hole with Drione, you’ll surely get either species. And all it will take is 3-5 squirts of the Drione. In most cases the nest will shut down in a day if it’s hit thoroughly. Now if you see activity a day after you treat, that means you didn’t use enough and will need to dust again.
Now if you can’t find an entrance hole, it’s entirely possible the bees are entering the column via a small gap or crack in the frame. I’ve seen this happen many times; even though both bees are seemingly “thick”, they can slide into some tight cracks. In these cases, dusting the entire gap will yield the same results as treating a specific hole. It will require more product and more effort to make sure you get them all but in the end, the Drione will render the nest useless.
Lastly, the best time to treat will be in the evening, close to dark, to insure the bees are both back at the nest and not active. This will help reduce the chance of confrontation and being stung.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Carpenter Bee Article: www.carpenterbees.com/carpenter-bee-control
Bumble Bee Article: www.bugspray.com/articles99/bumblebees.html
Crusader Duster: www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/dusters/crusader
Give us a call if you still have questions.