I have found 4 carpenter bees i n my bathroom today. 1 alive, 1 on the ground but still moving and 2 dead ones. I live in an older apartment complex. I do not have any idea where they are coming from. I cannot locate any kind of whole in the wood. Is there a treatment that i can use so I do not have to live with bees in my bathroom?
There is no practical way for you stop unwanted bee activity in your bathroom or any part of your apartment for that matter. But don’t fret; this would be an equal problem for in any structure meaning the same thing could happen in a free standing home, a work office, etc. In most cases, there is one of two scenarios that’s “playing out”.
As explained in our CARPENTER BEE CONTROL ARTICLE, these boring bees drill into wood to make nests. These nests harbor both larvae and adults throughout the winter. Come springtime, they’ll all try to emerge. If the old entrance hole is still open, they’ll generally emerge and most people will never notice the activity. But in some cases homes are painted, trim work around a structure is sealed and when this work is done, entry/exit holes are sometimes sealed. When this happens, the bees cannot use their normal routes of passage. To get around this, they’ll drill new exit pathways and sometimes this leads to them getting inside. This would be one of the scenarios that could be happening.
The second is that if the original nest isn’t built just right it can sometimes force young bees to emerge in the wrong direction. Nest which have separate egg chambers will allow emerging young a free path when they choose to come out. But nests with a single tunnel will get “stacked” with eggs and adults. There can sometimes be 5-10 bees all in a row which effectively creates a traffic jam through which none can pass or exit. If the bee in the middle is a female and she can’t get out when her time to emerge arrives, she’ll drill a new hole to escape. Sometimes these holes end up leading inside the structure. And once that hole is created, other bees will use the same path over the course of the next season.
At this point I’m guessing one of the two scenarios I’ve described is the reason you’re seeing them inside your bathroom. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot you can do for now. The good news is it shouldn’t last long. Generally all the bees will emerge in 1-4 weeks. But if the outside area where the nest originated is allowed to breed new bees with new nests, there could be more problems for you down the road. For now, I’d keep my eyes on the outside areas to see if you can locate any activity. If you find some, be sure to let management know. The last thing they need is for bees coming inside someone’s apartment that is severely allergic to bee stings. If you make a point to educate them about the nests or about sealing up nests without treating which in turn leads to someone getting stung and injured, my guess is they could have a lawsuit on their hands so I’m sure they’ll want to listen to what you have to say and handle it appropriately. But the key here is you need to find the activity where they’re entering. Find the activity and you should be able to solve the long term problem and not have them entering anymore after this season if the right treatments are done.
Here is a direct link to our article on this bee: