New Bern, NC

New Bern, NC: Instead of Bee Traps, Try Loud Music, Cedar Logs and Insect Hotels

Karen Madej

Image by Jean Louis Tosque from Pixabay

A sunny smiling young woman poses next to a wooden box similar to a bird box, yet the entrance hole is big enough for bees and wasps. Under the box is a glass jar. I presume there is a hole in the box's bottom and the insects fly or fall into the recommended soapy water in the jar.

Mitchell hardware store, 215 Craven Street, New Bern. They proudly announced carpenter bee traps, now on sale.

Super helpful in preventing damage to your wood structures during the spring and summer.

Here’s a video of how carpenter bee traps work with commentary from Jonathan McClure.

Bee traps are popular on Google. Many companies delight in telling humans suffering from this blight on their homes the best ways to eliminate the pests.

Pest companies offer services that use natural ways to exterminate entire families of carpenter bees. The best time of year to do it is late spring/early summer. Carpenter bees come to the same area every year to birth the next generation of pollinators.

According to this video, carpenter bees will do a lot of damage and make a bit of mess. He advocates for the use of drione dust to get rid of these pests.

Drione dust comprises pyrethrum, which antagonises insects’ central nervous system and silica. The amorphous silica gel produced from sand, erodes the insect cuticle (the outside covering) and the bug dies of dehydration. First the bees have to walk through the dust and then they slowly die.

Drione powder adds a trusted chemical to the formulation to ensure insect mortality and kill problem pests within minutes of contact.

CLASSIFICATION OF PESTICIDES: A REVIEW (2018)lists pyrethrum as natural. It classifies the different pesticides into natural and synthetic variants. Farmers use the pesticides to protect their crops.

With the comprehensive knowledge of classification of pesticides, gross use of pesticides can be minimized by using it judicially and it is helpful to public health & ecosystem. Uday V. Pawade

There is no mention of the chemicals being used by the public to prevent pollinators from damaging their wooden porches and fence posts. Searches online reveal no information regarding this tortuous insect killing dust for home use.

Another extermination method

The Carpenter Bee Control website provides explicit instructions on when and how to dust the families of bees in their homes. In the evenings, after dinner, when the bees occupy their nests. You’ll need to use the applicator that comes with the container of dust to puff a good 3–4 squirts to do the job.

The next day you can use the corks you purchased from the same company, which also goes under the name of U-Spray.

You’ll need to hammer the corks in the next day. Wait a day to ensure as many bees as possible have walked in and out of the nest, tracking in the powder that will kill them. A quick death for the adults.

The drione is powerful enough to last a year. This guarantees any unhatched larvae also fall foul of it as they walk up the corridor after the homeowner or pest controller corked it.

Repellents and hotels

The shortsightedness of bee killers infuriates me. Yes, I understand people don’t want their porches infested with carpenter bees. The structural damage must be immense for them to want to exterminate these ‘pests’. But shouldn’t our concern focus on the long-term effect on local eco-systems?

Woodpeckers feed on carpenter bees. However, attracted to the buzzing noise from the larvae, woodpeckers will peck bigger holes near the buzzing to access the food they want.

Some decent and pro-insect comments from the Carpenter Bee Trap video viewers.

Screenshot by author
Screenshot by author

If we consider the damage caused by man under the guise of progress, building homes from wood must have seemed a great idea. But now people consider their log cabin or wooden porch or facade more important than crop and plant pollination.

I am baffled by the undisguised desperation of people to dessicate insects they don’t like for whatever reason. As Oshien Gray says in the screenshots above, set an old cedar log close to where you are having issues with carpenter bees. They love cedar. Spray your, more precious than bees, wood with repellent.

Get used to sharing your garden with them. Build them a hotel. by Tobias Hampl from Pixabay

Garris Evans Lumber in New Bern, NC, can help you out with lumber to build a hotel or three.

The Home Depot, 30 miles outside New Bern, offers practical bee-friendly solutions to deal with the bees that bore holes in your porch.

Non-toxic water solutions with citrus or almond oil will repel the bees if you spray it near their holes.

Loud music played for 2–3 days will also work. Fill the holes up afterwards, though. Corks work. Then paint or better still spray paint all your wood being vigilant that no gaps or holes remain. Carpenter bees will find them.

With so many pollinators dying off in recent years, we must do all we can to protect the existing and future generations.

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Passionate about climate change and living a debt-free, sustainable life. Determined to learn how to and build an adobe house or Earthship. The goal is to live off-grid and off the land. Energy for heat and to power electrical devices and appliances will use solar, wind, and hydro-powered electricity. No trees will die to make my home.


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