Carpenter Bee Traps Work Great (Update--June 15, 2011)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bearcarver, May 11, 2011.

  1. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This has nothing to do with smoking, except it keeps Carpenter Bees from bothering me while I'm smoking, and they work so good, they give me more time to smoke.

    A couple people asked, so here it is:

    These things work so good, I have to tell my smoking buddies.

    The first few years in my new log house was a constant fight with Carpenter Bees. They don't drill into the logs, because each log is the center of a tree, and the cell structure of a 6" X 8" log is too tight for the Carpenter Bee. They love my heavy facia the most, since it is a full 1 1/2" thick. They also drill through my 3/4" soffit---then find out it's too thin to build their nest, and move on. They drill into wood about 3/4" deep, then they make a right angle turn with the grain of the wood. Then they'll go with the grain for 2', 4 ', 6 ', and sometimes even farther. Then they lay their eggs in that tunnel. They don't eat wood, so poisoning the wood doesn't do much. Once they drill & lay their eggs, you can squirt certain dry dust chemicals (carbaryl---as in "Sevin" and "Devil Dust") in the entrance of the hole. Then you leave it alone for 48 hours, giving the mother time to get it on her, and drag it into the hole to the eggs. This will kill the babies. Then after 48 hours, you can plug or fill the entrance hole. This is all the damage they do, until the woodpeckers come & tear up your wood to get the larvae.

    So the first few years I was hitting any that I could reach with a badminton racket, and shooting anything I couldn't reach with a BB gun (pumped light enough to not hurt my house). Then dusting and plugging 8 or 10 holes every Fall.

    Then I did an experiment. I took two leftover 1 1/2" X 11" X 4' boards, drilled a bunch of 3/8" holes in one side of each of them, and set them on my firewood rack, with the holes pointed down.

    Sure enough the Carpenter Bees moved into the holes I drilled & started going with the grain to build their nests.

    Then when most of the holes were full, and it was nearing the end of the season, I slapped the two boards face to face (In the early morning, while they were home), wired them together, and put them in the burner barrel. Didn't even bother to blow taps!!!

    Then I saw the trap (below) for sale on the web. Just going by the picture on the web, I made 10 of them over that Winter, but I couldn't figure out what would make the bees go into the trap & get into the bottom, and why they wouldn't fly out. Sex lure??? Poison???   HMMM---So I ordered one for $25 to find out what I was missing, before the bee season starts. I got my $25 POS (poor workmanship for $25), and found out there is nothing else needed. The Carpenter Bee goes in the 1/2" hole because it is there, and she is both curious & a bit lazy, so she will make use of the fact that you already started her hole for her, just like my "two board method".

    Also, once the bee goes into one of the 3 holes in the trap, she walks in & falls down into the bottom bottle. Here's the part I didn't know before buying one. Once the Bee gets into the bottom bottle, the walls of the bottle are too slippery to walk back up, and the place where the two bottle necks come together is too narrow for her to fly up & out.

    The ones I put at the very peak of my house work the best, but the ones on the lower ends of my facia do pretty good too. The sunny side is the most productive. This is my third year, and I caught over 200 each of the last two years. I'm hoping the number starts going down soon, meaning I got most of mine & many of my neighbors'.

    Mine are a little smaller than the ones that guy was selling, and I'm not selling them , so I don't think I did anything wrong in copying & telling you guys. The picture on the seller's site would be enough to go by for building one anyway.

    Hope some of you can make use of this,


    Note: Here are my Upgraded Carpenter Bee Traps. Much nicer looking traps:

    Here are some pics "Bview"

    My arsenal ready to go in Spring:


    Angle view to aid in construction:


    I just drill a hole & slot on the back of each one. Then I put one Deck screw in the facia, to slip it on:


    I made these all from the slats from used pallets:


    I also drill one small hole in the bottom of each bottle, so water drains out.

    I put a new bottle on every year, because dead sun-baked Carpenter Bees smell just like roadkills.

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  2. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Good info Bear we have those things around here and they will drive you nuts. Plus they will look you right in the eye...Are the 2 bottles the same size and how do you attach the two bottles together ? Thanks  Love that little Bear !!!!
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Roller---Good question,

    I just cut the top bottle in half, make slits & fold some of it back to staple it under those little strips of wood at the bottom.

    Then I cut the inside out of a matching bottle cap, and used Gorilla glue to glue that cap to the bottom of the top bottle.

    Then I can screw a new bottle on every year (not too roughly, so as not to bust that cap off).


    BTW: In case anyone's interested----The Carpenter Bee that flies at your face is a male. He is unarmed (no stinger), but he is the guard dog (LOL---unarmed guard!!!).

    The female is armed, but you have to just about put your hand right on her to get her to sting you.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is one killer of an idea. The Bear strikes again.        [​IMG]
  5. big twig

    big twig Smoking Fanatic

    I HATE BEES!!   [​IMG]          But I love their Honey and they pollinate my plants, just don't sting me please. Cool idea on the trap!
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now I have heard of the "birds and the bee's", but I guess this would now be the "Bear and the bee's"? [​IMG]
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah, I worried a little about that back then. I looked it up & I think it said most Carpenter Bees aren't very good pollinators, in fact they sometimes slit the side of the flower, and steal the nectar.

    Not that it mattered that much---If a honey bee was chewing holes in my house, I'd have to hand him his butt too!

  8. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice job Bear. I could have used those last year during my big invasion at the house
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmmmm, Not sure it would work on honey bees, but there usually is a bunch of dead yellow jackets & wasps in the traps when I dump the dead bodies out.

    You would think they could fly out, but many don't. Sometimes wasps build nests in the top of the box, so I usually don't take them down until it's too cold out for wasps, or I take them off quick & stick them in a clear barrel liner. Then spray in it.

    I cheat with the high ones----I get one of the kids who work for my son to put them up & take them down for me. They climb 200 feet every day, and they're all like Sons to me & Mrs Bear. They all call me Pop!

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Dave!


    LOL---The first 5 years here, I think they were winning, or we were about even. Since I made these traps, I've been gaining on them.

    I'm also betting other homes around the area have less problems now, due to my log house for bait & 11 traps kicking butt!

    And I haven't had to get the BB gun out for over 2 years!

  11. shooter1

    shooter1 Smoking Fanatic

    Very cool! Thanks for taking the time to post this Bear.
  12. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Thanks for the post .I will beat apart some pallets and copy this design .[​IMG]$25 BUCKS for 5min of work with braid nailer and saw is crazy .It will take longer to round stuff up than to build .Thanks once again for this thread .
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  13. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Great info thanks
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I hope others on here get good use out of these traps.

    The thing is, one of the best things to defeat Carpenter Bees is a good heavy hard coat of paint (especially on unclad soffit & facia). They don't usually chew through that.

    However they chew through raw, stained, and pressure treated wood. Log Homes don't get any paint, just stains & oils, so it's open season on them.

    I knew it was going to be a problem here, before my house was even built. The 2 X 10s they were using as ramps into the partially built house were already full of Bee holes.

    I even had a tunnel in one of my big Bears. It went in at his left front paw, and came out his left shoulder. It was in the log before it became a Bear. It was about a 600 pound log when I started.


    Yup very easy to make. I guess I paid that $25 to find out I didn't need anything more than the traps I built, from looking at the pictures (No sex lure, No bait, No nothing).


  15. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Never heard of carpenter bee's, guess we don't have them in Florida. We have carpenter ants, & termites. They're nasty, had both in my house & they are a "Bear" to get rid of.
  16. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I did not know that about the males and females. Everytime I walk around to my shop those males get right in my face and I try to slap them down with my cap and sometimes I do get one. When I was a kid we used to slap them down and tie a sewing  thread on them and when they would come to and fly off we had them on a string. I was fun.
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL  we used to do that too!!!!  Looks like kids are the same all over!

    When I worked in my buddies shop, before I started my own cabinet shop, I shot a flying Carpenter Bee with a Bostitch T-Nailer, in mid-air. He fell to the table with a 5/8" brad in his chest. My bosses kid made a little wood plaque, hot-glued him to the plaque & hung it on the wall like a trophy !  [​IMG]

  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here Al----You can have this one:


    Thank God that's not actual size!

  19. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Nasty lookin' dude! 
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---His mouth area reminds me of the movie "Predator" when Arnold said, "You're One Ugly Muth#$%%^&*........."


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