Valued Contributor
Posts: 730
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

The past couple days I noticed sawdust behind the wooden rocking chair on my front porch.  I couldn't figure out where on earth it was coming from.  


This morning I noticed a perfectly round hole about the diameter of a pencil in the top rail of the rocker.  And sure enough there was a bee inside that hole.  It left after I tapped on the rocking chair.  I plugged the hole with some steel wool and sprayed some insect repellent to keep it away.


I had to google it to find out what it was.  Carpenter bee.  I had never heard such a thing.  My house is vinyl siding but I will have to keep an eye out if I see any more.  It looks like they can cause quite a bit of damage if there are a lot of them. 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,754
Registered: ‎06-07-2010

YUK!  Powder post beetles are very tiny and also make a pencil tip sized hole in wood.  We purchased a cord of wood eons ago and it was infected with these critters.  They are so tiny they are hard to spot.  We got rid of the wood right away and luckily had no other problems with them. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 51,394
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

I had many carpenter bees when I lived in Houston.  They loved the 2 X 4 supports of my wood fence.  The don't sting and are harmless except for the damage they cause.  I'd move the rocker as they may ruin it. 

New Mexico☀️Land Of Enchantment
Super Contributor
Posts: 352
Registered: ‎10-17-2010

Re: Had a carpenter bee.

[ Edited ]

I had a wood rocking chair out on my balcony for many years.  Then all of a sudden I was getting carpenter bees making their home in it.  Shocked me big time!  No matter if I plugged up any holes I found, they just made new ones.  I finally trashed it.....can't say I don't miss it though.  I bought a rocking chair made out of resin.  So far happy with it.  Although plastic isn't wood.  lol

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,134
Registered: ‎10-25-2010

We had them years ago.  They were boring holes in our wooden railings on the front porch.


I patched the holes with wood putty quite a few times.  They are difficult to get rid of and they can do quite the damage, especially if you don't notice them and they come back to the same spot for years.

Thankfully, they never seemed aggressive.


Valued Contributor
Posts: 989
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Is a carpenter bee large? Every spring and through early summer, these giant bees are flying all over the place. They have a half black body n yellow and black top half. Big wings and boy do they buzz.  They are at least 3/4 inch long. They don't seem to bother you, but they crawl in already drilled holes in my deck. Mid summer they are gone. I may ask bug man next time he comes to spray outside.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,515
Registered: ‎06-26-2011

had some burrow into a big fencepost of my patio privacy fence. my pest control guy sprayed the entire fence to deter them, and I will occasionally spray some bug repellant into the hole to make sure they don't come back. There is a fine dust powder you can shake around/in the area, too. Never had them until last year, and that fence has been in place for several years so I don't know why they suddenly decided to "visit."

Valued Contributor
Posts: 586
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

They won't harm people but can surely do damage to your wood. They drill holes to lay their eggs, then woodpeckers go after the eggs and can really create havoc. I heard recently that putting peppermint oil where they're drilling will keep them away; I'm surely going to try that.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,005
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Had a carpenter bee.

[ Edited ]

Carpenter bees bore a 5/8" perfectly round hole into pretty much any soft wood like cedar, pine & redwood!


I had in the past used clear silicone to plug the hole BUT several weeks later a nearby hole was created from the fertilized egg that hatched inside the wood, boring out as a baby carpenter bee! 

What does help is painting wooden surfaces or blocking the wood with aluminum or vinyl siding (if seen on your home). 

They have shiny black butts & are larger than bumble or honeybees. 

Just a thought, @CoffeeNut   in case the bee did lay something in there, push a wire into the hole first before sealing. But they do make several nests along that tunnel they create. 

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,251
Registered: ‎11-24-2011

I can't even tell you how many summers I dealt with them. Or how many times I dragged out a ladder and climbed it to spray bee killer directly into all their holes. Nor how many times it blew back on me! I finally ordered two items from Best Bee Brothers that look similar to a little bird house. The sides are wood with pre-drilled holes. They climb in there and drop into a container and can't get out. 


The first day I hung them 6 wound up in one and 4 in the other. Some still bored into the wood under the gutters but I caught many of them over the summer.


Last spring when I had new gutters/downspouts/soffits put on I had the guys cover the areas where they were boring their holes with vinyl. It was all around the outside of my screen porch under the gutters where it was all wood.


Last summer was the first one I didn't have to deal with those big fat furry things that drove me nuts. Also, I have valves in the ground that control my irrigation system. They're enclosed in some kind of plastic material but when I would take the covers off in early summer to the wipe any dirt away from the valves I'd find at least a dozen dead ones in there. I don't know if they tried nesting in there over the winter or thought the hole in the center of the cover was wood and went in got trapped or what but I am happy to be rid of them. They can do a lot of damage.