How Well Do Carpenter Bee Traps Work?

carpenter bee traps

Carpenter bees look remarkably similar to bumblebees.

They are roughly the same size and shape with the only major difference being along their hindquarters.

While a bumblebee will have a yellow stripe, a carpenter bee will have a mostly black hind area.

While the physical and coloring difference is subtle, there is one attribute of a carpenter bee that is unique.

A carpenter bee will burrow into wood to make a home.

Unfortunately for many homeowners, the wood they choose is often the overhang of the roof or the framing a window or door that is made from wood that they can burrow into.

The good thing is you can trap them in a uniquely designed device (often known as a carpenter bee trap).

The beauty of the carpenter bee trap is it works so well that you can catch many of them pretty soon if you can learn how to make one and how to use them correctly.

Below I will tell you more about this trap, how it works, and where you should place them for getting success. Let’s start with why you need to use these traps in the first place…

Carpenter Bee Damage

Carpenter bees will act aggressively when you get near their homes.

But since they have no stingers and they do not bite, they present no danger to you or your pets.

For the most part, carpenter bees look for food or hang around their homes.

You will often see them just after dawn and before dusk near the holes that they have created.

During the winter months, carpenter bees go into hibernation and remain well up in their holes for protection.

Once the weather warms up, they fly out and find mates during mating season.

It is then that they either return to the holes they have made or create new holes if they have traveled some distance.

Although they have difficulty with harder woods, the soft wood often used on the outside of houses makes for the perfect home.

That is why many homeowners have turned to creating traps for carpenter bees to limit the damage to their properties.

What is a Carpenter Bee Trap?

If you have seen a carpenter bee trap, the most common versions look similar in shape and size to a birdhouse.

They tend to be shaped roughly like houses and even have a roof of sorts.

This is not meant to fool the carpenter bees, but it is more of a practical feature when it comes to hanging them in the right locations.

The trap itself is relatively simple, but brilliant in its approach because it uses the very instincts of the carpenter bee to get itself trapped.

The base of the trap is created from soft wood, the perfect type of wood for a carpenter bee to use to make its shelter.

The wood base has holes that are drilled upwards towards the top. The diameter of the holes is quite similar to what a carpenter bee will create.

Because the holes are angled upward, it means that the light will not reach very far into the hole which is quite important.

The top of the trap is solid, durable plastic designed to withstand the elements and the UV rays of the sun. This also protects the wood to a certain degree.

This means that the trap will work year after year in trapping carpenter bees. How exactly the trap works is simplicity itself.

How Does a Carpenter Bee Trap Work?

The trap works by mimicking the homes that carpenter bees make in the wood. The brilliance of the trap is the light source.

Once a carpenter bee enters one of the angled holes, its own body cuts off the light from behind it.

This means that the only source of light comes from the front. At the front is a hole that leads downward to a plastic container.

Once the carpenter bee moves into the container, they are trapped.

They cannot get back out again because the container prevents them from returning through the holes in which they entered.

This is because carpenter bees will instinctively fly towards the light.

And since the hole they exited into the container is dark, they will simply buzz around the container itself and not know to fly upwards back into the hole.

It helps that the container is made from a plastic slick enough to prevent the carpenter bees from simply walking up the sides.

Plus, the hole at the top is the end of a funnel which makes it virtually impossible for them to fly directly upwards.

Do These Traps Need Bait? – Where to Put Them?

This type of trap does not need any bait because the carpenter bees are attracted by the hole itself and they are not searching for any food.

Once the bee gets trapped in the container, they will usually pass away by starving to death.

Carpenter bees need a considerable amount of food to survive, so the lack of food means that they will be dead in a relatively short time.

Plus, the dead bees will release a pheromone that will attract even more bees to the trap.

This is because carpenter bees will release this pheromone once they find and create their home, so they can find it again next year.

However, you can add bee bait to the bottom of the container if you want to bring in more carpenter bees.

While it is not necessary, it can help to remove a large number of them if they are around your home.

Plus, if you want to release the bees and not let them die in the traps, the bait will be more useful in the long run.

Right Placement Is Important As Well

You should put the traps on the sunny side of your home.

Carpenter bees love the warmth, so set up each trap about fifteen feet apart if you are experiencing a swarm of carpenter bees.

Set up the traps and eliminate the holes they have created in your home by filling them with putty cork, plugs, or caulking compounds.

Keep in mind that carpenter bees and wood bees are the same species of bee.

They will both react the same to the carpenter bee trap.

You need not do anything else once you set up the trap. Occasionally, you will want to dump the dead bees out of the trap.

Or, if you want to release the bees, you’ll need to find a place well away from your home and in the woods preferably.

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