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The battle for my front porch begins today

Anyone else have a yearly battle with carpenter bees? We get menaced by them all summer long. They have holes bored along the bottom of our railing and they come back to them every spring. They sit up in there and nest and chew... and chew... and chew. You can actually hear them chewing inside the railing! I sometimes wonder if our whole railing is basically hollow now. We've been here over 10 years and the holes were already here when we moved in. I think these bees have been at it for decades.

Maybe this weathered old hard wood is extra tasty to carpenter bees because nothing seems to discourage them: bee killer, spray foam, canned air. If you plug up the hole, the eat it open again. If you kill one, another takes its place. So mostly what we rely on is just swatting them with a tennis racket. Once they've been hit by that, they know to take off as soon as you pick it up, though (they're smarter than they look, these bees!).

They are very territorial, so once they move in for the season, they try their best to keep us away. One of their favorite intimidation tactics is to hover about chest level right at the top of the steps, so whether you're coming up or going down, you have to face the wrath in order to pass. But even just sitting in a chair on the porch, as I was this evening, they harass. They like to hover about two feet away from you for a bit, then start doing close-proximity fly-bys. Very annoying.

This is the bee who was menacing me this evening:


Fresh gnawings below the hole he was protecting:


Here's the hole (you can see another bee in there):



Comments

( 10 comments — Add a comment )
sabaceanbabe
May. 16th, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
If you kill one, another takes its place.

OMG! They're little terminators with wings!

And that's an awesome shot of the menacing bee.
gothamite66
May. 16th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC)

Eeeks!

I'm allergic to those little buggers! That is a cool picture of the bee even though it's giving me shivers looking at it. ;)

I need to back under my rock. The internet is not a safe place for me this weekend. ;)
garyinla
May. 16th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
Crazy! I've never seen those over here. I've only had to deal with bees trying to start hives inside the rooftop air vents from the kitchen. Lighting partially wet newspaper at the vent intake smoked the hell out of them and they left, also set off my fire alarm.

zanpakto
May. 16th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
I don't think we have those things LOL. At least not ones that chew that bad.
mrsdrjackson
May. 16th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Yikes!
I've never even heard of these bees before. Too bad nothing seems to work on them. :( But the pic of the bee is pretty cool!
cj2017
May. 16th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
We don't have those. We have cute bumble bees and a smaller version which are also pretty cute. Wasps... don't get me started on those little bastards *shudder*. They're about the only insect I will slaughter (terminate!?) on sight.
johnnypate
May. 16th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing that all the wood preservatives that would take out Carpenter Bees have been banned in California. However, I reckon if you plugged those holes and painted the bare wood they'd find somewhere else to go.
trystanknight
May. 16th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
Nuke the entire site from orbit --

It's the only way to be sure.

Otherwise I'd suggest calling a professional. I would not stand for this kind of war to take place on my home ground, I would take the battle to the marines.
the_narration
May. 17th, 2009 06:29 am (UTC)
If you kill one, another takes its place.
*gasp* Your bees are actually agents of HYDRA! HYDRAAAAAAAAA!

Damn, nice work managing to snap such a clear picture of a bee in flight.

Sounds like it's time to deploy drastic measures against the invaders. Luckily, bees aren't signatories to the Geneva Accords, so you can engage in unrestricted warfare against them. ;-P
tackdriver56
May. 17th, 2009 12:07 pm (UTC)
Seriously, Google is your friend!
www.getridofthings.com/get-rid-of-carpenter-bees.htm

Save the big guns for metal!
( 10 comments — Add a comment )

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