Carpenter Bee Traps – DIY Bee Traps & Bee Butter Bait


Carpenter bees are large bees that can be found all over the world. There are more than five hundred species and their name comes from the way they construct their nests in dead wood, structural timber, and bamboo. These insects build nests by tunneling through wood with their mandibles.

While there are many cases in which carpenter bees are beneficial for homeowners, in most cases they become a nuisance. When this happens, homeowners are looking for methods or getting rid of the insects and one of these methods is trapping.

Why should carpenter bees be trapped?

There are a lot of reasons to trap these creatures. They can drill hundreds of holes and tunnels in the wooden parts of your house. These insects can be ironically compared with cordless drills, as the damage that they can do is quite similar. Every year, these creatures can drill further into the wood to deploy their eggs, causing significant damage to your property. The wooden support of various house components can eventually fail. While the carpenter bees that live in the forests find rotting wood to do their drilling, in houses they use any wood that they find. The following problems can be created by carpenter bees in general: noise, erratic flying, stains, stinging and damaged wood.

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How can carpenter bees be trapped?

Trapping carpenter bees can be tricky and even dangerous, because these insects are not very cooperative or easy to fool. It is said that the best defense is to attack first, so you have to build a trap yourself of buy one from the stores. Carpenter bees drill holes and tunnels in wood and you can use this to your advantage. The simplest idea of a trap can be to drill holes in a piece of wood with tunnels that will lead to an empty jar.

Things to do before using a trap

Before you actually use a trap to catch these insects, you need to be prepared. You will have to observe the bees and their tracks and identify them so you are sure they are carpenter bees. You should try to identify their nests as well. Carpenter bees resemble bumblebees a lot, but you must know how to differentiate these two types of insects. While bumblebees are hairy and build their nests in the ground, carpenter bees are bald and build their nests in wood.

A first measure that people may take to attract the bees out of their homes is to plant flowers in the garden. This may work for other types of bees, but carpenter bees are clever. Prior to beginning a trapping operation, you should also ask yourself if the carpenter bees on your property really have to be caught. Many times these insects can prove to be useful.

How to make a basic trap for carpenter bees?

The basic type of carpenter bee trap exploits the idea that carpenter bees not only drill their own holes and tunnels to lay eggs but their also use already existing holes in wood as starting points for their tunnels. You can use a drill to make holes in a wooden box that you can hang near the places where the insects have been spotted. The holes have to be drilled on each side of the box, at an upward angle. At the base of the box, you will have to attach an empty plastic bottle.

The bees will enter the already drilled holes and then they will see the light from the hole made in the base of the wooden box. They will go to it thinking it leads outside, but they will fall into the plastic bottle, becoming trapped.

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What other solutions besides basic traps exist?

There are more complex traps as well. You can find various plans for building these traps on the Internet and some of them don’t even cost a thing. Besides basic traps that are easy to make but that may not be the most efficient, there are complex traps that you can find in the form of trap plans in hardware stores. Not all of these plans are complex, as some may be simple but ingenious. In fact, when people see them, they may wonder how these simple traps could be as effective as manufacturers may claim that they are.

Store Bought Carpenter Bee Traps

There are quite a few different Carpenter Bee Traps on the market that actually work great. One of them that works pretty well is the Chrisman Mill Farms Wood Bee Gone Carpenter Bee Trap. You can actually pick up the Wood Bee Gone Bee Trap here for around 20 bucks, although the price does vary.

Benefits of using traps for carpenter bee removal

Some plans are made specifically to be environmentally toxin-free and effective in eliminating the insects. The main idea behind each plan is to make the tunnels in the wood smooth enough so that bees will fall into the trap without any chance to get out. These plans try to imitate the natural habitat of the bees and they are easy to install. You can also visit hardware stores to see exactly how such plans look and work. Different trap plans are available for different types of infestations, like small or large.

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How to choose the right trap plan for carpenter bees?

From the multitude of bee traps and trap plans that you can find on the market, homeowners can find it difficult to choose. You can find items at any complexity on the market, from simple plans that use a plastic recipient to catch the insects to plans that can be able to help you catch hundreds of bees in a short period of time. Once you have the right trap plan for your needs, you will see how easy it can be to deal with the infestation.

What are the benefits of using a carpenter bee trap?

By using a bee trap, you avoid the use of poisons and sprays, which can be detrimental to the health of your children and pets if they are not used with care. A trap can help you to catch the insects in a convenient way. All you have to do to catch them is to place the trap in position and wait. Carpenter bee traps will protect your home, in combination with preventive measures to stop new bees from drilling in to the wood of your house.

Using professional services to trap the bees

Companies who are specialized in the control and elimination of carpenter bees can have the experience and equipment to find all the holes and choose the most suitable method of trapping the insects. A pest control company is the best way to deal with a carpenter bee infestation. The staff of such a company can perform an inspection and choose the best method of trapping. Professionals in the field can have all the state licensing, skills and expertise to trap the bees in the best ways.

Carpenter Bee Prevention

While trapping carpenter bees can be a good way to control them no matter how you do it, there are things that you can do before an infestation occurs and also after it has been eliminated. There are preventive measures that you can take, such as treating the wood and maintaining it in the best shape. After you have dealt with an infestation, you need to make sure that the insects will not come back again. The damaged wood should be removed in order to stop attracting new bees to the already made tunnels.

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Carpenter Bee Trap Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • How do you kill carpenter bees?
  • How can I build a homemade carpenter bee trap?
  • What is the best way to trap carpenter bees?
  • Are carpenter bee stings dangerous and do they hurt?
  • Where can I buy carpenter bee traps?
  • What is good bait for carpenter bees?
  • How can I get rid of carpenter bees for good?
  • How big should the hole be in a carpenter bee trap?
  • How do carpenter bee traps work?
  • Can you make a carpenter bee trap from mason jars?
  • How can I keep wood bees away from my deck?

Additional Carpenter Bee Resources:

Carpenter Bees – NC State University Department of Etymology

Carpenter Bees – University of California Integrated Pest Management Program

Large Carpenter Bees – University of Florida’s “Featured Creatures”

Categorized as Bees

By David Jackson

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and sharing what I learn at I aim to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

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