This week, our Jill of All Trades, Jill Washburn, shows us how to give carpenter bees the "buzz off" and it’s the easiest fix she’s ever done. Jill had carpenter bees set up camp outside one of her windows on the garage and nothing she did would get them to stay away long-term. They kept boring into the underside of the top sash of her window and there was a constant pile of fine wood shavings in the flower box beneath the hole they were "drilling" out.
This is the type of damage that carpenter bees cause.
Enter… the internet. Jill stumbled on a story describing how to get rid of carpenter bees for good. It sounded too good to be true, but she figured "What the heck? I might as well experiment. I’ve got nothing to lose." And so, she set about doing a test run.
First, she took a medium size brown paper bag and opened it up. It was bigger than a lunch bag, but smaller than a full-sized grocery bag (the size you often get at a place like a party store). Next, she filled it about 2/3 of the way with plastic grocery bags. She then bunched the top closed and kind of twisted it, almost like a stem. She tied it off with a rubber band.
I stuffed a paper bag with a handful of plastic grocery bags.
Jill says she kept everything in the same color tone. Bees see color, but not in the same spectrum that humans do, so she wasn’t sure what they would see or if color would make a difference. Jill wanted everything to look pretty much uniform, so she used a neutral colored rubber band to tie off the "stem" on the bag. She says that you could also use string or twine to tie off the top of the bag.
The last step was to shape the bag into a bit of an egg shape. Jill just kind of squished it around, making sure to smash in the corners at the bottom of the bag. The whole idea was to get the stuffed bag to mimic the look of a hornet’s nest. It turns out that carpenter bees are afraid of hornets and will leave immediately if they think some are nearby. Who knew? After that, she placed the bag in the flower box directly under the hole that the bees were boring.
I shaped the bag to look like a hornet's nest.
Jill returned the next day to check on it. No bees and no new wood filings. The next day, same thing. Next day, same. Day after that, same.
It’s now been a few weeks and the bees have not been seen and there is no new damage to the window. Even Jill was blown away with how easy it’s been to get the bees to go. All she needed was the right information. After years of trying to get rid of them, all it took was a few grocery bags and a rubber band to send them packing. Jill says that you could even hang the faux hornet’s nest with some string or twine, if necessary.
So there you have it, the easiest fix that’s ever been done on Jill of All Trades, and it totally worked. Buh-bye, bees!
PROJECT RATING: Super Easy
You can watch Jill take you through the process by clicking on the video player above.