I’m going to divert attention away from the kitchen and move to the outside of the house for a bit. You know who loves our house? Well, spiders clearly do because of the webs all over the exterior… but you know who else? Carpenter bees.
When you have carpenter bees, they not only make their own holes/ homes in your structure, they lay their eggs there – and then wood peckers start trying to get at the larvae and create even more damage.
When we first moved in, Spencer got up on the roof with great-stuff foam filler that was infused with insecticide. Here’s a photo of the year old foam and brand new wood shavings from this spring. The foam did nothing – they ate right through it. (See what I said about the spiders? Spider webs + carpenter bee wood shavings = a lovely decorated home, don’t you think?) Fortunately, you can’t really see this mess unless you’re on the roof. I will clean it up… eventually.
We were reluctant to kill the bees, but they were/are destroying the house and causing potential leaks or possible structural integrity issues around our windows. So, we made a very simple home-made carpenter bee trap. It’s not beautiful, but it’s functional.
Spencer made this with materials we already had around the house. He used scrap 4×4, a mason jar, twine, & we purchased a screw eye. We just made ours by drilling holes into the sides and bottom of the 4×4 and cutting a slant on the top to help rain drain off. Some people construct theirs by making a box and add a little roof. Also, we used a mason jar (with a hole drilled in the lid & screwed to the bottom of the 4×4), whereas another option is a plastic coke bottle (with or without an inverted bottle inside as well). By using these jars or bottles, you can easily screw off the container to clean out the trap.
The idea behind the trap is that the bees are attracted to the angled holes in the wood. They climb up in there, see the light at the bottom of the trap, go down toward the light, & can’t figure out how to get out.
The trap didn’t get every bee, but something is better than nothing. Bug spray & spray foam insecticide didn’t work… we have heard that if you plug their holes, they just make new ones. (… and besides, when I plugged a few holes with steel wool, they just plucked it out.) I think this will be an ongoing battle as long as our house is sided and trimmed with wood, but at least the traps are pretty effective!