We have carpenter bees! My first thought was that I wanted to stop them from ruining our entrance, but I don’t want to use any pesticides that may harm other insects. So I went online and searched for natural solutions for getting rid of carpenter bees. I even found some “organic” gardening advice saying to use pyrethrins, which some sites claim are nontoxic to humans and pets, but will kill the bees immediately. Not buying that, I checked the Web MD side effects and found that pyrethrins can cause skin irritation, and at worse, severe allergic reaction, severe dizziness and trouble breathing. Hmmm… maybe not!
After some more digging, I finally came across some logical sounding recommendations from Cornell Cooperative Extension. They suggest that if we can live with it, do nothing. These carpenter ants are actually doing some of the pollinating that we aren’t able to get from the declining honeybee population.
Their next suggestion is that if these bees (which don’t sting) are actually doing real damage, then cut out the wood they are boring into, place it somewhere away from the house but out of the rain, so they can continue nesting, and replace that wood with painted wood or a hardwood.
I’m so pleased I found their site. I’ll post more after we decide what to do next about them. Please share what non-toxic actions you’ve taken in the comment section below.