Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Me v. the bees

I spent my Memorial Day weekend attempting to eradicate an infestation of carpenter bees. We've had these bees hanging around our deck for probably two years now, but I could never find a nest. We also have quite a few raspberry bushes in our backyard, so I always figured the bees were just visiting the bushes.

They are pretty docile and never botherd us, but this weekend I finally hung around long enough to watch about 4 of them actually digging into the wood on the deck. We have sort of an arbor over the deck and that's where I found about 8 nest holes.

My first method of attack was just regular old wasp and hornet killer. I sprayed the foam as best I could into the holes and just made a big old foamy mess out of everything. It went from bad to worse because it not only didn't affect the bees, but now I had wasp poision dripping from the arbor onto the deck. Yuck!

So then I did my research. Turns out these bees are pretty much immune to regular wasp poison. Turns out I needed drione dust to spray into the nests to kill the larvae.

They didn't have the drione dust at my local Ace Hardware, but they did have some other spray poison that I was assured would do the trick. (Dang, I can't find a link to it.) The kid who found it for me said "be ready to run!"

I appreciated the warning, but it turned out to be unnecessary. I simply waited until I saw a female entering the nest, then I sprayed in the poison.

It worked like a charm!! Throughout the day, I would just watch for more bees and by the end of the day, I found about 5 dead bees on the deck. I feel sort of bad, since these bees are actually helpful pollinators, but I just can't have them destroying the deck either!

I'm still not done, though. I have to patch up the holes so that other bees (or worse!) don't decide to move in.

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