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Blackwelder column: Carpenter bees are abuzz

By Darrell Blackwelder
For the Salisbury Post

Carpenter bees are starting to show up in all area of Rowan County. The initial activity is often by males busy buzzing about looking for the lady bee of their dreams. The males are often territorial and actually harass people sitting on wooden park benches or on their porches. There is really no pesticide that will give extended protection against these pests. Once these insects take up residence, they return back each year extending their family. They do not eat the wood, but are burrowing to find a nesting place. There are two major problems dealing with carpenter bees: an effective chemical residue that endures throughout the entire period of bee activity, the ability to apply any pesticide to all of the surfaces that need protection, particularly overhead on soffit and fascia boards. Other than swatting the bees with a badminton racket, your next best option is to apply a pesticide into active tunnels, add a ball of aluminum foil and then seal up the hole. Dust insecticides, such as Sevin Dust, can be quite effective. Go to https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/carpenter-bees for more detailed information about carpenter bees.

Darrell Blackwelder deblackw@ncsu.edu is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.

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