How To Repair Carpenter Bee Damage: Filling Holes And Repairing Damaged Siding

Why do you need to repair damage caused by carpenter bees?

If you allow these bees to make homes in your home, year after year, they can even undermine the structural integrity of your home.

They will often tunnel into the weight-bearing supports for your porch, for example. This is obviously something we need to try and prevent. However, if it’s too late for prevention, keep reading to find out how to fix the holes made by carpenter bees.

*If you are looking for Carpenter bee hole filler, try Carpenter Bee plugs (here on Amazon) that can be inserted into holes, caulked, and re-painted.

Carpenter Bee Damage

how to repair carpenter bee damage
By Brocken Inaglory – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Thankfully, if you repair the holes before the wood rots out, damage caused by carpenter bees can be an easy fix that won’t cost a lot of money.

Carpenter bees will tunnel into:

  • House siding
  • Fences
  • Wooden garages
  • Sheds and other outbuildings

As soon as you see carpenter bee holes in your home or other property, it’s a good idea to fill the hole to prevent water from getting in there are rotting it out.

The bees create these tunnels in order to lay their larva, so you’ll need to consider removing what is there before you fill.

The different chambers of the tunnel are stopped up with chewed wood from the bee, which the young bees chew through to get out. They’ll unlikely be able to chew through stoppers or caulk, but all the same, it’s a good idea to remove them first.

Here are two methods for repairing carpenter bee damage.

Method 1: Kill & Fill

Once the bee has entered the hole, it can be exterminated with the use of a quick-acting bug spray. The hole can then be filled with a wooden dowel, stopper, or plug, and then covered with wood putty, and ideally painted.

In the video example below, the gentleman also adds steel wool & tin foil to the hole to deter the bees from chewing back in. If you are in a situation where you can paint, this is not necessary.

Another alternative is to fill the hole with paintable caulk. The bees will not desire to chew through this either.

Method 2: Fill & Provide Alternatives

filling carpenter bee holes

Instead of killing the carpenter bee before filling the hole, you can first wait for it to evacuate and disappear. After this, you can fill using the same method as above.

However, the bee will return and will either try and drill its way back into the filled hole, or it will make another one nearby. To prevent carpenter bees from making holes in your house you can provide alternatives.

Two options are:

  1. Buy or make your own bee lodge – this is generally a slab of wood with holes pre-drilled into it
  2. Buy or build a carpenter bee trap – cheap and easy to make, and highly effective

However, it’s likely the bee will persist, so you may need to use other deterrents. If the worst comes to the worst, check out the range of pest shields and repellants for carpenter bees on Amazon here.

Filling Carpenter Bee Holes

what to fill carpenter bee holes with
Wondering what to fill carpenter bee holes with?

Here are some solutions:

  • Carpenter bee plugs (here on Amazon) – good for a more solid finish
  • Wood putty (here on Amazon) – sand down to create a tidy flat finish
  • Caulk (here on Amazon) – can be squeezed in to fill more of the hole

What’s important is just to get the holes filled and weather tight. Just do what you would do when you come across a hole or weakness when painting your home – fill it. However, if you’re concerned about the structural integrity of a balcony post, or something like that, make sure you get a builder to check it out before you repair it.

Fixing carpenter bee holes isn’t difficult if you fill them as they appear. It’s when the weather gets into the holes and starts to rot out the wood that things need replacing. It’s one of those things we shouldn’t procrastinate on – plug carpenter bee holes today!

How To Prevent Carpenter Bee Damage

Finally, here are some further ways you can avoid damage from carpenter bees.

You can prevent carpenter bee damage in your home and yard by:

  • Providing alternative housing options
  • Setting traps or other deterrents
  • Maintaining the exterior of your house with timely paint repairs

how to repair carpenter bee holes
Carpenter bee homes are a good choice because they are still useful pollinators in the garden and part of the natural habitat and ecosystem. Often they will be happy to build their nests in these alternatives as is less work than chewing through hardwood (though they do tend to target softwoods first, rather than hardwoods like oak).

And here are some further methods of prevention:

  • Spray your home and wooden yard items with an insecticide
  • Use oil-based paints if water-based paints are ineffective at stopping them
  • Try out an alternative/controversial method as shown in the video above (adding oil to wood)

Oiling your wood isn’t going to be suitable for 99% of applications. It might be alright for a shed, but unless you’ve got an oil rig aesthetic going on at your place, it’s not going to be great for the wrap-around veranda.

FAQS – Repairing Damage Done By Carpenter Bees

carpenter bee holes
Do carpenter bees do structural damage?

Yes, carpenter bees can cause structural damage. This won’t be the case if they are only chewing into your house siding, but will be the case if they’re entering wooden posts and beams. Any weight-bearing structure would be at risk of structural damage.

Can carpenter bees destroy a deck?

If you have carpenter bees chewing into your deck, you seriously want to deal with it. This type of activity will weaken the structure of your deck and make it a danger to anyone stepping on it.

What kind of damage can carpenter bees do?

They can create networks of tunnels in wood structures in order to build nests for their larvae. Over time, the damage can be very significant, especially once the rain gets into it.

Can carpenter bees destroy a house?

You could definitely make the argument that carpenter bees can destroy a house. Most people take action before it gets to that level, but if they were left to own devices, over the course of many years, they could destroy a house.

Should I worry about carpenter bees?

If your house is becoming a hot spot for carpenter bees and you are beginning to find many holes, it’s something worth worrying about. However, in saying that, there are worse things that could be happening!

Thanks for reading, drop a comment down below… we’d love to hear about your experiences. You may also be interested in these other types of animals that cause home damage.

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