For about the last decade, I’ve had carpenter bees buzzing around my property. They did not seem to go into any of the buildings (thank goodness), but they spent a lot of time on the sides of our home and in our gardens digging holes looking for bugs. The reason for their existence would be to pollinate flowers, but they saw an opportunity to get what they wanted without having to flit from flower to flower; I guess you can say that they were lazy bees. If you’re anything like me, you might struggle to identify carpenter bees vs bumblebees but there are some obvious differences.
After constantly dealing with these bees over the years, I started reading how other people were killing carpenter bees with WD-40. Now, one could find all sorts of reasons why this wouldn’t be well at all, but being fed with this knowledge I decided to test out the age-old theory, can you get rid of carpenter bees with WD-40?
What Is WD-40?
What exactly is WD-40 and how does it work? According to this article on WD-40, it is:
“a water displacing spray that moves through metals, displaces moisture and leaves behind a thin lubricating film. It’s primarily used as an industrial rust preventative solvent and de-greasing agent that also loosens rusted parts, frees stuck parts (like nuts and bolts), stops squeaks and removes dirt, watermarks, fingerprints etc.”
As you can see it’s primarily used for machines, so why in the world would we use it on bees? I mean really…bees. Okay. Maybe not the best idea after all…but let’s read on before we write it off.
That being said, WD-40 has very low viscosity which means it sticks together well and can help to coat metal and machine parts to help with lubrication.
Can WD-40 Kill Carpenter Bees?
So we’ve established that WD-40 has a low viscosity and can stick together well, so it would make sense that if we used it to coat the carpenter bee holes and their nests, they could be suffocated or drown as they entered or left their nests.
In short – Yes! There are several reports online from people who have been using WD-40 to kill carpenter bees successfully for years. After testing it out myself I can verify these claims! Not only does the viscosity help to coat carpenter bees and their nests which can weigh them down and even suffocate them, but the chemicals in WD-40 can also actually be dangerous directly to insects as well. Overall professionals have said that the chemicals in WD-40 are in similar chemical families as those in pesticides, so they are quite effective at killing pests.
Can WD-40 Repel and Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees?
While carpenter bees usually cause minimal damage to wooden structures and furniture, they can sometimes become a nuisance. It turns out that WD-40 (which is mostly composed of kerosene) causes irritation to the bee’s respiratory system which may deter them from returning after spraying the solution directly at their nests. If you are trying to get rid of carpenter bees around your home this method would be more beneficial than using pesticides since it will not have any residual effects on humans or other wildlife, so you can use it in close proximity to your house without causing any environmental damage.
Furthermore, since Carpenter Bees are very reliant on their sense of smell, they tend to stay away from strong-smelling mixtures such as paint, or WD-40
How To Use WD-40 On Carpenter Bees:
What You’ll Need:
- WD-40 (the aerosol cans work best since they last longer between treatments)
- Eye Protection
- Clothing Protection From Any Stray Stings – Read our guide on do carpenter bees sting, and how to prevent them!
Spraying a carpenter bees nest with WD-40 is pretty straightforward and is quite easy when you purchase the WD-40 with the straw nozzle. Once you’ve located a nest, simply stick the nozzle into the nest’s opening and spray for a few seconds.
I’d recommend doing this every 1-3 days until you see no more activity from the nest.
Final Thoughts On WD-40 And Carpenter Bees:
If you have carpenter bees and WD-40 it might be tempting to give them a spray and see how it works. Overall it will probably work to some extent, but at the end of the day, there are probably better ways to remove carpenter bees from your property. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, I suggest testing out if carpenter bee traps work for you.