With the recent painting renewal it also became time to deal with an issue that, over the past couple of years, has become a serious problem. Carpenter bees have been eating select parts of my house, or trying to anyway. Now really, they were only going after the few pieces of wood on the house that are pressure treated. I don't understand that at all. You would think they would avoid the chemically treated wood and go for the natural stuff but I guess these bees aren't interested in the 'green' movement. When they first started coming around I didn't do much because it really hurts my soul to kill these creatures and they were just chewing on some boards that are probably going to be replaced anyway when I put up the real porch columns. However, one thing I learned is that the offspring of these little piggies return each spring, somehow, to exactly the spot where they were hatched, even using the same holes sometimes. Well, after enough generations these holes fill up faster and it's time for expansion! Time to move to the suburbs! When I noticed they were now crawling up under my roofing trim and flashing to get to the tops of my rafters, I said 'No more'. I know you are a great pollinator. I know you are a vital part of the ecosystem. But I cannot let you eat my house. I really, really, really hated it but we did kill a number of them to get them out of the rafters. I do not want to continue such a thing though; neither the killing or the eating, so I did a little Google-fu and found this stuff.
It is an all- natural carpenter bee repellent that you mix in paint or just water and apply to whatever you don't want them to eat. I was a little skeptical but willing to try. It is also supposed to be time released so it lasts for several years. Today I mixed it in the paint that I use on the rafters and some other trim and got to work. Let me first just say that the odor is.....STRONG. I would use caution if you have a bad problem with strong odors. Secondly, nothing came near me the whole day I was painting. No bees, skeeters, bugs, Jack, gnats, nada. Even the dreaded deer fly stayed away if I had that bucket near me. One dirt dobber buzzed around my head a couple of times and then flew off screaming. Finally, towards the end of the day a lone carpenter bee appeared after I had put the paint up to do some caulking. I got the paint back out and eased over to the rafters he was scrutinizing. I gently brushed on some paint in his general direction. He eased on down the other way about 8 feet. I followed. Little more paint near him. He quickly buzzed off and went up to check out the eaves. I followed. A few more slaps of paint and he said the heck with it, I'm leaving. Now, I don't know that it was the smell but whenever I came near him with that paint he left and I was being real quiet about it to try not to spook him.
It says that it will also repel other bugs; ants, spiders and such so I think I'll mix some in some water and spray my foundation and bottom run of siding. I don't have any problem with bugs coming in the house now but it never hurts to do a little preventative work. I wonder if it would repel chickens??
Oh, one note: I realize the bees are not actually ingesting my house. They are chewing it up and spitting it out. Same thing. Same problem.