Evicting Carpenter Bees From Horse Barns

Carpenter bees are important pollinators but can cause extensive structural damage. An entomologist shares advice on how to control populations on horse farms.

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Evicting Carpenter Bees
Large carpenter bee populations can cause extensive structural damage to barns and sheds. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Docteurcosmos

Q.Carpenter bees have taken up residence in my horse’s shed. I am trying to find the best way to get rid of the bees without harming my horse if he comes into contact with the insecticide used. The insecticides I have seen most effective against carpenter bees are Drione dust, Tempo 1% Dust, and Delta Dust. The labels say “for use around horse barns,” but then have a warning about coming into contact with animals. Are these products safe to use, or do you have any other suggestions?

—Jennifer Clarke, via email

A.Carpenter bees are important pollinators and do not aggressively defend their galleries, but the large bees are intimidating and, when abundant, can cause extensive structural damage. This can be compounded by woodpeckers that drill holes in the wood in search of carpenter bee larvae

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Written by:

Lee Townsend, MS, PhD, is an entomologist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

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