How to Control Wood Boring Insects

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood-boring insects, such as carpenter bees and wood-boring beetles, bore holes into outside or inside wood to form nests. Similar in appearance to the bumble bee, carpenter bees have an intimidating large shape, despite the males having no stinger. Female carpenter bees do and will sting anything disturbing their nest. Wood-boring beetles continue to tunnel through wood and feast on the timber. Controlling these wood-penetrating pests involves making the wood undesirable for them to bore into.

Screen off small wood holes made by the carpenter bees with a screen repair kit. Cut the screen repair pieces with scissors into smaller sizes to cover the holes. Press the sticky side of the screen against the hole, impeding the bee's entrance.

Spray a dust pesticide generously over the exposed wood to leave a thick covering. The dust lays on top of the wood surface, deterring carpenter bees from attacking the wood.

Paint wood surfaces with two coats of primer and two coats of paint to discourage the wood-boring insects from penetrating the surface.

Close garage doors during the nesting season for carpenter bees of April to June to keep them from building nests in garage rafters.

Inspect new lumber for holes before bringing it into the home if working on a remodelling project. Wood-boring beetles slip into small cracks leaving their eggs and tunnelling into the surface.

Remove fallen tree branches located next to the house or relocate stacks of firewood in an area at least 20 feet from the home. Wood-boring beetle infestations in the wood may find their way into the home and bore into wood floors or furniture.


Spray the dust pesticide every 2 to 3 weeks, especially during the nesting season of April to June, to keep carpenter bees at a minimum. Have a professional spray the interior of your home with sodium borate if you discover a large infestation of wood-boring beetles.

Things You'll Need

  • Screen repair kit
  • Scissors
  • Dust pesticide
  • Primer
  • Paint
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.