My house is NOT food!

The past few days have been rather warm so I decided to put up my screens.

I don't normally use my front porch in cold weather so I'd not noticed that there's been carpenter bee activity on one of my porch posts .

As you can see, it's quite a hole they created.

I noticed this hole as I was taking the glass door off of my porch entryway. Fortunately I had a can of hornet spray so I promptly dosed down this hole. And then, while dying bees were scrambling out, I replaced the glass door with my screen door.

Here you see one of the bees on the porch right after it tumbled out of the hole in my porch post. It's still looking pretty healthy at this point.

As bees go, this is a pretty sturdy looking species. Oddly enough that didn't help it against the chemicals in the hornet spray.

And no, I don't feel sorry for the nasty bug. Like the title up there says: My House is NOT Food!

Damn bugs!

Here you can see that the carpenter bee is starting to lose its coordination and acting in a "drunken" manner.

You might say that its days are numbered. Hell, its minutes are numbered at this point. Damn bug.

I wonder of PETA cares about bugs?

I'm letting the hole dry overnight and this weekend I'll seal it up with silicon caulk and then some wood putty on the outer area so that I can paint the post.

Here you can see the end result for bugs that try to eat my house. Be warned, damn bugs!

There didn't seem to be all that many bees in the post. I had 6 tumble out and die. Maybe more are dead inside the post--I don't know. There was one left on the outside of the post.

I was watching it for a while, observing its behavior. I got the picture below of it hovering near the post.

5 times the bee approached the post but each time it tried to enter the hole it didn't like the smell and flew away.

After the 5th time it started circling the area, then it examined the posts on either side of the post with its nest. I was quite intrigued with the problem solving behavior. Bees are quite controlled by their genetic programming and this illustrated just how deep that programming is.

After the initial reconitor, the bee tried the hole again but soon withdrew and then circled a wider area. After that the bee started examining the narrower wood rails and small posts. After that I stopped watching the bee. I suspect it kept flying until it died of exhaustion.


kenju said…
Dave, be very sure that all the bees are out of the post before you seal the hole. We had them before, and after I sealed the hole, the remaining bees bored another hole to get out. I guess my spray didn't kill all of them.
We had honey bees in the house twice, and they are hard to get rid of too.
Michele sent me.
utenzi said…
Good suggestion, Judy. I'll spray it again on Friday before sealing it up on Saturday.
Yaeli said…
They're kind of pretty bugs... But how annoying that they eat your house!
No wonder the witch in Hansel and Gretel was so pissed off when the little buggers started chewing on her walls!
We are having the same problem wiht Wasp nest showing up in the bird houses and eves our our house. Lousy Smarch Weather. I'll be out this weekend, on the hunt.

Hello from Michele.
MissMeliss said…
Hello, Dave. Michele sent me here tonight, but I was due for a visit anyway.

Carpenter bees are about the only kind that don't terrify me - I guess because they go after wood and not flesh. I found two wasps inside my house though, today, and that was really annoying.

My husband claims he's allergic to bees, but I think he's just phobic. Me? I haven't been stung since I was a baby.
Well, I don't know about PETA, but I found the whole extermination set of pictures rather depressing, dear Dave...I've had carpenter bees, not in a post connected to my house, but in one down below in my garden. The post is still standing quite in tact and I assume the bees are still alive. Let and ler live, I say. There must be a good reason that Carpenter Bee's are in the eco system...I don't know what it is, but....One can only assume....
I hope no one ever gasses you, my dear.....OY!
I don't mean to offend you---I just have a very visceral feeling about those bees in thpse pictures. RIP, Bee's.
OOOOOPS! I forgot to say Michele sent me tonight...I'm sure you are thrilled to see me! (lol)
utenzi said…
You'd never annoy me, Naomi. I can see why some people would be bothered by the death aspect of the post--and gassing to death does have certain... overtones that I can certainly understand you being sensitive to.

Still, it's damn bugs here. And they're trying to eat my house! Damn bugs.

Seriously, there are structural integrity issues. Those posts are holding up the front of my house. I really don't want them to get hollowed out.

Melissa, I believe your husband. As for the bees, they're huge. I don't mind bees as a rule and these fellows had me edgy.
Yaeli said…
Michele sent me back here to marvel at the damage those mean bees have done to your beautiful house!
Good luck getting rid of them!
srp said…
Between carpenter bees and the woodpeckers, it was really hard to keep the holes out of the wood eaves of my home in Mississippi. You would have thought with living in "Sherwood Forest" and all the trees there, they would have left my house alone.

It isn't just the holes, but that nasty yellow waste material left all over the place... at our house it was all over the outside of the windows.

There is something a little funny about seeing a woodpecker try and hack through a rock hard silicone plug.
Bob-kat said…
So, itt's you versus the bugs huh? Be careful, I suspect you are outnumbered just a little bit LOL!

Poor old bees - strangely I feel sorry for the one that came home to find it's friends gassed and it's home uninhabitable! I suspect that is just me transferring human feelings to the bee though! I had a leaf cutter bee making a nest in one of my potted plants last year. I filled up the hole three times. The third time the bee caught me in the act and chased me back into my house! I won in the end by putting a mulch of gravel on top of the pot. The bee still spent ages trying to move it though. I guess once you've set your heart on a home it's hard to give it up!
utenzi said…
Roxanne, I agree. That yellow stuff looks nasty. If today's rain doesn't wash it away, I'll rinse it off when I get home tonight. I painted the porch less than 2 years ago but it's overdue for a washing. Maybe I'll do that once the pollen lets up a little.

B-K, I did feel sorry for the bee searching for home. I kept getting mental images of the Flying Dutchman and their doomed search.
Azgreeneyes said…
Yuck! I'm fairly sure that we don't have carpenter bees here, even if we do, hubby makes it so that I never see them! I had no clue that they could do damage like that, and I'm with you. Damn bugs!

Here from Michele's
rosemary said…
Those bees can do a lot of damage...we don't have them thankfully but carpenter ants do a number on our place well as several kinds of wood boring beetles. Last year we had bald face hornets build a nest on our TV antenna...huge thing on the very top of the antenna that was at the very top of the second story peak of the house. They were quite a bother and nasty if they go ahold of a piece of did they eventually leave? A crow thought he was really attacking something good and knocked the whole nest on the ground....the hornets were furious for several days.
Brianf said…
Good for you, Utenzi. Bugs don't belong in my house either. Now, in the garden or out in the woods, that's OK but not in the house. It's snowing as I type this but I'm pretty sure I shall be on bug watch pretty soon also.
Michele sent me.
Shephard said…
Yes, I have a similar Fire Ant story. Not feeling sorry at all. My home is my home. I only share with cats. :)

Michele sent me today!
Jessica said…
The last picture is great. I like how you caught the bee going for the hole in that one. Your nature pic blog is outstanding...NC is beautiful indeed.

Kellie sent me over (saw you on Shephard's blog as well).
Carolyn said…
I don't like bees at all! Even before the warmer days here, wasps were somehow getting into my kitchen. They were in that 'thawing out' stage, which I nipped in the bud asap, lol!

Here from Michele's :)
Carmi said…
My philosophy is simple: if they contribute to the mortgage, they're welcome. If they don't, they're out

The only exceptions are the large-ish furry beings we occasionally adopt into our family. Like the dog we brought home this week. He hasn't been gainfully employed as far as I know, but he's kinda cute to have around, and he doesn't bore ginormous holes into the house.

Bees? Not so much. Bravo for not only nuking them - as they deserve to be - but capturing it in such a fascinating way. I can always count on you to educate while you entertain.
Janet said…
That's a pretty damn big hole for 6 or 7 bees! Holy cow!
Janet said…
Ooops, forgot to say Hi, Michele sent me!
nancy said…
Bummer. For your house and the bees. My DH would have sprayed and sprayed some more. My son has been capturing the giant (all spiders are giant) spiders that get in the house and takes them outside. He will make a good Buddhist. ;)
Michael Manning said…
A few years ago, it became a safety issue when a swarm attacked me. I escaped with only two stings. Then when hornets made a nest outside, I used a spray designed to spray out 10 feet. It was necessary to protect the kids who happened by to collect money for the newspaper and later Halloween.The hornets were very dangerous. I relate!
Carpenter bees ? Wow, we do learn something new every day ! I guess I'll stop complaining about the gazillion giant black flies we get over here then ; they're pretty annoying but at least they don't cause any damage...

Michele sent me ; have a great weekend !
PI said…
Golly Utenzi -they look pretty scary to me . I'm glad you could deal with them. I think yours are bigger than ours.
Michele sent me to say thank you for your visit and vote.xoxox
panthergirl said…
Those are SO NASTY!!! They scare the crap out of me. I'm terrified of bees of all kinds.
Claire said…
I'm glad to hear there are a few less Bees in the world!
I shouldn't say this is a cool post, but it is! (I just finished reading The Secret Life of Bees; I should be sending love to your bees)

I'd have done the same. Bees shouldn't be that close to humans; we don't coexist well.

Thanks for visiting!
Uisce said…
hey, bugs are people, too! what? huh? oh never mind. :)
MorahMommy said…
Ugg! I hate bugs...especially spiders and bees.

I am so afraid of bees that I have been known to walk away from my children to get away from them.

I know bad mother!!

So I say.. "Good Job!"

Michele sent me!

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