Carpenter Bee Trap Evaluation
Frye, Matthew; Gangloff-Kaufmann, Jody
Female carpenter bees are wood-destroying insects that build individual gallery nests in exposed, dry wood. Although solitary, these bees may nest in aggregations, especially since offspring sometimes complete their lifecycle close to where they were born. Combined with possible damage from foraging woodpeckers, extensive carpenter bee tunneling can result in aesthetic damage to wood and reduce its structural integrity. For management of this insect, pest professionals apply insecticidal dusts to gallery openings, which kills adult bees and offspring, as well as secondary pests that may occupy used galleries. However, several online resources provide instructions for Do-It-Yourself carpenter bee traps made of scrap wood and plastic bottles that may prevent structural damage and the reactionary use of insecticide applications. This preliminary field study evaluated the use of carpenter bee traps to determine if they are effective at catching females (the sex that creates tunnels and reproduces). Twelve carpenter bee traps were hung at six sites in Westchester County, yielding a total of 54 carpenter bees: 21 males, 33 females. Twenty-seven of these bees were from a single, heavily infested site, where residents noted a dramatic decrease in bee activity as a result of trapping. However, 148 non-target arthropods were collected in traps, including blow flies, European paper wasps (Polistes dominula), yellowjacket queens, and especially Monobia quadridens, demonstrating the non-selective nature of traps. A proposed method to reduce by-catch is to only deploy traps in the spring during gallery building.
NYS IPM Type: Project Report
New York State Integrated Pest Management Program
Community IPM; Humans or Pets; Buildings; Homes