Preliminary Evaluation of Exclusion as a Technique to Reduce Carpenter Bee Damage
Frye, Matthew; Gangloff-Kaufmann, Jody
Female carpenter bees are wood-destroying insects that build gallery nests in exposed, dry wood. Although solitary, these bees often nest in aggregations, with offspring reusing their birth nest or creating a new nest nearby. 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, some homeowners and pest professionals seek alternative management methods based on philosophical, economic or health reasons. The use of traps made from scrap wood and plastic bottles is an alternative method intended to reduce carpenter bee populations that was evaluated by NYS IPM Program staff in 2016. While effective at capturing both males and females, not all bees were trapped, permitting further damage and reproduction. In addition, a number of non-target arthropods were captured in traps. Therefore, in 2017 exclusion to plug existing nest entrances was attempted in the spring, when reproductive females were foraging and possibly laying eggs. The timing of this intervention could displace females that were actively creating new galleries and kill developing offspring entombed in the sealed nest. Exclusion was attempted at nine sites and included a total of 389 nest openings. Sites were located in Suffolk County (2) and Westchester County (7). Eight different products were evaluated for their ease of application and aesthetic qualities. Products will be examined in the winter of 2018 to determine if they were breached and if new nest sites were created nearby. Sites will be visited again in spring of 2018 to determine the longevity of applied materials.
NYS IPM Type: Project Report
New York State Integrated Pest Management Program
Community IPM; Buildings; Homes; Humans or Pets