Back deck with white modern outdoor furniture

How to keep bees away from my deck

Dr. Nancy Troyano, Director of Technical Education and Training

During the spring and summer months, we get a lot of calls about bees, and specifically bee removal, because people are concerned about being stung. In fact, this is one of our most common questions we receive:

Q: In the spring, I notice large bees buzzing around the eaves of my house and deck. What kind of bee am I seeing and what can I do to keep bees away?

A: Warming temperatures signal to “sleeping” stinging insects that it’s time to wake up from winter sleep and build their nests. This includes a number of different wasp and bee species.

In your case, you’re likely seeing carpenter bees. They tend to be big enough for people to notice.

Carpenter Bee Burrowing Into a Deck
Carpenter Bee

Both carpenter bees and wasps like to chew on non-painted – or those in need of a new paint job – wooden surfaces to help them make pulp to create their nests. This can include eaves on your house, your deck, swing sets, garages, sheds, and more.

Other bees that pollinate typically won’t be spending too much time around wooden structures because it doesn’t do them any good. You will tend to find honey bees buzzing around the garden where they can help support their colony.

How to keep bees away from a wooden deck

You can take a step toward deterring stinging pests by getting ahead of them and varnishing or painting wooden surfaces. By coating these surfaces, you make them unpalatable to stinging pests. So take advantage of some of those warm, pre-spring days and get outside with your paintbrush in hand.   

Photo by Bob Peterson
Photo of wasps by Bob Peterson

If you happen to notice the beginnings of a nest, alert your Ehrlich bee control Technician right away. It’s much easier, and safer, to eliminate a fledgling nest now than it will be in a few weeks as nests become larger and stinging pests begin to multiply.

If you feel that you have a problem with bees, wasps, stinging insects or other pests, be sure to contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control Technician for assistance.

Dr. Nancy Troyano

Nancy Troyano, Training Manager / Entomologist at Rentokil North America, is responsible for leading and supporting the development and training of Rentokil technicians throughout North America. Nancy works closely with Technical Field Trainers and Line-of-Business Managers to develop and implement a comprehensive training program for new and existing technicians. Nancy joined Rentokil after receiving her PhD from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 2009. Follow Nancy on Google+


  1. glo

    box elder and stink bugs in the pnw. what can we do. they live in our house and outside.

    • Ashley Smith

      The best thing to do to keep these pests out is to ensure that all holes and cracks are sealed. Consider installing door sweeps on your doors to block entry. They often like to get into homes under doors.



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