A carpenter bee sitting on a wooden pole

Ask the Bug Doc: How Can I Keep Bees Away from My Deck?

Dr. Nancy Troyano, Director of Technical Education and Training

Q: In the spring, I notice large bees buzzing around the eaves of my house and deck. 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 and sheds, and more.

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

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