Carpenter Bees bore a hole in chicken hutch perch to deposit eggs


8 Years
May 1, 2011
I just put my young 7-week old pullets outside yesterday with their hutch made out of stained pine. While they were foraging around the fenced-in garden area where they are going to live, I noticed today that there was a large bee on their perch in the hutch for quite a while. I removed it with a paper towel, but it came back later. I thought at first it was a bumble bee, but noticed that it had a smooth all black abdomen. I looked it up online and found out it is a carpenter bee, which bores holes in wood to lay the eggs. I noticed that in fact it did bore a hole in the perch bar. I covered the hole over with some heavy tape, so it was not able to get back to the hole. Is there something I can treat the perch bar with, so that the bee(s) don't come back to bore another hole, as two bees came and inspected the tape-covered hole? Of course, it will have to be safe for the young chicks since they will be perching on the bar. Thank you for any help you can offer, as I am very distraught as a newbie chick mom, since I don't want my chicks to be hurt by the bees in any way. I know only the female carpenter bees have stingers, but I don't want them to sting my chicks. I am very concerned, and looking for a safe solution. Thanks you very much, Joan S.
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Worst case, you could go with plastic or metal pipe for the perch but you may need to rough it up for traction. That would buy you time till the birds get big enough to eat the bees or you find a way to deter the bees.
I have a friend with a log cabin home. she sprays it with Citrus oil every year, specifically for carpenter bees. she says it works.

Im afraid I dont have the specifics. I would think that would keep lots of bugs away safely.

I would fill the holes with wood putty also.

Carpenter bees are usually an ongoing issue. hard to get rid of them for good.
We used to have a ton of these come around our stained cedar house. All we did was dab mud over each hole. It keeps the bees from laying their eggs. Their nesting season is short and not worth putting bug spray in the coop. The problem goes away when nesting season is over.
Based on description given, bee seen was a drone (male) carpentor bee. He was likely waiting for virgin female to emerge from whole. Look at bee, its eyes are likely large like a fly and if they are like those I have, it will also have a flourescent yellow triangle on face.
Sprays using "SEVIN" work on carpenter bees. Regular bug sprays won't work. Spray Sevin in the cracks or holes. I'm not talking about hosing the chickens or whole house, so please don't everyone go nuts about the organic thing.
Thank you everyone for your help with this, I truly appreciate all of your ideas! I will see today if the bees come back. Yesterday, I had dripped water on the bee that was on the perch to get it to leave, which it did. Then I wrapped a wet paper towel around the perch next to the taped over area where the carpenter bee bore the hole. The bees do not seem to like the wetness, so they did not even land on the perch, which was great! As stated, their nesting season is short, so maybe they went elsewhere to find another piece of soft wood to nest in. (Here's hoping!!) I will try the citrus oil next if needed. I read online that the adults die off in a few weeks after nesting, so they will be gone soon. Then the new ones emerge in late summer, so that will be a new challenge, if they come back.

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