Will soapy water kill carpenter bees?

Bees help our plants and other crops thrive, but when swarms of bees surround your property, you may want to find a way to get rid of them.

Yes, carpenter bees will drown in soapy water and die. If exposed to soap and water for a sufficient amount of time, they will die. Since soap is a typical cleaning product, it functions as a surfactant, which is a substance that decreases a liquid’s surface tension or its resistance to being penetrated, making the bee more likely to drown. Additionally, the soap makes the water sticky, which the insect sticks to and eventually drowns. It can kill them, but it’s never the wisest course of action.

What are carpenter bees?

Carpenter bees resemble bumble bees but differ in having an abdomen that is shiny and hairless. They are crucial pollinators for both our gardens and our farmlands.

Despite being crucial for pollination, they are regarded as pests because they frequently harm wooden structures.

Carpenter bees are drawn to unpainted and softer wood since that is what they chew round holes into to make their nests out of.

People frequently believe that bees consume wood, but in reality, they only drill wood to construct their nests.

How to prevent carpenter bees from moving in?

Preventative measures are the most effective method to avoid the hassle of carpenter bee removal. Carpenter bees particularly enjoy pine and cedar lumber.

Since bees prefer unpolished and raw wood, it is advisable to paint or stain anything made of wood.

It’s also a good idea to think about including citrus or almond oil as a repellant. To prevent bees from constructing nests, you can do this all through the summer and in the spring.

Carpenter bees find the wood to be unpleasant due to these surface treatments. You might offer these bees alternate nesting sites to prevent unfavorable bee-human interactions.

Bees can be enticed away from your wooden property by building them their own nest made of untreated pine or cedar.

Preventative measures are the most effective method to avoid the hassle of carpenter bee removal. Carpenter bees particularly enjoy pine and cedar lumber.

Paint and stain won’t work, though, if the carpenter bees have built their nests in the wood. It might still be possible to use painted and polished wood to replace the damaged wood.

You can move the nest to a new area, and doing so is a great way to create a home for native bees.

How to kill carpenter bees with soapy water?

Be aware that the best method for getting rid of carpenter bees is not to use soapy water. However, if you don’t have any other choice or resources to get rid of these bees, here are steps on how you can remove them.

If anyone in your household has serious allergies, avoid using soaps composed of synthetic materials. If not, you can choose any dishwashing liquid or soap.

The next step is to combine the right amount of water and soap in the solution. The solution might not work if you add too much water to it.

Keep in mind that you should add enough soap to the water to make the mixture sticky enough to drown the bees.

Fill a spray bottle with the solution. Maintain a significant distance between you and the beehive to protect yourself from stings.

To avoid getting stung by these bees, be sure to wear the appropriate protective attire.

Until there is little solution left, spray the solution onto the bees.

What are alternative ways to get rid of carpenter bees?

It is always preferable to choose another option rather than use soapy water as a fix.

The best course of action is to get in touch with a pest control company or a beekeeper to remove the bees effectively and safely.

Pesticides can also be used on wood where carpenter bees have congregated, but it’s crucial to remember that spraying insecticides directly on bees poses a significant risk.

You can immediately spray a vinegar and water solution on the bees’ nests, but keep in mind that doing so could kill the bees’ larvae.

You can use a carpenter bee trap to keep them from constructing nests as well. The trap can be hung near the damaged wood.

It can be bought or made by building a wooden box with a small opening to let the bees in and a mason jar attached to the bottom that contains a sugar syrup solution.

But the best ways to manage and coexist peacefully with eastern carpenter bees are through preventive maintenance, selecting building materials like composite materials, and offering alternate nesting areas.


Even though carpenter bees are vital pollinators, they can harm our wooden structures. If bees are a problem in your region, you should take precautions to prevent personal encounters with bees. Carpenter bees can be easily removed with soapy water, but it is both hazardous and ineffective. In order to maintain a positive bee-human interaction and to educate you on the type of pest and the best ways to get rid of them, you can instead hire an expert, such as a beekeeper.