Attach Plastic Bottle Caps for Carpenter Bee Traps

Picture of Attach Plastic Bottle Caps for Carpenter Bee Traps
kentdvm recently posted an Instructable for a carpenter bee trap,
which uses two bottle caps connected together as part of the assembly. He used tape to connect the bottle caps, and here I offer another method that uses 1/2-inch metal grommets from a tarp repair kit. Photo is of one of my own variations of the trap, designed to fit under a small roof overhang. A separate Instructable for this trap will be posted soon.
To see my related Instructables, click on my username wherever you see it on this page, or enter unclesam in the home page search box. On the new page, click "view all __ instructables." On the next new page, click "NEXT" repeatedly to page and scroll through them all.
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Step 1: Tarp Repair Kit

Picture of Tarp Repair Kit
I happened to have a kit for replacing metal grommets in tarps, bought years ago from some mail order tool supply company. It contains 1/2-inch metal grommets and metal capture rings, a tool for punching a hole through the tarp, and two tools for easily and neatly setting the grommets.

Step 2: Punch Holes in Plastic Caps

Picture of Punch Holes in Plastic Caps
The kit's punch made clean holes in the caps when pounded against a wood backup block. The holes need to be enlarged slightly by rattail file or sandpaper.

Step 3: Set Grommet Using Ball Peen Hammer

Picture of Set Grommet Using Ball Peen Hammer
These green plastic caps are too thick to use the metal capture ring, so the grommet is set without one. These caps do not have an inner seal ring that needs to be removed. The tarp repair kit's setting tools will not fit into the caps, so the grommet is spread by tapping the ball of a ball peen hammer onto the metal using a second hammer. The backside of the grommet is supported by the flat end of a metal rod during the peening.

Step 4: Caps Connected Without Capture Ring

Picture of Caps Connected Without Capture Ring
Two green plastic caps well connected without metal capture ring.

Step 5: Remove Seal Ring From Inside Blue Cap

Picture of Remove Seal Ring From Inside Blue Cap
Some caps have an inner seal ring that must be removed to reduce its thickness. The ring is most easily removed from this type of cap using a knife through the hole punched in the cap.
astral_mage11 months ago

thanks to this post and others like it. our native bee species are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate. i guess u dont love honey at all.

triumphman1 year ago
.I took an old discarded La Crosse raquet (spring trash day) that I found some on the side of the road. Lashed it to a long birch sapling with two auto hose clamps. It is great fun to swat those nasty hole boring bees with. When I hit them I hear a "pong" sound. Then I run over to them and they are usually D.O.A. ! Very satisfying!
TheHebe2 years ago
Transquesta dn unclesam: you both need to do more research on Carpenter Bees. They do not sting. They do 'seem aggressive' but they are inquisitive and pesky as a toddler with 'why is this and what is this'. They catch their reflection in your eye and they want a good look at themselves! I've noticed they like it when I work on something that takes oil (tiller, lawnmower). The flapping of their wings do make an unsettling noise buzzing about your head but I've yet to have one attack me. Quick detection is, A bumble bee (which will sting) doesn't have the big black bumm (rearend).

Carpenter Bees cause far less damage than Carpenter ants or termites.

So once your bee is in the bottle...what then?
The bees may not cause too much damage but that 18" cock-headed woodpecker will when he rips your fascia apart to get to the larva. Incredible bird but I have only seen once. I'm not willing to grow carpenter bees just to see one though! :^)
I do need to make about 3 of these traps.
Actually, I was stung once when I mowed too close to an old building, so I Googled and found out that the females will sting. The males just love to dart at us, scaring the bejez out of us. Thanks for post, since know I know a little more about these pesky lil beasts.
doo da do2 years ago
If you do not have the time or the tools, place a couple moth balls in the general area and they will leave the area. Tried it and they were gone the next day. Seen it on instructables. Doodado
I like the mothball idea. Quick and cheap. Used them once to get squirrels out of a chimney.
kentdvm2 years ago
Love it! Great solution for connecting the caps. Much more permanent than my tape. Thanks! kb
Transquesta2 years ago
What baits the bee (typically the female WITH a stinger) out of the hole into the trap?
unclesam (author)  Transquesta2 years ago
Transquesta, the female bee is not expected to be lured out of her hole by the trap, hopefully the trap will provide an attractive alternative to female bees that are just ready to set up housekeeping. It would help the trap to work if all the bee-made holes in the infested structure are plugged. An internet search will turn up a lot of useful information about the life cycle of the bees and various strategies for reducing their numbers. The Instructable is the first effective DIY trap I have seen, so I thought it would be worth adding to the arsenal.
l8nite2 years ago
this trick could come in handy for other applications as well, I'm going to remember it. Thank you for sharing