Shop Clothing and Insects -- Bee Careful In the Shop

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Forum topic by HorizontalMike posted 07-24-2013 02:56 PM 2557 views 0 times favorited 74 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7770 posts in 3114 days

07-24-2013 02:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: safety tips clothing insects bees shop safety shop

OK, I wasn’t going to post this, but rethought this and feel I should share this safety concern. Yesterday, I was resawing a 9in wide 8/4 piece of pine into 3/8in shelving. FWIW, it is typically 95-105F in the shop this time of year (South Texas) so I was wearing a pair of carpenter’s shorts and a T-shirt. Fans blowing and all of that as well.

I was about halfway through resawing one of the shelve pieces, when one of our local sweat bees decided to fly up the leg of my shorts, in the vicinity of my Almond Joy. Remember, I am in the middle of a tall resaw here. I realized that I was in immediate danger and started dancing around while still trying to hastily finish the cut. Geez, somehow I managed to not screw up the cut and my Almond Joy escaped without harm as well!

All said and done…
  • How do you protect yourself against insects, bees, vermin, mosquitoes, etc. while in the shop and operating power tools/machines?
  • Protective clothing?
  • Bug spray?
  • Steel toed boots (for other dangers)?
  • Closed airtight shop?

Please share any and all tips or tricks you use to increase your safe operation of tools in the shop.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

74 replies so far

View TravisH's profile


627 posts in 2135 days

#1 posted 07-24-2013 03:13 PM

I have issues at times in my shop (outdoors). Mainly with spiders and ants. This past winter I did have a few mice visit me which was a first, but my fault for leaving birdseed out. I set a gauntlet of glue and spring traps and after the first week had no signs of mice. Never caught one in the spring traps but every glue trap had a mouse that got off. I could have made a small mouse coat from what was left on those stupid glue trap. However they haven’t returned since.

I have had bees fly in the shop but they usually just fly out or up towards the windows in the gable. Spiders and other insects I started spraying every other week and now have no issues. Keeping a shop clean seams to be the best solution for me. I now just keep a can of spray and hit the door area and any hard to reach places with spray every so often.

View chrisstef's profile


17761 posts in 3207 days

#2 posted 07-24-2013 03:16 PM

I had to laugh at your Mounds bar reference HM. I had a bee fly inside my shirt a few weeks ago while I was driving. Not knowing what I should do I just smashed the sucker against my skin and withstood the bite. Its a pretty harrowing experience that I can relate to. Im glad your whole team made it out without any further injuries.

I get a few mice in the basement shop and a rouge fly here and there. I don’t do too much to deter them so no real help from me.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3114 days

#3 posted 07-24-2013 03:35 PM

Oh I forgot to say, I did manage to take my newly cut shelf piece and fly-swatted the bee to the ground and step on it! Sweet (not sweat) revenge!

I do keep a can of 20ft wasp spray in the shop for those occasional nesters, but keep those pretty much under control.

Surprisingly, while I do get scorpions in the shop, I tend to find them smashed in the door frame of the walk-in door. I have had an couple of them drop on me as I entered the shop, but they always are in a hurry to hide and I haven’t gotten hit by one,... yet.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8554 posts in 2529 days

#4 posted 07-24-2013 03:36 PM

Bees and wasps are always a concern for me when doing construction type projects out of doors…. Not much that can be done besides keeping ones eyes and ears open and blasting the wasps nests with foam spray when found. The hornets that make ground nests are the worste, as I usually don’t find them untill I run them over wtih the tractor, and then it’s too late.

For the indoors shop environment, my chief concern is to not bring carpenter ants in the house, and brown recluse spiders. So I need to be careful to look over any lumber I bring in from the barn.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3359 days

#5 posted 07-24-2013 04:06 PM

Almond Joy? I call mine the Three Musketeers.

-- jay,

View Sanding2day's profile


1014 posts in 2047 days

#6 posted 07-24-2013 04:07 PM

Pleased to hear that you made it through unharmed :) Utilizing my garage I continue to fight the good fight for shop space but have been lucky enough not to have a bee problem. The carpenter bees seem to prefer my midevil 2 by 4 fence locking brace.

I have put out the glue traps for mice, hung the dangling glue traps for flies, and caught a moth to feed a spider which has decided to make the shop his hunting ground… Have considered spraying the perimeter inside and out but have not had to significant of an issue with the insect population. Good luck…

-- Dan

View Don W's profile

Don W

19009 posts in 2768 days

#7 posted 07-24-2013 04:18 PM

Well, if nothing else I won’t be enjoying an almond joy any time soon.

Its kind of like riding with a full face helmet with the visor up. Those suckers don’t enjoy being trapped between your ear and the helmet any more than you do, except they have a way of letting you know.

I really don’t have any plan of action to talk about, but spraying bug repellent on your almond joy just doesn’t sound like an ideal plan either.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3171 days

#8 posted 07-24-2013 04:27 PM

I feel your pain Mike. That’s exactly how I felt before the last couple of elections only my Almond Joy came out looking more like a Mounds. Figuratively speaking , of course.
Oh well, what the hell, it was just a job, and my entire retirement savings, and my home place of 35 years. I can always start over since I’m only 63.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3114 days

#9 posted 07-24-2013 04:39 PM

Back in the late 70s I had a bee bounce off the bike’s windshield and land between the collar and the back of my neck. Managed to get the bike stopped and had to pull the stinger sac out myself, AFTER getting my riding gloves off!

Boy I’m glad I called it my Almond Joy and NOT my ‘crank’! The other Mike woulda’ ended up homeless AND frustrated! {sarcasm}

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View MaroonGoon's profile


281 posts in 2158 days

#10 posted 07-24-2013 05:23 PM

I’m severely allergic to guinea wasps so I always keep a nice bottle of ‘Raid’ spray around when I am in the shop or in an area I know that is infested with them. Also, if I get stumped or frustrated in the shop, a good wasp hunting is a nice refresher ;)

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View bowedstraight's profile


100 posts in 1973 days

#11 posted 07-24-2013 07:58 PM

one those Chasity belt thingys or whatever u call it, that will keep Mr Goodbar comfy

-- Work in the city woodshop in tha country

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3359 days

#12 posted 07-24-2013 08:10 PM

Mr. Goodbar. Excellent!

-- jay,

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3064 days

#13 posted 07-24-2013 08:15 PM

Hot weather aside, another reason why maybe going commando, isn’t really a good idea in the
shop. 8-)

View Don W's profile

Don W

19009 posts in 2768 days

#14 posted 07-24-2013 08:17 PM

Geez guys, my desert menu is shrinking fast. I’m at a conference and one of the snacks in the lobby was roasted almonds. I just couldn’t touch them now.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2713 days

#15 posted 07-24-2013 08:21 PM

Mike this is real simple, insulate your shop/garage, put an AC in it and shut all doors :)

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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