Wood Destroying Insects: What You Need to Know About Carpenter Bees

Carpenter BeeCarpenter bees are quite the nuisance, causing damage to homes all over the country. These creatures are known as wood destroying insects, because they make their nests inside of wood and causing a host of problems for home owners as a result. If left unchecked, carpenter bees can cause structural damage. The following information will help you learn more about these little pests.

What Do Carpenter Bees Look Like?

Carpenter bees actually look a lot like bumble bees. However, to tell the difference, look closely at their hair. Bumble bees have a hairy abdomen. In contrast, carpenter bees have a bare abdomen. In addition, bumble bees have yellow bands on their belly. Carpenter bees do not, but they do have a slightly larger head than their counterparts.

Are Carpenter Bees Aggressive?

Carpenter bees are not very aggressive, but they can sting. However, it is important to note that it is only the females that are capable of stinging; the male bees are not a threat. Still, the males are very protective of their space, so they may seem aggressive at times, even dive bombing unsuspecting humans. It helps to stay calm. The males will continue to fly around you if you wave your arms and move your body erratically. The females, on the other hand, are more interested in drilling holes and doing their job, so it is unusual to get a sting from them.

Where Do Carpenter Bees Drill Holes?

A carpenter bee hole looks pretty perfect. It can be as large as a half an inch in diameter. Once the bee gets inside the wood, she starts to drill tunnels and lay eggs. The holes can be anywhere, although obviously they are only found on wood surfaces. Therefore, you may see holes in your siding, trees, decks and even swing sets.

Why Are Carpenter Bees a Concern?

Carpenter bees can cause a lot of damage, eventually weakening the structure of the home or building they are in. Carpenter bees love to fly under the radar. Therefore, many homeowners do not notice the holes or the bees right away. In contrast, termites and carpenter ants are much more conspicuous. As a result, carpenter bee damage builds up over time, often becoming fairly extensive before it is discovered.

How Should I Treat For Carpenter Bees?

If possible, treat the holes with an insecticidal dust at night. Do not close up the holes right away; the bees need to come into contact with the dust and spread it through the tunnels. When the weather cools off again, fill the holes with wood putty and then paint the surface. Of course, because it is difficult to treat the holes safely, it is often best to contact a pest control company.

A carpenter bee problem should be taken seriously. Because these are wood destroying insects, it does not take long before the structure of the building is compromised. If you have a concern, take immediate steps to address the issue before things progress.


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