Five Things You Need to Know About Carpenter Bees

Wood destroying pests like carpenter bees are a real concern for many homeowners. If you’re not familiar with this type of bee, you probably should be. They can bore holes in the wood of your home or garage the size of your finger, and if you let them nest year after year, the damage can be considerable. If this is your first introduction to the pest, a little knowledge can go a long way. Here are five things you should know about these problem insects.

  1. They Look Like Bumble Bees: Carpenter-Bee-Drilling (2)Carpenter bees are easy to confuse with common bumble bees, but they’re actually quite different. Unlike bumble bees which tend to have a hairy abdomen and some yellow striping on their bodies, carpenter bees are hairless on the abdomen, and the color is unmistakable black throughout their bodies. They’re just as big as their bumble bee friends, though, so unless you get a close look, it can be tough to tell exactly what’s going on.
  2. They’re Not Actually Eating That Wood: Unlike some wood destroying pests, carpenter bees are NOT eating the wood from your home or garage. Instead, they’re working to build a nest not only to lay eggs, but also to have a spot to over winter. You may actually see sawdust just beneath the hole of the nest, and if you listen closely, you can hear them boring into the wood. They’ll even come back to the same nest area year after year, doing further damage.
  3. They’re Incredibly Hard to Treat: You can’t simply grab the first spray you see on hardware store shelves to keep these guys out. It’s tough to get them and keep them from coming back to the nest, so if you’re going the DIY route, do your research carefully and monitor the situation well.
  4. Prevention Is Key: Carpenter bees like bare, untreated, slightly soft wood best. They tend to avoid pressure treated wood, and if you keep paint or a coating of some kind on all of the wood surfaces around your property, you’re going to have a far better chance at keeping carpenter bees out.
  5. Don’t Let a Single Bee Hole Go: One bee hole may not seem like a real issue right now, but if there’s a bee in there, you can bet that once it’s abandoned, others will find it, burrow in a bit further, and do more damage to your home. Letting it go now is just inviting further damage.

Carpenter bee problems may be small at the beginning of the life cycle, but as things progress, you can expect real damage. Call a professional pest control company for help today if you suspect you have carpenter bee problems.

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