Protect Your Home with Carpenter Bee Prevention
Take a moment to consider where a bee lives. Your first answer is likely a hive, right? Some bees do build beautiful hives that hang from trees in the forest, just like you might see in a children’s storybook. Some bees, though, nest instead in places like the frame of your home or the eaves of your garage. These are carpenter bees, and they can be far more than a nuisance. They can damage the value of your property. That makes carpenter bee prevention nothing short of an absolute must.
What Do They Look Like?
If you’ve seen a bumblebee, you know something about what carpenter bees look like. They’re very similar. The biggest change you might notice is the fact that carpenter bees don’t have the same yellow markings on their abdomens. Where you might have once seen those markings on a bumblebee, you’ll see a smooth, shiny black coating on a carpenter bee.
There are seven different species of carpenter bees across the U.S., but they all basically look alike. While there are some coloration differences from species to species, with a closer look, you’ll be able to tell the difference between all of these wood destroying insects and the common bumblebee.
Am I Infested?
Worried you might have a carpenter bee problem on your hands? One of the first things you might notice is several bees hovering just outside your home. You may then begin to notice sawdust from the bees drilling into various bits of wood around your home. It’s actually called “frass,” but it looks a lot like the shavings you might get from a saw. You could also see the holes they’ve already drilled. Typically, these are about a half inch in diameter, and the opening may be a bit yellow in color. When the bees enter, they leave a combination of pollen and excrement at the opening.
Carpenter bees will nest almost anywhere, so check your doors and windowsills. You should also look carefully at your eaves, railings, decks, lawn furniture, and any other untreated wood areas near your home. Woodpeckers may help alert you to the presence of carpenter bees around a certain area of your home, as they will continually peck an area if they believe there’s a good chance of getting a snack.
Why Do They Attack Homes?
Carpenter bees aren’t actually targeting your home specifically. Instead, they excavate holes in wood – any wood – to raise their young. They actually prefer unpainted wood that’s been weathered because it tends to be a bit softer. Redwood, cedar, and cypress are all commonly attacked by these bees. If you have pressure treated wood, or if it’s painted (as is often the case with home siding), you’re less likely to be the victim of an attack.
Carpenter Bee Prevention
Preventing carpenter bees isn’t as complex as you think. It starts with taking a closer look at the wood structures on your property. Given that carpenter bees typically won’t tunnel into painted or treated wood, ensuring all of your wood surfaces are carefully painted is a step in the right direction. This is particularly important during nesting season, which occurs in the spring for these bees.
Carpenter bees are always looking for an easy in, so do as much sealing as you can. If there are cracks and crevices in the wood on your property, seal them with caulk, as they’ll become much less attractive to the bees.
If you have had a carpenter bee infestation in the past, you’ll need to take some special precautions. Carpenter bees hibernate in the holes they’ve created in the fall and winter, and that makes sealing those holes particularly important since they will remain a nesting spot for future months. If at all possible, don’t caulk the bees in, as they may continue to damage the structure itself.
Carpenter Bee Control
If you already have an infestation on your hands, or you suspect you do, your best bet is to contact a pest control professional to handle the issue. These creatures are so much more than a nuisance. Instead, they can create real damage to your property, and they’ll continue to reinfest the same location until you have it professionally treated.
Contact Ransford Pest today for carpenter bee prevention or removal.