Carpenter Bees: Protect Your Property

Carpenter Bee

As the warmer weather rolled around, we saw the arrival of various bugs and critters. The cold left us, the weather became gorgeous, so could you blame these insects for making a reappearance? One of these bugs may have been carpenter bees, which sounds scary at first but are very manageable.

While carpenter bees can cause extensive damage, if dealt with correctly, you can easily get rid of these pesky insects safely. While there are a lot of DIY methods out there, allow the bee exterminator professionals at Pure Pest to safely, securely, and completely get rid of your carpenter bee problem. 

What are carpenter bees?

But, before we start talking about how to get rid of carpenter bees, let’s first discover what carpenter bees are. Carpenter bees are generally not directly dangerous to humans; however, they are not harmless. Only female carpenter bees have stingers, though they will rarely use the stinger unless provoked. The male carpenter bees do not have a stinger on their bottom.

Carpenter bees can easily be mixed up with harmless bumblebees because of how similar they look. But these two types of bees are very different. For one, bumblebees have the characteristic black-and-yellow stripes over their body with a hairy abdomen, while carpenter bees tend to be a solid black color with a shiny, bald abdomen. A second major difference between the two bees is that bumblebees build their nests in pre-existing burrowing structures, while carpenter bees burrow holes in wood for their nests. 

You guessed it – that’s where carpenter bees get their name from! Carpenter bees are known for digging holes and tunnels into wood. Carpenter bees will build deep tunnels into the wood in order to survive the cold winter months. When the weather starts to warm up, like in the Spring months, the bees emerge and start mating. The female bees will then build more tunnels in wood in order to lay their eggs. The tunnel built by the female is simple but effective, constructing about six cells for the individual eggs and spring pollen. When summer rolls around, the fertilized eggs are matured and hatched, ready to emerge into the world. These carpenter bees will then return to the wood in the fall to begin this cycle all over again.

How do I know I have a carpenter bee infestation?

One of the key things to watch out for when you suspect a carpenter bee infestation is little burrows in the wood. As you probably noticed in the previous explanation, carpenter bees rely on wood to live and reproduce, so watching the wood structures around your home will be key. The burrows created by carpenter bees are about 2cm in diameter, and you will probably see a grouping of little burrows around the same area. These burrows are what we talked about earlier, the homes for the female carpenter bees to lay their eggs or for the carpenter bees to hibernate.

Another key sign of carpenter bees is small piles of sawdust. This sawdust is from when the wood was burrowed into by the carpenter bees. Wherever you find the piles of sawdust, look closely at the wood in the surrounding area. Finally, a third key sign of carpenter bees is a male carpenter bee (without the stinger) flying around the area in order to protect the nest.

What kind of damage can carpenter bees do?

Carpenter bee damage is relatively similar to termite damage, but there is a major difference in the level of damage. Carpenter bees are nowhere as destructive as termites, so that is a relief. However, we’re not out of the woods yet! Carpenter bees can still do some serious damage to your home. As female carpenter bees burrow into the wood, they can create significant holes in the wood that can cause both cosmetic and structural damage. The new holes that are created can allow moisture to seep into the wood from both inside and outside, which can cause rotting and decay. 

You also run the risk of other bees and wasps coming to visit an abandoned carpenter bee nest in order to scavenge for leftover pollen. These bees and wasps may also be looking for a place of shelter, which can allow them to build a nest of their own nearby. 

How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

There are many DIY methods around for attempting to get rid of carpenter bees. Carpenter bees are a nuisance and can cause serious damage to your home, so it is understandable to try to get rid of it. Here are some of the common DIY methods of getting rid of carpenter bees. 

The most common DIY method is staining or painting wood. This method is more preventative than reactive, but it is still important to mention. Carpenter bees prefer untreated wood, so wood in its rawest form, so keeping your wood structures completely treated, stained, and painted is one step of preventing carpenter bees from building a home. However, once you have a carpenter bee infestation, painting or staining the wood will do limited good.

Another DIY method is to build a home for carpenter bees away from your home. These pre-drilled spaces are built for carpenter bees to nest because of how important bees are to pollinating your garden. Bees are vital to your ecosystem, so giving them a space away from your home can provide an opportunity for the bees to live freely, but still not be a nuisance to you. However, this method won’t stop the carpenter bees from living wherever they want to, including near your home or in vital wooden structures.

A third common DIY method is to keep wind chimes in your backyard. Carpenter bees do not like loud sounds and vibrations, so the constant clanging of wind chimes can prevent them from building their home in your backyard. However, this method is also more preventative than reactive, as carpenter bees can still decide to build their home in your yard. Once they start digging, no amount of wind chimes will help you.

How can Pure Pest get rid of carpenter bees?

That is why calling an exterminator is the best way to get rid of carpenter bees. Our 24/7 availability means we are always available when you discover your problem, with same-day pest control. We are always backed by the Pure Promise because we know that our experience will be best suited to your home.