Have you ever found yourself eye to eye with a very round, buzzing, black and yellow bee? Did you think it was a bumble bee? More than likely you were just greeted by a male carpenter bee. Great news, males do not sting; however, if provoked female carpenter bee can. Carpenter bees are very territorial, and males hover close to intimidate you into leaving!
Carpenter Bees vs. Bumble Bees
Carpenter bees and bumble bees are often mistaken for one another. Most carpenter bees are larger, about 1 inch in length, black and yellow. Carpenter bees have a shiny, black, hairless abdomen. Bumble bees have fuzzy abdomens.
As the name suggests, carpenter bees love wood! They don’t eat it though, much like other bees, they feed on pollen and nectar. They love wood because of how well it insulates and protects their nest in cold winter temperatures. Adult carpenter bees emerge from their nests in spring & begin mating and laying new eggs. After 3 months or so, new adults emerge from these nesting holes and begin feeding.
Signs of Carpenter Bees
Nesting holes are the most tell-tell sign of a carpenter bee infestation. Regular inspection of the outside of your home is the best way to prevent heavy damage. Keeping wood well painted or stained will also help to limit the attacks. Damage can become extensive if carpenter bees are left untreated; nests can grow from 4-6" long to 10 feet after being reused. Woodpeckers are attracted to the easy meal of the larvae nesting in the holes. The birds can quickly add to the damage.
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all treatment that will help control pests like carpenter bees. In fact, each season may require a different step to fully rid your property of these pests. The best you can do as a homeowner is to regularly check the perimeter of your home for any signs infestation (i.e. circular holes, bees darting at your head, etc…) and keep exposed wood well painted or varnished.
If you see any questionable damage, we advise you to call a certified professional right away to determine the best treatment plan for you and your property. As always, should you need someone, our team at Waynes will be right here ready to serve you. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call today. 866-WAYNES1