Carpenter Bee In Hole
Femaie carpenter bees chew holes in wood so they can lay their eggs. Carpenter bees have a smooth and shiny abdomen, unlike their fuzzy-bodied bumblebee cousins.
Shutterstock/FIFTYONE by Athi
Femaie carpenter bees chew holes in wood so they can lay their eggs. Carpenter bees have a smooth and shiny abdomen, unlike their fuzzy-bodied bumblebee cousins.
We can all agree that we don’t like the holes that carpenter bees bore into our pergolas, patios, potting benches, fences and outdoor buildings. When those great big bees show up in the spring, we’re reminded how they got their name. The females get to work chewing holes into trees and wooden structures so they can lay their eggs. Carpenter bees make holes so fast, you’d think they were flying around with a tiny power drill.
These creatures must go, you think. Not so fast.
Before you come up with a plan on how to get rid of carpenter bees with pesticides or even earth-friendly bee traps, remember that these gentle giants are pollinators. Their visits to eggplants, tomatoes, blueberries and a slew of other vegetables and flowers help these plants produce crops we value. Carpenter bees often work with honey bees to pollinate, so these wood-chewing insects are a force for good.
“All told, I kinda like the goofy guys and enjoy watching their territorial capering in spring,” Delaplane says.
Signs Of Carpenter Bee Infestation
If youre concerned about carpenter bee infestation, check for these warning signs:
- 1/2- to 3/4-inch circular openings in wood
- Sawdust or wood shavings around or near those openings
- A yellow substance near or just inside the entrance
- Threatening flight activity around the area, which is usually males defending the territory
What Are Carpenter Bees
- Carpenter Bees are a species of bee that can be problematic due to their defining habit of drilling holes into wood, especially wood that makes up the structure of a home.
- Carpenter Bees can be confused in appearance for Bumblebees but can be differentiated through their hairless and shiny bodies while Bumblebees are very hairy. Another difference is Carpenter Bees nest in burrowed wood while Bumblebees nest in the ground.
You May Like: Installing Vinyl Siding Over Wood Siding
Paint Any Exposed Wood
Do Carpenter Bees Sting Or Bite You
Male carpenter bees do not sting or bite, as they do not have a stinger. Female carpenter bees can sting but seldom do so without serious, prolonged provocation.
However, its not unusual for male carpenter bees to fly close to your face if you come into their territory. These bees are attracted to nearly anything that moves. While this can be alarming, its not a sign of impending danger.
The greatest threat carpenter bees pose is to any unfinished or weathered wood around your home. Their tunnels displace wood shavings, creating a mess around the nests, and the holes themselves can also be unsightly.
Serious structural damage is only a concern if the carpenter bees have been returning to the same nesting site for years. If left untreated or undeterred, they will return to your eaves, deck, etc. every year to raise their young.
This is why its important to get rid of carpenter bees as soon as you see signs of them and engage in preventative maintenance.
Read Also: Wooden End Of Bed Bench
Bees Vs Wasps And Hornets
While they are very similar in appearance. There are a few factors that identify wasps and their subgroup, hornets. The biggest giveaway is their lack of a fuzzy coat. They also have two pairs of wings as opposed to the single pair of bees.
One important thing to note is that the stingers on bees are designed to defend against other bees, which is why they often break off in human skin. A piece of the abdomen also gets ripped of, resulting in the bees death.
Wasps and hornets, conversely, have more robust stingers designed to protect their hives from larger predators and can sting a human multiple times.
Are Carpenter Bees Harmful
Though they do not pose a public health threat, carpenter bees can damage wood through their nest building, and cause structural damage to beams and furnishings around your home.
While the damage to your property may appear cosmetic, over the years these tunnels will expand and branch out, causing considerable structural damage and staining the wood.
Adding to the issue, woodpeckers love to eat carpenter bee larvae, so much of the damage you see could be the result of woodpeckers trying to break into carpenter bee nesting tunnels and chambers. If you spot a woodpecker on your home, you may have a carpenter bee infestation.
Also Check: Wood Floors With Dark Cabinets
How To Get Rid Of Bees Near Your Home And Keep Them Away For Good
Bees can be a pest or nuisance for a number of reasons. They may be in the way, they may be damaging property, or they may simply be an annoyance. Today we will discuss how to get rid of bees near your home.
In this article, you will gain knowledge regarding what to do to get rid of bees and some natural remedies you can use without harming the bees.
Many different types of bees exist, and each has its own unique features.
Knowing the difference between the types of bees is important so you can identify which type is causing problems near your home.
Once you have identified the bee, there are various ways to get rid of them and keep them away for good.
When it comes to identifying a bee, there are many things you can look for.
The body size, coloration, and hair distribution on different parts of the bees body can help determine which bee species is present.
Additionally, knowing what type of environment the bee is typically found in can also be helpful.
Let us take a look at some of the common species of bees.
What To Do If You See A Carpenter Bee
Carpenter bees are named so because they drill into wood to build their nests. While they do not feast on the wood in the same way that termites do, they can still cause a great deal of damage, particularly to cedar, pine and other softwoods.
Since carpenter bees dont usually congregate in colonies, even a single bee could be a sign of trouble. If you see a lone buzzer by the exterior of your home, a backyard deck or even a pile of firewood, its time to act.
Read Also: Wood Fence Post Spacing Chart
What Types Of Wood Do They Attack
One of the first locations to check for a carpenter bee infestation is around rails or posts from oak fences. Like what attracts flying termites, the types of wood carpenter bees prefer are softwoods like oak, redwood, cypress, pine, and fir.
Wood surfaces that are unpainted or unfinished are especially at risk. If the paint on wood has weathered, there is a chance that they will bore into those as well.
What To Look For
Carpenter bee holes are typically less than half an inch wide. They go perpendicular into the wood grain for an inch or two and then make a right angle turn that tunnels even deeper.
The female carpenter bee places a food ball in the nest, starts to lay eggs, and then blocks them off in a chamber where the bee larvae feed on the food. The female dies once she finishes this task.
For supporting evidence of a carpenter bee infestation, look for stained spots on the wood below bore holes. Another sign of carpenter bees is sawdust.
Since they arent like termites that eat the wood, little sawdust piles are found under where they have burrowed. If youve seen these signs around your house, youre ready to start implementing natural ways to get rid of carpenter bees.
You May Like: White And Natural Wood Bookshelf
How To Get Rid Of Wood Bees With Chemicals
The first step to removing wood bees is to locate the wood where the bees are active and apply insecticidal dust into nest openings. The best way to do it is to puff the dust up into the tunnel, so the dust coats all sides. We advise you to do this at night to avoid possible stings.
A flashlight is necessary for work at night, and there is a trick to prevent triggering the bees. Bees cannot see the red light so you can tape a piece of red cellophane over the flashlight. Doing this will enable you to see the openings, but the bees won’t be agitated. We also recommend wearing protective clothing, goggles, gloves, and a dust mask.
To prevent spreading the insecticidal dust everywhere after you are done, launder any contaminated clothing and take a shower. Since this task brings some risks, one option may be contacting your local pest control who will manage the infestation safely.
One thing to remember is not to plug the holes immediately because wood bees should be able to go through the openings to get in contact with the dust. For a complete solution of an infestation problem, this process should be done three times throughout the year.
We have to mention that using chemicals to get rid of wood bees should only be done as a last resort. If you don’t have a big problem with wood boring bees, we recommend trying organic solutions which may solve your problem without hurting the bees.
How Can I Spot Carpenter Bee Damage
To spot carpenter bee damage, take a closer look at wooden structures around the yard. Carpenter bees like to bore their way into wood especially sheds, pergolas, posts, porches, window trim and even the eaves of the house.
You might spot sawdust by the holes where a bee has been boring. Older holes can also be enlarged or reused by the bees. Adult bees can overwinter in the tunnels, emerging in spring to mate. Over time, the damage can result in decay, moisture retention and rot.
Recommended Reading: Wood Dresser And Nightstand Set
Signs Of A Bee Infestation
With over 400 different types of bees in America alone, it becomes a difficult to identify exactly what youre dealing with when an infestation happens. The fact that carpenter bees look a lot like your average bumble bee doesnt make matters any easier. Check out these tell-tale signs that help you recognise a carpenter bee infestation.
- Carpenter bees and quite large and have hairless shiny black bodies. Males ave white stripes on their forehead while females have stingers
- The small nickel sized holes perfectly drilled into the wood is a sure sign of the bee infestation
- You can actually hear faint chewing sounds inside the wood.
- Wood shavings and sawdust in and around the furniture
- Mostly a male bee can be seen hovering outside the hole while the female is working inside.
Fill And Seal Any Holes In The Wood
Read Also: Solid Wood Tv Stand With Fireplace
Fall Prep To Deter Carpenter Bees
- Seal up any wooden divots or pre-existing holes in your wood. Every spring when female carpenter bees start their search for new homes, they seek out imperfections in wood as perfect places to begin nests. In the fall, use wood putty or our wooden corks, specially sized for carpenter bee holes, to cover up holes and crevices so that your home is less appealing in the spring.
- Repair damage from old carpenter bee nests. Fall is the best time to prepare for carpenter bees. The adults have died off and the young bees and larvae are hibernating in the tunnels, making autumn the least dangerous time to address existing nests. Pour almond oil or put a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol into the nest. Then seal off the entrance hole with steel wool, wooden dowels and wood putty.
Identifying Types Of Bees
A professional pest control company can perform a free inspection to assess the type of bees youre dealing with. But if youre curious, there are several ways to tell the different major types of bees apart, including their appearance and where they build their hives.
Its important to note that pest control companies like Orkin, Terminix, and Aptive will do everything they can to avoid harming beneficial pollinators like bumble bees and honey bees. These species have seen large declines, which has jeopardized our ecosystem. Luckily, some species are now protected. Many states have put protections in place, specifically banning the use of federally banned pesticides. However, it isnt necessarily illegal to kill bees.
While you may consider bees a nuisance, remember that they can help your garden flourish and pollinate crops all over the world. Its understandable to have concerns if you are allergic to bee stings. But otherwise, its best to leave them aloneunless theyre carpenter bees. This type of bee, also called the wood bee drills holes into wood to make its nest, causing structural damage over time.
Also Check: Used Wood Pallets For Sale
Holes In Wood Made By Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees are a common type of bee that can be found throughout North America. They are so named because they like to build their nests in wood.
These bees drill holes in wood and then lay their eggs inside the holes. The larvae that hatch from the eggs will eat the wood until they pupate and emerge as adult carpenter bees.
If you have carpenter bees infestation near your home, it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible. Not only are they a big-time nuisance, but they can also damage your property and environment.
Simple Ways To Prevent Carpenter Bees From Moving In
The sun is out the flowers are blooming the bees are buzzing spring is finally here! However, sometimes the buzz of bees is not always a welcome sound, especially when you start to notice nickel-sized holes in your house or patio furniture.
These holes are likely caused by carpenter bees, appropriately named for their habit of drilling holes in wood. Unlike mason and leafcutter bees, which use existing holes to lay their eggs and don’t cause damage to the structures they live in, carpenter bees are wood-boring insects that can cause moderate damage. It’s important to note that carpenter bees do not eat wood like termites or carpenter ants. However, when they drill holes for their nests, problems like water retention, decay, and rot can occur if left unchecked for multiple years.
If carpenter bees have decided to call your home their home, it can be tempting to use insecticides to kill the bees, but we strongly urge you to try less harmful techniques before reaching for the chemicals. Why? First, carpenter bees are incredibly effective buzz pollinators. Second, insecticide use for carpenter bees can also harm other local pollinatorslike mason and leafcutter bees !
Learn how pesticides can move from yard to yard in our The Importance of a Pesticide-Free Yard article.
Read Also: Live Wood Edge Coffee Table
Bees Nesting In House Walls
Bees nesting in house walls has driven me crazy for half of my life. Every spring, I will get phone calls from people asking why do bees keep coming into my house? How to get rid of bee nests in the wall cavity and so on. I first help them through a set of questions on how to tell if bees are in their walls firstly. Then I will go and visit and solve the problem. For a fee.
If a beehive is not managed properly it will produce swarms. Swarms move around looking for a specific type of place to build a nest. Normally a swarm will move into a wall around midday. In areas with African/Africanized bees, there will be a lot more swarming in spring, and also in late summer.
Many people confuse yellow jackets with honey bees. Make sure that you do not have yellow jackets. Pest control companies deal with yellow jackets. Beekeepers deal with bees.
How To Get Rid Of The Bees
Bees get into corners and spaces between walls or other structures like attics. Getting them out of there can be a tedious task. The first step towards removal of a beehive is spotting the nest. If youve just seen bees flitting in and out, but dont really know where they are living, its obvious that you need to first find out where they are. Follow the bees as they enter your house. Alternatively, if you have some clue, you can tap the walls and listen closely. If you hear a faint buzzing sound, youve hit the jackpot! Then you can proceed with the following methods to evacuate them.
You May Like: Dr Christopher Wood Md Anderson
How To Getting Rid Of Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees are docile and very shy creatures that choose remote corners of the house, however when provoked the female bees can sting you really hard. Not to mention the damage they cause to anything wooden that lies around the property, from doors to window sills, ceilings and even floorboards, these bees are everywhere! Therefore, it is important that you take immediate action once you notice the subtle signs of an infestation discussed above. Mentioned below are some of the most effective solutions that you can apply.