Wood boring carpenter bee isolated on a white backgroundCarpenter Bees are large and have a black-blue and yellow metallic coloring.  Often at times, Carpenter Bees can be mistaken with Bumble Bees because of the similarity in size and colorings.  The key distinction to tell the difference between a Carpenter Bee and a Bumble Bee is the abdomen.  Specifically, the Carpenter Bee’s abdomen is bare and shiny.  A Bumble Bee’s abdomen on the other hand is covered with hair that is very fine.  Carpenter Bees do not make nests like other bees and wasps. However, Carpenter Bees do drill/chew through wood for nesting/reproduction. 

Damage Caused by Carpenter Bees

Generally speaking, when we think about bees’ nests, we think of hives and paper nests.  Carpenter Bees build nests in exposed wood, such as house siding, telephone poles, fence posts, decks, railings, facial boards, exposed wood window trim and even wood furniture.  More specifically, the female Carpenter Bee will make a ¼” to ½” hole that is round directly into the wood. 

In most cases, Carpenter Bees will prefer some woods over others.  For example, there are several softer woods like cypress, cedar, pine or redwood.  A lot of people think that just because wood has been pressure treated with some type of chemical, painted, and/or stained that the wood will not be susceptible to pest damage.  That is not the case.  Carpenter Bees can attack and damage pressure treated wood, although they prefer exposed wood sources.  As the female Carpenter Bees drills the wood, sawdust will is discarded from the hole and will begin to pile up directly below the hole.  Several holes can be drilled over the course of a day since it only takes a small amount of time to bore/drill a hole a several inches deep into the wood.  Carpenter Bees can cause severe damage to your home and property if left untreated. 

Life Cycle

The female will remove the wood in order to create a long gallery in preparation to deposit her eggs.  Over the course of several days of this deconstruction, the female will have created approximately six individual cells for each egg.  From that point on, the Carpenter Bee larva development will be completed in approximately fifteen days.  Thereafter, in approximately thirty-six days, the adult Carpenter Bees will emerge from the nests. 

Activity Season

In most cases, depending upon the severity of the winter, early in the spring is when Carpenter Bee activity will start to appear.  As Carpenter Bees start to emerge from overwintering, matting will occur.  Females will then begin the nesting process.  While the female prepares for nesting construction, the male Carpenter Bee is in close proximity to the nest/hole hovering around if needed to keep intruders away from the nests. 

If homeowner comes in the path of the nesting and/or nesting, the male Carpenter Bee may scare you because of their defensive behavior in protecting the nest.  Not to worry, the male Carpenter Bees don’t have a stinger so they are not a threat.

Carpenter Bee Control Services

In late fall months, Carpenter Bee activity may be visible again as Carpenter Bees start the process of cleaning out previously used nesting cavities that may have served as previously used overwintering spots.  Proper control measures are very important because Carpenter Bees have a tendency to migrate back to once inhabited nesting locations.  If untreated, reoccurring Carpenter Bee activity “damage” can cause serious damage to homes and buildings. It’s important to note that while the damage that a pair of Carpenter Bees can cause may be considered relatively slight, when several Carpenter Bees are present over a period of years, considerable damage can result.   

Once your home has a problem with Carpenter Bees, a control service needs to be implemented before your home, more specifically, your wood, is riddled with holes! Alliance Pest Services has several options that will remedy your Carpenter Bee Problem.  Alliance will eliminate your Carpenter Bees and get your holes sealed up today.

What do I want to know as a homeowner?

As a homeowner, early detection is important.  Keep an eye out if you see larger bees hovering around the exposed wood.  Specifically, look out for holes, signs of saw dust on the ground.  You will want to try to nip this problem early or there is a very good chance that year after year you may have the Carpenter Bee problem.  Which is left unattended over years, can lead to severe damage to your home and property.

New Jersey Carpenter Bee Prevention Services

Alliance Pest Services offers several additional services in an effort to prevent Carpenter Bee problems.

• Filling old Carpenter Bee holes;

• Paint or varnish exposed surfaces regularly to reduce weathering; and

• Wrapping the wood with vinyl flashing.

Call Alliance Pest Services today for all of your Carpenter Bee problems.