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Spring is just around the corner! Flowers and trees will be blooming. Grass will turn green again and the insects will be waking up. Spring is a favorite time of year for most people. If you own a home or business it’s time to think about protecting that investment. Every spring the Carpenter Bee’s wake up and start foraging around shrubs, flowers and under eaves of buildings. Most people mistake them for Bumble Bee’s. Carpenter Bee’s, however do not have yellow stripes, they have dull white stripes on a black body. Carpenter Bees are interesting, in that they bore into wood to make their home. They are a nuisance and cause a lot of damage to any wood on your property. They will rarely sting but they will buzz around the yard diving at family members and pets. To protect your home you need to know a bit about their biology and habits.

Carpenter-Bee-Damage-150x150Carpenter Bee’s bore holes in wooden overhangs, decks, trees, fence posts and any other flat wood surface. They can get between gaps in siding and roofing. They drill a hole about 1/2 inch wide and usually about an inch or two deep then turn about 90 degrees. This is where the Carpenter Bee makes an egg chamber. The eggs are laid in this chamber and sometimes in sub-chambers that stem off the main chamber. Egg chambers can be two feet or more in length with many sub-chambers.

Female-Carpenter-Bee-150x150The female Carpenter Bee will usually guard the hole entering the nest. They will become aggressive if they feel threatened. After the nest is completed she will spend her days foraging for food. You will see them around Bradford Pears, Azaleas, Daffodils, Pansies and any other plant which provides pollen early in spring. Males will be buzzing about these same plants looking for a female partner who is interested in finding a mate. They are very curious and will buzz around anything moving. This will scare people into thinking they are being attacked. The male bee however does not have a stinger. The males face has a distinctive yellow dot and can be seen while he is flying. The females are only interest in collecting food. As stated before the female does have a stinger but her face is black, and this is why they are sometimes mistaken for bumble bees.

Male-Carpenter-Bee-150x150Besides the dive bombings and buzz-byes, a major problem is that the Carpenter Bees tend to return to the same location where they were born. They will use the same holes year after year but if another female has occupied the hole, other females will drill new nests. One nest can become 3 or 4 the next year. This can soon escalate into a serious problem and you could have hundreds of holes after a few seasons. With numerous nests, you will have lots of larva. Carpenter bee larva are large and nois9y. This noise attracts woodpeckers. Woodpecker damage can be extensive and costly. If you have damage from woodpeckers on your home or decks it is highly probable that you have some type of larval activity which is attracting them.

Carpenter Bee Control

We offer a Carpenter Bee Treatment that, if done early spring, can prevent the Carpenter Bees from returning to holes from previous years to lay more larva. You may still see them foraging about the yard but they will not bore very far into the wood once it has been treated. This treatment will work on log cabins, wood homes, vinyl siding and even decks. Treated properly they will eventually move from the area to find another structure that is safe for them to drill into and lay their larva. If you have a lot of holes in wood siding or eaves you may need to use some type of wood filler or putty to take away an easy nesting place for future Carpenter Bees. We can help with these services as well.

If you need help with Carpenter Bee Control please call our office at 866-442-7378.

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