Carpenter Bee Identification
Carpenter bees look a lot like bumble bees. There are several differences that can help you identify carpenter bees.
- Carpenter bees do not have fuzzy abdomens, bumble bees do. Carpenter bees have a smooth black abdomen, almost metallic looking.
- Male carpenter bees do not have stingers. Female carpenter bees do have stingers but are fairly docile.
- Female carpenter bees will usually be found drilling or burrowing into wood. They make tunnels to deposit their eggs in.
- Carpenter bee males are easy to spot because they have a white spot on their face.
- Male carpenter bees gather pollen. If you disturb them or get too close they will become aggressive, but they can not sting. Only the female has a stinger.
Carpenter Bee Damage
Carpenter bee damage is usually only seen on just the surface. Soft unpainted wood is usually the first target of the female. Painted surfaces can help detour carpenter bee burrowing. They are especially attracted to cypress, pine, and cedar wood. The whole that you see is just the beginning of the destruction caused by carpenter bees. The female burrows straight into the wood then take a hard left or right. The hole can be from 6 to 8 inches deep. The main tunnel can branch off into several smaller ones shared by multiple bees.
Once the hole is burrowed the female creates chambers by depositing an egg then packing food supply in front of it. It will then seal it off & repeat the process. Usually there are 6 to 8 chambers created by each female carpenter bee. The larva will hatch from the egg and eat the food source provided in the chamber. The adult carpenter bee emerges approximately 3 months later in late summer. They will gather and feed on pollen and nectar, then return to the tunnels to spend the winter. Sometimes the very tunnels they emerged from. In spring they will emerge and start the cycle all over again. This is why people seem to think they return every spring to the same place. They aren’t actually returning they were already in the tunnels and are just emerging in spring.
Over time the tunnels will be added to and sometimes widened. Over several years the tunnels can reach lengths of 10 to 12 ft deep. The face of the wood can sometimes weaken and chip away exposing large hollow chambers. The damage over time can be devastating to the structure. Sometimes woodpeckers and other animals will peck or open up the wood to get at the carpenter bee larva, which make a great meal.
Signs of carpenter bees:
- Piles of sawdust outside perfectly round holes. Carpenter bees do not eat the wood, but they do tunnel or burrow in it.
- Listen for carpenter bees in the walls. Press your ear to the wall, you may hear the sound of scraping inside the wood.
- Watch for carpenter bees flying near wooden swings, playgrounds, decks, eaves of house and outbuildings.
- Fan shaped dark stains under holes in wood.
Carpenter Bee Treatment
Walker Pest Management has been protecting homes & businesses in South Carolinian, from carpenter bee damage, since 2001. Carpenter bees can be very difficult for homeowners to treat on their own. We offer Free Inspections with a quote for treatment. You can call (866)442-7378 for immediate help or book online by live chat at the bottom of the page or send us a contact request through the form.
We have the training, equipment, and experience to rid your home of carpenter bees affordably and efficiently. There is a reason Walker Pest Management is one of the fastest growing pest control services in South Carolina. Not only are we the best at what we do, we also provide the best customer experience you will ever see. Take a look around. Ask people about us. Read the reviews. Check us out on social media. You will see why Walker Pest Management is loved in this area.
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