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Carpenter Bee Season Is Here

Finally, warm weather is here. It’s time to get the pool going and fire up the grill.
Each spring, as the temperatures start getting warmer, carpenter bees become very active. You will find them around decks, cabins, out buildings, and other wood structures. You’ll also find the female buzzing about flowers and clover patches gathering pollen. Carpenter bees get their name because of the holes they bore in wood surfaces. They bore these 1/2 wide holes to create small tunnels to lay their larvae in. In these tunnels you will find individual chambers for each larvae and food left by the female.
Only female carpenter bees have stingers. Males will guard the nest while the female is drilling holes or collecting pollen. Males will put on an aggressive display and buzz by you trying to run you off but that’s about it. Without a stinger they can’t hurt you. The female must be provoked pretty bad to go after you and sting you. It’s easy to tell the difference between a male and female carpenter bee. Even when they are flying around all you have to look for is their face. The male has a white spot on it’s face while the female’s face is solid black. 

Carpenter bee damage

 Carpenter bee damage can be pretty severe. It may not look like it from the outside where you only see 1/2 inch diameter holes here and there. If you were able to see into the holes you would see they make a 90 degree turn and may extend for over a foot into the wood. Some of these tunnels may even branch off into many tunnels. This turns the wooden member brittle and looks like a piece of swiss cheese on the inside. To make matters worse, woodpeckers love to eat carpenter bee larvae. They peck and tear open the wood to get to these tunnels and the precious larvae snacks they crave. This compounds the damage as you now have more external damage instead of small holes here and there.

Treatment for carpenter bees

 If you know you have problems with carpenter bees year after year plan ahead. Have your wood surfaces treated early spring, before they have a chance to lay new larvae. Then have the tunnels dusted and sealed in the fall. This will help prevent any that may look to over winter and to stop those new bees from emerging next spring. 

If you need help with your carpenter bee problems give us a call. 866-442-7378. 

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