Everything Norfolk Homeowners Need To Know About Carpenter Bees

April 15, 2020

There are lots of stinging insects that can buzz around in your Norfolk yard. Some of them are social insects that can swarm together and sting you multiple times. Some are solitary insects that rarely sting unless accidental contact is made. Carpenter bees fall into the latter category. But, before you get too excited about the fact that these bees are not likely to sting you, there are a few things you need to know.

a carpenter bee partly inside a wooden post

All Carpenter Bees Are Not Docile

Male carpenter bees (which are unable to sting) have a tendency to be aggressive. If you get near a nesting site, you're likely to have these bees come at you as though they're going to sting you. Since you're not going to easily be able to tell that they aren't females and that they can't sting you, this can be unsettling.

The Obvious Threat Carpenter Bees Present

Carpenter bees are considered wood-destroying organisms. This is the real threat they present when they come into your yard and get into the wood of your home. Female bees tunnel into wood and create chambers for their eggs. This can damage your property.

What You Need To Know About Carpenter Bee Damage

A female carpenter bee will only create a tunnel that is about seven inches long. That's not so bad, right? It can be if they come back and get into old tunnels and extend them. If you continue to have infestations every year, the damage will escalate. You'll also have newly hatched carpenter bees that can join the others in damaging your property.

Secondary Damage

Have you ever seen a woodpecker tapping its beak on a house? Have you wondered why? Usually, it is because the bird can sense that there is something to eat just under the surface of the wood. One tasty morsel that woodpeckers like to eat is carpenter bee larvae.

Carpenter Bee Detection

It is important to recognize the warning signs of a carpenter bee infestation. Here's what you need to look for:

  • Big, fuzzy bees hovering around in areas that don't have flowers: While carpenter bees will gather nectar from flowers like other bees, they'll also explore wooden structures and buzz around in voids underneath. Bumblebees and other bees are not likely to do this.

  • Bees that look like bumblebees but have a shiny black abdomen that appears to be hairless: Carpenter bees and bumblebees are the only two big, fuzzy bees you'll have visiting your Norfolk home.

  • Circular holes: The entrance holes created by carpenter bees are perfectly round. It will look as though someone drilled a hole in the wood with a power tool.

  • Random holes: As a carpenter bee tunnels through the wood, it sometimes accidentally breaches the walls of its tunnels. This can create damage that looks like morse code. When woodpeckers get involved, these holes can be even more prominent.

  • Sawdust: Carpenter bees push sawdusts out of their tunnels. You may find this sprinkled about underneath a tunnel entrance.

  • Chewing sounds: The most disturbing way you can discover that you have a carpenter bee infestation is to hear the female bees chewing on the wood of your property.

How To Protect Your Property From Carpenter Bees

There are a few things you can do to resist carpenter bees such as, painting wood, applying metal flashing on the ends of boards, and sealing possible entry points. However, if you want the best prevention (or you already have carpenter bees inside your home), we recommend professional carpenter bee control. If you live in Norfolk Virginia, we can help. Reach out to Hometown Pest Control for immediate assistance. 

Tags: carpenter bee identification | carpenter bees | carpenter bee control |

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