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Bees & Wasps (Carpenter Bees)

What is a carpenter bee?

Carpenter bees are a solitary bee species that are found in Rhode Island and other parts of the Northeast.  They bore holes in bare, unpainted softwoods to lay their eggs in and nest in over the winter months.  Unlike termites, they do not eat the wood.

What do they look like?

They are a large species of bee, that can grow in length from ½ an inch to 1 ½ inches in length.  They are often mistaken for bumble bees, but do not have a hairy abdomen.  Their belly is black and shiny.  Females do have a stinger, while males do not.

Do carpenter bees bite?

Carpenter bees do not bite.  The female does have a stinger but will only sting if directly handled; the female is not generally aggressive.

Are carpenter bees dangerous?

Because they can sting there is a possibility that a person could have a mild or severe allergic reaction from their venom.  Medical attention may be necessary if stung by a carpenter bee.  The problem with carpenter bees is that they will often come back to the same place year after year to nest and can create enough holes and tunnels to weaken the structure of your home.

What are the signs of a carpenter bee infestation?

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Carpenter bee prevention tips from Big Blue Bug Solutions

Since carpenter bees do not like creating holes in treated wood, painting or staining your decks, porch or shed is a good way to prevent them.  Also building your structure out of hard wood instead of softwood is a good way to deter them from using your property as a nesting spot.  For more information on carpenter bee prevention tips and control, please contact Big Blue Bug Solutions today. 

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