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What Every South Portland Resident Should Know About Carpenter Bees

carpenter bee up close

It’s a beautiful time of year in South Portland…the warm weather has finally arrived, the birds are out and the flowers are in full bloom. It’s also that time of year when you’ll notice more insects flying around your yard. An insect that is particularly common for this time of year is bees. Many homeowners might just assume that the bee buzzing around is a bumble bee, however, this isn’t always the case. The other option is a carpenter bee.

Carpenter bees are easily mistaken for bumblebees. The big difference between the two is that carpenter bees do not have a hairy abdomen but rather their belly is black and shiny. They are large and can grow in length from 1/2 an inch to 1 1/2 inches. They are troublesome for homeowners because they make holes in bare, unpainted softwoods to lay their eggs and create nests within. Unlike termites, they don’t eat the wood. If you have a carpenter bee problem you’ll notice holes that are 1/2 of an inch in diameter in wood that is unfinished, weathered or completely bare. There will be piles of sawdust underneath the holes as well as yellow staining from their fecal matter. The male carpenter bee is aggressive (but doesn’t have a stinger) and is usually flying around the holes. The female bee does have a stinger but will only sting if directly handled. If you are stung there is a possibility of a mild to severe allergic reaction from the venom and medical attention may be needed.

If you want to avoid carpenter bees your best option is to make sure all of the wood on your property i.e. decks, porches, or sheds, is treated, painted, or stained. You should also build any structures out of hardwood as opposed to soft. The problem with carpenter bees is that they will often come back to the same place year after to year. Each time they come back the more holes and tunnels they make, weakening the structure of your home. That is why it’s important for homeowners to use prevention techniques every year, not just as a one-time solution. 

Big Blue Bug Solutions offers residents of South Portland year-round pest control plans that provide three service visits a year and includes coverage of carpenter bees. Our experienced pest control technicians will be able to find and treat every hole that carpenter bees have created and will prevent future infestations. If you want to stop worrying about these bees buzzing around your head, contact Big Blue Bug Solutions today!