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What Do Carpenter Bee Nests Look Like?

carpenter bee

You’ve probably heard of termites and the damage they do to the wood structures in and around homes. You’ve probably heard of carpenter ants and the similar damage they cause. But have you heard of carpenter bees? These bees may not have the same habits as termites or carpenter ants, but they can do costly damage, just the same. Learn more about carpenter bees and what their nests look like below.

Why Carpenter Bees are a Problem in the Spring and Summer in New England

Carpenter bees can’t survive our cold New England winters, which makes spring and summer the time of year when they are most active. While the hot days of summer are when they’re at their peak, they first become active, and you have your best opportunity to prevent them, in spring.

What Carpenter Bees Look Like and the Damage They Cause

Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees because of their partially fuzzy bodies. However, unlike bumble bees, carpenter bees have smooth, shiny black abdomens.

Like termites and carpenter ants, carpenter bees do damage to wood. They prefer soft, untreated wood and they’ll dig holes in the wood they find, up to half an inch in diameter. While they may not do the amount of damage to wood a termite or carpenter ant would do, they’ll dig new holes year after year, eventually causing a lot of damage.

What Carpenter Bee Nests Look Like

When you picture a bee’s nest, several things probably come to mind. You might think of the hexagon-shaped honeycomb of honey bees' nests. Or you might think of the papery egg-shaped nest of a hornet.

Carpenter bees don’t make either of these types of nests. Instead, they build their nests within the holes they create in wood. Once their nest is complete, they lay their eggs inside it, and then tend to the larvae that hatch.

Where to Find Carpenter Bees Nests

If you think you might have carpenter bees, or if you’ve seen them and know they’re around, it’s wise to do an inspection around the outside of your house to see if you can find their nests. As mentioned above, carpenter bees prefer wood that is soft and untreated. If you have a porch or deck made of soft wood that you haven’t painted or stained, you’ll want to check it for signs of carpenter bees nests. Wood fences may also be a location for carpenter bees nests.

While doing your inspection, check for small holes with sawdust below the holes. You may also see the bees themselves or yellow staining around the holes from feces.

What to Do if You Find Carpenter Bees

If you see signs of carpenter bees on your property, it’s best to call the professionals at Big Blue Bug Solutions. The female bees will sting if provoked, which can be dangerous for anyone with a bee allergy. The greater reason to call in professional pest control, however, is because if you don’t eliminate the entire carpenter bee population from your home, you’ll find yourself dealing with the problem again later.

Big Blue Bug Solutions has the expertise, knowledge, and experience to take care of your entire carpenter bee problem while also ensuring that it doesn’t return. Give us a call to learn more about our services.