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How Bad Is It To Have Carpenter Bees Around My Portland Home?

carpenter bee burrowing into wood

The sight of a bee on your backyard flowers is a cherished sign of spring, but these bumbling creatures are much less welcome than their honey-making friends. Unlike beneficial honeybees, carpenter bees are physically destructive insects in the bee family. At a rounded 1 inch at full maturity, carpenter bees are identified by their fuzzy yellow thoraxes and shiny black abdomens.

Many types of stinging insects boast similar physiological makeups to one another, but there are some tried-and-true methods of distinguishing carpenter bees from their lookalike cousins.

  • Female carpenter bees are capable of stinging, but rarely do so. In fact, they are much more likely to buzz over your head as a warning rather than do any physical harm. In contrast, stinging insects such as wasps or hornets can and will act aggressively when invaders draw near to their nesting sites. 
  • Honeybees only sting once before dying. Carpenter bees can sting multiple times in a row. 
  • Carpenter bees choose to live their lives alone and do not build colonies or nests like other species of stinging insects. 
  • Bumblebees have small hairs all over their bodies. Wasps and hornets have no hair at all. Carpenter bees have a small amount of fuzz around their heads and thoraxes, but have a hairless (black) abdomen.

Carpenter bees are indeed a rare variety of ‘gentle giant’ in the stinging-insect world. However, these insects still create problems for homeowners all over the state.

The Pros And Cons Of Carpenter Bee Activity In The Yard

Carpenter bees are beneficial insects, but the damage they cause near homes sometimes outweigh their advantages.

Pros Of Carpenter Bees

  • Carpenter bees are excellent pollinators. They help thousands of plant species grow and thrive each year. This vital service is irreplaceable in the natural world.
  • As opposed to other types of stinging and pollinating insects, carpenter bees rarely sting at all. Only females are equipped to do so, with males being harmless.
  • Carpenter bees provide important food sources for native fauna, especially through their excesses of larvae during the spring.

Cons Of Carpenter Bees

  • Carpenter bees damage the wood surrounding yards, patios, and homes. The bees return to the same place year after year, weakening the structures they infest, more and more.
  • Unless action is taken to reduce the activity of these insects, wooden structures will become dangerously eroded and worn away.
  • Aggressive behavior and the threat of stings may keep homeowners from enjoying their outdoor lives to the fullest.

There are several ways to tell if you have a carpenter bee problem around the house, including checking for burrows or wood tunnels or tracking the number of bees active in the lawn. For a full home inspection that specializes in tracking carpenter bee infestations, reach out to Big Blue Bug Solutions.

Cap Infestation Populations With The Professionals At Big Blue Bug Solution

Dealing with carpenter bees is no easy task, but full-blown infestations may overwhelm even the most battle-hardened pest veteran. For more carpenter bee prevention tips and expert pest control advice, contact the professionals at Big Blue Bug Solutions as soon as possible.

Interested in what we can do to remove bees, wasps, hornets, and other stinging insects from your property? Reach out to our knowledgeable experts by phone or online to get started with a pest control plan that’s right for you. For more than 80 years and counting, Big Blue Bug Solutions has been dedicated to protecting Portland homes and commercial properties from carpenter bees and other pests.