Date Posted: June 20, 2017
Category: Bees & Wasp
Are you familiar with the carpenter bee? It's okay if you aren't. It is actually not a very well-known bee. In fact, the carpenter bee is often mistaken for a bumblebee. But it is definitely a bee you should get to know, if you've never heard of it. Carpenter bees can be destructive to a home. They are a particular danger to unfinished wood, and can do enough damage to your back porch, deck, and stairs to cause wood to snap or give way. This is because female carpenter bees have the ability to chew circular tunnels into wood. If enough tunnels are made, or old tunnels are expanded, this can lead to structural issues within the wood. And no homeowner needs that.
The first step in avoiding carpenter bee damage is to know whether or not you have carpenter bees. These bees are actually pretty easy to recognize. A carpenter bee has a large furry body, like the bumblebee, with one exception; its abdomen is hairless, black, and shiny. This is a distinction that can be seen from several feet away.
Another way you can tell if you have carpenter bees is to look for the circular holes they create. This will often be underneath structures. Most often, carpenter bees fly up and attach themselves to wood and chew upward. You may also see holes drilled into the rough ends of wood planks.
Okay. So how do you avoid carpenter bees?
If you do not have carpenter bees yet, there is something you can do to avoid getting them. As mentioned above, carpenter bees prefer unfinished wood. If you paint or stain all of the unfinished wood on your property, you will have fewer problems with carpenter bees. This isn't a perfect solution, but it can make a difference.
Carpenter bees are prone to chewing their way into the ends of wood planks. Apply metal flashing or wire screening to the ends of any deck boards that do not already have holes tunneled into them.
These bees prefer to create their tunnels in undisturbed places. So, sealing any gaps or cracks that allow carpenter bees to get inside the structures on your property will prevent them from establishing tunnels in hard-to-reach places. We recommend using a caulking gun to seal entry points until you're able to get these spots properly fixed.
If you already have carpenter bees, it is best to have a professional pest control technician take care of the problem, especially in spring and summer, after carpenter bees have established themselves. Do-it-yourself measures can cause more damage to your home, or cause illness when chemicals are improperly administered.
If you're in our extensive New England service area, let Big Blue Bug help you. Our team of educated and experienced pest professionals use the most advanced pest protocols to arrest a wide range of pest issues, including carpenter bee infestations. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.