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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?

There are many signs that you may notice if carpenter bees are present on your property including:

  • Holes that are about ½ of an inch in diameter in wood that is unfinished, weathered or bare.

  • Piles of saw dust underneath the holes.

  • Males are aggressive and will protect their nest so you will see them flying around the holes.

  • There may be yellow staining from their fecal matter underneath the hole.

Why do I have a Carpenter Bee problem?

Carpenter bees are attracted to unpainted, unstained, weathered softwoods; if this type of wood is used in structures on your property carpenter bees may be drawn to it for nesting.

How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

Because carpenter bees have the potential to sting and cause an allergic reaction they should only be handled by pest control professionals.  Experienced pest control technicians will also be able to find and treat every hole they have created, preventing a re-infestation from occurring.  Big Blue Bug Solutions has been providing effective home pest control and commercial pest control solutions for over 75 years. Contact us today for more information about carpenter bee control in Providence, Shrewsbury, Worcester and throughout New England.

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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