Spotting Carpenter Bee Problems Around Your New Jersey Property

April 7, 2021

When we think of yard pests that damage our plants and exterior walls, people tend to picture termites or carpenter ants. But what about the bees that you might mistake for innocent and gentle bumblebees? Carpenter bees are just as dangerous as those other damaging pests, so property owners need to learn all they can about how to spot the signs and prevent infestations.

carpenter bee on the ground

How To Spot A Carpenter Bee

Carpenter bees look a lot like bumblebees, with furry yellow and black bodies and similar overall size. So how do you know if the bee in your yard is a harmless pollinator or hazardous invader? Unfortunately, the damage is often the first and only sign property owners receive with wood-boring pests, but you can look for these distinct traits:

  • Sheen: At first glance, carpenter bees look like fuzzy bumblebees, but careful inspection will reveal that they are not uniformly hairy like their fuzzy cousins. Carpenter bees have shiny black abdomens and heads.
  • Wings: Thanks to their generally smaller size, carpenter bees don’t need as large of wings, meaning theirs are thinner and more compact than that of bumblebees.
  • Behavior: Aside from the fact that no other bees bore through wood, carpenter bees tend to be more solitary than bumblebees or honeybees. They forage for nectar alone and don’t form exterior hives.

The Problems Of Carpenter Bees

Unlike termites, carpenter bees don’t eat the wood that they drill through. Instead, they bore into wood to make compact incubation chambers for their eggs. It’s this unique behavior that can make them tougher to spot and a lot more damaging than other bees. Unless there is a concern of a bee allergy, carpenter bees are far more dangerous to property than people. Here are the issues that can stem from carpenter bee damage:

  • Holes: Unlike subterranean termites, carpenter bees tend to bore straight into the wood from the outside, resulting in tiny, Swiss-cheese-like holes left on surface woods.
  • Warped wood: As the wood gets damaged, it buckles and bends due to the change in surface tension. This can result in bulging segments of wood paneling or even tight-fitting doors and windows.
  • Water damage: As holes are made in the wood's exterior, it becomes more porous and water can more easily soak through it. This eats through the wood and can cause serious structural damage.

Bee Prevention For Your Property

While all bees can be helpful pollinators, carpenter bees show you why it’s never a good thing to allow pest populations to grow out of control on your property. You’re unlikely to spot carpenter bees in time to avoid at least some damage, so it’s best to keep on top of prevention methods that keep bees from being attracted in the first place:

  • Landscaping: Keeping grasses, bushes and trees trimmed down will reduce the landing areas that bees use to rest and build their nests.
  • Yard planning: Not only do you need to keep a well-trimmed yard, you need to make sure you’ve laid it out to prevent larger pest problems. Flowering plants and encroaching woods that are right next to your exterior walls will provide easy targets for carpenter bees.
  • Water: Limiting sources of moisture is a good way to deter both carpenter bees as well as other pests. Maintain drainage and limit standing water. 
  • Maintenance: Consider using metal flashing and make sure to inspect and repair rooflines as necessary.
  • Treatments: The best prevention comes from regular inspections and seasonal treatments by professionals. Learn more today by contacting Amco Pest Solutions.

Contact Amco For Assistance

Pest populations can go from innocent to annoying to downright hazardous in a matter of days, which is why general pest control is important for everyone. With carpenter bees, especially, you might not even realize that they’re a larger threat until it’s too late to truly get them under control. That’s why the best course of action is to partner with professionals, who can help you keep on top of general yard maintenance and nip pest problems in the bud. At Amco Pest Solutions, our trained staff can provide you with more tips on how to spot and prevent the signs of carpenter bee damage. If they are already a problem, don’t waste any time before contacting us directly.

For true protection from destructive yard pests, trust Amco Pest Solutions.

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