a carpenter bee on a tree

What are carpenter bees?

The carpenter bee is a large species of stinging insect, growing to between 1/2 and 1-1/2 inch in length and, as their name suggests, they build their nests in pieces of wood. Carpenter bees have round, robust bodies that are mostly black; males may have a white or yellow face. These pests have an abdomen that is void of hair, which helps to tell them apart from a bumblebee. Female carpenter bees are docile and have a stinger, while the aggressive males have no stinger.

three carpenter bees outside

Are carpenter bees dangerous?

The venom in the stinger of a female carpenter bee is strong enough to trigger an allergic response in some people. However, they are not aggressive, and stings typically only occur if you accidentally step on one or trap them in some way. Males are very aggressive, but are unable to cause physical harm to people.

The most dangerous aspect of a carpenter bee infestation is the structural damage they cause. The female creates a hole in a piece of wood that is about the diameter of her body. She then tunnels four to six inches into the wood to create individual nesting galleries where she lays her eggs. Many carpenter bees choose the same piece of wood or area to nest in, adding to the amount of damage they can cause. Carpenter bees return year after year to the same piece of wood, eventually creating tunnels that are more than ten inches long.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that woodpeckers love to feed on carpenter bee larvae. They will peck around its entry hole, causing even more damage to the wooden structure where the nest is located.

Why do I have a carpenter bee problem?

Carpenter bees have become a problem on your property because it is offering them a place to nest near sources of food. Trees, wooden structures, and the exterior of homes are places they create their nests. Carpenter bees feed on pollen and nectar, making almost any property with gardens and flowering vegetation a place they could call home.

Where will I find carpenter bees?

Carpenter bees build their nests in a variety of wooden structures, preferring unfinished pieces of softwood like cedar or pine. Fences, decks, porch steps, wooden play structures, and outdoor wood furniture are common nesting sites for carpenter bees. They also build nests in wood shingles, trim, or siding located on a home or other building.

How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

Getting rid of carpenter bees from your yard, home, or business is best left up to a professional. The experts here at Amco Pest Solutions will provide you with the year-round solutions needed to get rid of them and prevent their return. Whether you are looking to get rid of a current infestation or prevent future problems with pests, our family-owned and operated company is here to help.

Our professionals are committed to providing the pest control services needed to keep your home or business free of carpenter bees and other common pests. Reach out to Amco Pest Solutions today to learn more about our effective home pest control and commercial pest control solutions. Let's work together to protect your New Jersey, New York, or South Florida property from being taken over by carpenter bees!

How can I prevent carpenter bees in the future?

To make your property less attractive to carpenter bees, use the following easy-to-execute prevention tips:

  • Varnish, paint, or stain any wooden structures on your property.

  • Use hardwood instead of softwood to build structures on your property.

  • Place metal flashing on the end of deck boards or boards used to create play structures.

  • Remove fallen trees and tree stumps from your property.

  • Inspect your home's exterior. Fill in any holes you find in the wood trim, deck rails, shingles, or siding.

 

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