What You Need to Know About Carpenter Bees

Oregon carpenter bees are frequently mistaken for bumblebees, and although they are highly unlikely to sting, they can do significant damage to exposed wooden structures on or near your home. The following information can help you determine if the bee hovering near your eaves is a carpenter bee or a bumblebee and what you can do to prevent damage to your home. 

How Are Carpenter Bees Different From Other Bees?

Carpenter bees may resemble bumblebees in shape and size, but there are a number of characteristics that are unique to this member of the bee family. Carpenter bees, unlike bumblebees, have smooth, shiny abdomens. They are not as social as other bees and tend to be seen alone.  Another bee often mistaken for a carpenter bee in Oregon is the orchard mason bee. These valued pollinators are somewhat smaller than honey bees, non-aggressive, and will not damage wood. They lay eggs and place pollen in crevices of a home’s exterior siding, plugging the holes with mud.

The female carpenter bee creates tunnels in soft unfinished wood in order to build a nest. These pencil-shaped galleries serve as nests for eggs and a place to store food or refuge from the elements. They typically extend up to 6 inches in length. The bees do not eat the wood, so you will see a small pile of sawdust that indicates a carpenter bee nest is nearby.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees and Prevent a Re-Infestation?

Carpenter bees typically go after untreated wood in areas such as window sills, rafters, porch ceilings, wooden shingles, railings, and eaves. To prevent carpenter bees from infiltrating areas such as these, the easiest thing to do is apply a coat of paint, varnish, or seal over any raw wood surfaces. You should also caulk any visible gaps or cracks in your home’s exterior. 

If you suspect a carpenter bee infestation, it is important to contact a professional exterminator, as these pests can cause significant damage to your home. At A-1 Exterminators, we are experts at dealing with all kinds of flying pests. If you think you may have a carpenter bee infestation, our trained technicians can properly identify the bees and recommend treatment. Contact us today to keep your home free of damage from wood burrowing pests.

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