Carpenter Bees and Bumblebees: twins (almost..)
Carpenter Bees are often confused with bumble bees, as their appearances are remarkably similar. A professional, however, would be able to tell the two apart. If you are not a professional and are trying to determine whether a property has carpenter bees versus bumble bees, take a look at their abdomens. The carpenter bee’s abdomen is nearly hairless and shiny; a bumble bees’ abdomen is dense with hair.
5 Types of Cpr. Bees!
The United States hosts 5 varying species of carpenter bees. If you live in the Western regions, you are likely to see Valley Carpenter Bees, Horsefly-Like Carpenter Bees, and California Carpenter Bees. If you live in the Eastern regions, you will see Eastern Carpenter Bees and Southern Carpenter Bees.
Suspicions of an invasion… What are these bees doing on your porch, anyway?
Carpenter Bees, like carpenter ants, do not ingest wood that they chew through. They spit the wood out. I am sure you have seen a perfectly round hole on the underside of a wooden beam or deck railing, and wondered: 1. How is this circle so perfectly shaped, if it is from a bee? and/or 2. How did all of these perfectly round holes appear? It is highly likely that the holes are from the carpenter bees. The bees sometimes reuse the wood particles they chew through to build on their nests inside of the wooden burrow. The tunnels serve as nurseries and storage for the pollen/nectar that is collected.
Risks/Concerns to Consider
One of the biggest risks with hosting a carpenter bee invasion is woodpeckers. Woodpeckers love to feast on carpenter bees and especially their larvae. Woodpeckers can create substantial damage to wooden structures, far more than the carpenter bee. The bees offer a mild amount of damage their selves.
There are ways to eradicate and, better yet, prevent a carpenter bee issues…
-liquid or aerosol applications to burrow entry points.
-Plugging entrance holes to prevent tunneling, moisture intrusion, and wood decay.
-Wood surface treatments for either prevention of bees altogether or treatment for large infestations.
-Applying a layer of paint onto your wood also serves as a decent repellent but is not guaranteed.
-And lastly, carpenter bee traps.
Our companies, Fogle Termite and Pest Control and Triangle Home Services, Inc. offer all of the treatment options above, except for trapping.
Be sure to reach out today and ask for a free inspection/ estimate to ensure safety regarding your home and carpenter bees!
Erler, Emma (January 2, 2018). “Why is a woodpecker knocking on the cedar shingles of my house and how do I make it stop?”. NH Extension.
Potter, M. “Carpenter Bees”. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Department of Entomology. Retrieved 06/24/2020.
Robert A. Zabel; Jeffrey J. Morrell (2 December 2012). Wood Microbiology: Decay and Its Prevention. Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-323-13946-5.