Bees are bees right? Wrong. Several people have a classic fear of the little, yellow honey bees, that pack a little punch when they sting you, but few know that not all bees, sting. Carpenter bees are named for the habitats that they live, excavating holes in wood to lay eggs and raise their young. And yes, the worst part about carpenter bees is more their bark and not their bite.

Carpenter bees are less inclined to sting than other bees and wasps, but the damage they can do to the wood in your home or building is far worse.

Continue reading to learn more about these interesting little pests, including where they came from and how to get rid of them.

What are carpenter bees?

Carpenter bees are a type of bee, but unlike the hairy, black and yellow striped bodies of honey bees, carpenter bees usually have a shiny, black, hairless abdomen. They also nest differently and do not live in colonies or honeycombs. Carpenter bees are dormant during the winter, where they live in previously made brood tunnels or holes. Not all bees will survive the winter, but those that do, mate in the spring and the females lay their eggs in holes bore into wood. You will notice a small hole approximately the size of your finger, and often sawdust will be present at the opening.

Inside the intricate tunnel will be five to six cells in which the female uses pollen to surround the eggs. Although these holes are only used once for this purpose, carpenter bees may return to the same piece of wood, making new holes or enlarging old ones, year after year. This is both a cosmetic problem and one that can cause damage due to moisture and rot. Carpenter bee damage is no termite damage, but if you suspect carpenter bees, you should seek a professional exterminator as soon as possible.

Do carpenter bees bite?

We’re not sure that any bees actually bite, but one thing is for sure, bees have stingers. Except the male carpenter bees. Not equipped with a stinger, male carpenter bees are large, black, and have a long and loud buzz. This alone, combined with their darting and swooping motion is enough to ward off predators (including you).

Female carpenter bees on the other hand, do have a stinger, although it is rare to get stung by a female carpenter bee. Chances are, you will only get stung if you purposely provoking them or in their burrows. In the case of getting stung, if the pain is unbearable, you may take over the counter pain medication.

What attracts carpenter bees?

So where do these unique pests come from? Unfinished or weathered wood especially attracts carpenter bees. They do not eat the wood, but they do make holes for their nests. Common places to find bees in the home are in the eaves, as well as the decks, siding, fascia boards or porches. Once again, just because these bees only use the holes in the winter, they may continue to use the same holes, wood, and nests year after year, which could lead to a serious problem.

How to get rid of carpenter bees

There’s only one solution: the perfect pest control. If you suspect carpenter bees, the first step is that a technician will come out and accurately identify whether you have carpenter bees. Once the problem has been determined, your home’s future is in the hands of their pest control management plan.

If you live in Southeastern MI, Hi-tech Pest Control in Troy can help. We have been successfully eradicating all types of pests such as carpenter bees, ants, rodents, bed bugs and more for over 30 years. Don’t let a pest infestation take over your home or business. Call us today for a free inspection!

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