The perfectly round holes in the wood just under my neighbor’s gutter were a dead giveaway. I didn’t even have to look for the telltale signs of “sawdust.” Of course, the appearance of the impossibly fat, round “bumblebee” emerging from the hole did confirm my suspicions. My neighbor has carpenter bees.
Looking just like big, fat yellow and black bumblebees, carpenter bees start to hover around homes in late-spring to early summer in search of mates and nesting sites. If you look closely, you’ll see that unlike their nectar-seeking cousins, carpenter bees have a bare, shiny, black upper abdomen whereas bumblebees have a hairy abdomen with some yellow markings. Unseasonably warm weather is bringing carpenter bees out early in many areas.
Tunneling deep into wood eaves, fascia, siding and decks to lay their eggs, carpenter bees can do extensive damage to your home. Like a precision drill, they leave perfectly round holes as they excavate deep into the wood to build their nests. Their tunneling carves long, deep grooves into the wood, destroying it and allowing water to enter and eventually rot the wood. They are a serious pest, not easily discouraged, and difficult to get rid of. Their deep tunnels are not easily penetrated by your average can of Raid and their aggressive nature makes most homeowners unwilling to get within shooting distance.
Females will return to reuse old tunnels year after year, continuing their earlier excavations and further damaging your home. One female attracts another which can lead to rather extensive damage in just a short time. Creating enough ruckus to make the area uninhabitable for the unlucky homeowner, the aggressive males hover around the tunnel entrance while the female lays eggs and tends the nest. Complicating the problem is fact that woodpeckers consider carpenter bees a tasty snack and can do significant damage to your home chiseling at the wood to get to their treat.
Carpenter bees are not a wait and see, maybe they’ll go away problem. Once they start to tunnel, they’ll be back each spring to further damage your home unless the nests are destroyed and the tunnels sealed off. If you suspect you have a carpenter bee problem, call the expert pest control experts at Stern Environmental Group. Click the post title to learn more about carpenter bees and other insect pests. Visit our website to learn more about our complete pest control and pest management services. You’ll sleep better tonight when you get “Stern” with your pests.