Carpenter bees can be a problem for New York and New Jersey home and business owners in early spring and summer, particularly if these wood-destroying bees nest near entry doors, garages or backyard decks where people gather and children play. The dive bombing behavior of aggressive male carpenter bees can terrorize children, pets and business customers who come too close to nesting sites.
Unlike honey bees which live in large social colonies, carpenter bees are solitary bees that live in mated pairs. They chew long nesting tunnels into unpainted or weathered woods where they lay their eggs and overwinter. They have a preference for the soft woods typically used to build and shingle homes, such as redwood, cedar, cypress and pine.
Carpenter bees tend to remain in one location throughout their lives, overwintering in nesting tunnels. Multiple pairs frequently colonize the same site and can cause significant damage to wooden porch roofs and eaves, cedar siding, picnic tables and backyard play sets over time. Their presence is distinguished by the perfectly round entry holes these bees drill into wood as they begin each tunnel. Sawdust-like remains of chewed wood under entry holes is another telltale size of a carpenter bee problem.
While only the female bees sting, aggressively attacking males make carpenter bee extermination a job for experienced New Jersey pest control professionals.