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.
Carpenter bees build their nests in burrows in almost any outside unpainted or unfinished wood. Sometimes you can’t see the holes; all you see is the ejection matter from their boring. They typically cause cosmetic damage instead of structural damage to wood. However, many generations of carpenter bees can cause considerable wood damage by enlarging existing galleries in wood. They sometimes create new tunnels near old tunnels. A complex system of tunnels can cause extensive damage to wood.
To prevent carpenter bee damage, keep all exposed wood services well painted with a polyurethane or oil-based paint. Paint everything, even the areas you can’t see including under banisters, railings and window seals. Apply two coats of a good exterior primer and follow up with at least one coat of finish.
Continually perform inspections of painted surfaces because the paint coating deteriorates due to weathering, leaving exposed wood for carpenter bees to attack. Also, seal existing gallery entrance holes to discourage carpenter bees who are looking for potential nesting locations. If you have a problem with carpenter bees let a NJ pest control company get rid of them for you.
If you choose to cover wooden components with aluminum do it correctly. You can’t leave any spaces where carpenter bees can find wood. They can squeeze through very small spaces.
Consider using pressure treated wood in outdoor projects, including playhouses and decks. Pressure treated wood does not require paint but you can paint pressure treated wood if you desire to. Pressure treated trim is available for windows and doors.
Carpenter bees cause extensive damage to redwood swing sets. Use pressure treated wood for swing sets. You can paint it if you want it to look like redwood.
With some effort, you can prevent carpenter bees from harming your outdoor wood.