Every bee species loves flowers. So, why should I be worrying about bees damaging my home? If you are nodding your head in approval to this question, then let’s introduce you to carpenter bees who create their nests in wood. They can create round holes in your railing, deck, or wooden furniture. And, if they decided to go for the wood in your home, you may find yourself dealing with some damaging aftermaths.
For starters, let’s learn more about carpenter bees to understand the damage they can cause. Let’s go!
What are carpenter bees?
Carpenter bees are named so because they drill and bore into wood and create perfectly symmetrical and tubular holes with the help of their strong sharp teeth. They exhibit a large, shiny, black, and yellow body. Suspect a carpenter bee infestation if you notice them flying around your home in search of wood. Some characteristics and behavior traits of carpenter bees are listed below:
- Carpenter bees love wood and prefer clean, untreated, and unpainted wood such as decks, fences, porches, sheds, outbuildings, outside steps, and other external structures are their first choice.
- Carpenter bees do not feast on wood like termites but simply drill through the wood and create tunnels to build nests and lay eggs. If you see sawdust near the opening of the holes, suspect the presence of carpenter bees.
- Carpenter bees create tunnel upwards into the wood, which is about a foot or two in length. However, they mostly prefer to use existing tunnels and expand on them, which causes more damage.
- Carpenter bees look more like bumblebees. However, the most striking difference is their hairless and shiny bellies.
- While male carpenter bees do not have stingers, females have stingers, but they only sting when they feel threatened.
Carpenter Bee Damage
Carpenter bees don’t damage a structure as carpenter ants or termites do. However, if the infestation is severe, the number of tunnels they create will lead to an increasing number of problems, such as:
- Structural Damage: When carpenter bees bore their tunnels into support beams, it can weaken the beams, and cause the structure to warp and collapse if left untreated. Even though it requires a serious infestation and a lot of tunnels to compromise a structure but if the carpenter bees have been using and reusing the same structure for a long time, they can weaken the wood, causing dangerous structural damage to your home. This damage often looks like dots, dashes, or trenches.
- Water Damage: A large infestation creates several holes throughout a wooden structure, which makes it easier for water to get inside, and when moisture fills in the tunnels, it can rot the wood in no time. The problem may get worse if the tunnels are located in your home’s siding as it protects the structure.
- Woodpeckers: Insect-eating birds that search for their next meal, such as woodpeckers, often get attracted to the larvae and pupae of carpenter bees that are found inside of tunnels. Woodpeckers will, therefore, create more holes in the already spoiled wood, causing more damage to the structure, which makes it weaker and potentially dangerous.
- Other Physical Damage: When carpenter bees tunnel up into a railing on a balcony or porch, it loses integrity and gives way, which may cause human injury. Moreover, the feces of carpenter bees can cause wood to stain.
To conclude, carpenter bees mean trouble and need treatment! If you notice visible holes, it is a strong indicator that is a presence of either carpenter bees, termites, or carpenter ants that cause damage. The more access points in your places, such as soffits and wood siding, the more harmful pests your house attracts. If you suspect a carpenter bee infestation, hire professional pest control services and get rid of them immediately before it is too late.