Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are usually a nuisance at the end of Winter and
beginning of Spring down here along the Gulf Coast. They look very similar to a bumblebee, except the carpenter bee’s abdomen will be shiny and black, whereas a bumblebee’s abdomen will be black, but it has hair follicles on it. They usually do not sting unless you really, really annoy them, because their mind is set to bore through woods. She doesn’t eat the wood, but she’ll bore through it to lay her eggs. We usually treat the openings of those holes when we do a treatment. We also spray the surface of the wood to protect it.
Location
Florida, Mississippi, Alabama
Peak Weather
Full Time
Predatory
High

How Can I Tell If I Have Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter bees are usually a nuisance at the end of winter, the beginning of spring, down here, along the Gulf coast.

They look very similar to a bumblebee, except the carpenter bees rear end will be shiny and black, whereas a bumblebee will be black, but it has hair follicles on it. So the way you can tell whether or not you may have these, is that they will drill pretty much a perfect, half inch diameter hole into wood, and it’s the female. And she would go in there, into the wood and make a 90 degree turn either to the left or to the right, and she would begin laying her eggs.

Are Carpenter Bees Dangerous Or Just A Nuisance?

They usually do not sting unless you really, really annoy them, because the female’s mind is set to bore through woods. She doesn’t eat the wood, but she’ll bore through it to lay her eggs.

If a woodpecker were to come along and realize that there are eggs in that wood, then the woodpecker is the one that really does the damage, because he’s simply going to go through the wood with his beak and consume the eggs. Instead of having one hole, you could have a myriad of holes.

Can I Treat For Carpenter Bees Myself?

As far as a treatment or a do it yourself method, we have seen carpenter bee traps that people have around their homes. They usually get them from a local co-op. The traps seem to be pretty effective.

If you put a lot of lacquer or several coats of stain on exposed wood, this can help mitigate when the bees come back in the Spring. Unfortunately, most of the time we get called after the damage has already been done, and there isn’t really a whole lot that can be done to keep them from coming back the following year.

How Does Your Treatment Plan Protect Against Carpenter Bees?

We usually treat the openings when we do a treatment. And then we do a surface spray to the wood to protect it. As far as we know, there is nothing out there that is 100% guaranteed to completely prevent carpenter bees.

We recommend homeowners hang up the carpenter bee traps found at the local hardware store or co-op.

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