Carpenter bees that have overwintered as adults will get busy when spring arrives. They will hover around your home looking for a mate or place to build their nests. The males are aggressive, but harmless as they lack a stinger. The females do have stingers and can inflict a painful sting. Luckily, they only do so when they are handled.
Carpenter Bee Identification
Carpenter bees are large bees with bodies that measure ½ to 1 inch. They are mostly black, but some can be green or purplish in color. The male has a yellow face with a white dot on their heads and the females face is black. Carpenter bees look like bumble bees. The difference is that carpenter bees have abdomens that are shiny and bare whereas bumblebees have hairy abdomens along with yellow markings. Even though they look like bumble bees, they have different nesting habits. Carpenter bees will build nests in the ground and carpenter bees will build nests in wood by creating tunnels. Ideal woods are ones that are unpainted and bare and softwoods that include cedar, redwood, pine and cypress. They will build nests in painted wood but it’s less common. Their nests will be built around eaves, window trim, siding, fascia boards, outdoor decks and furniture.
Do Carpenter Bees Eat or Nest in Wood?
Carpenter bees don’t eat the wood, they only excavate it to construct their tunnels. They feed on plant pollen and nectar. Signs of carpenter bees will be entrance holes on wood that will be about the diameter of your finger with coarse sawdust under the entry hole. The sawdust will look like the color of fresh cut wood. You may also notice a yellowish combination of pollen and bee feces near the nest entrances.
How to Prevent Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees like wood that is bare, unpainted or weathered. The best thing to do is paint any wood that is bare and pay special attention to areas that have been attacked in the past. Painting is more effective than staining but staining will give you some protection. Another way to prevent these bees from nesting is to keep doors closed when they become active.
Carpenter Bee Control & More in Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville, Cedar Park & Austin Texas
If you don’t take care of a carpenter bee problem, they will continue to use and expand the same tunnels or find new ones. This can go on year after year and can cause considerable damage. Contact professionals to perform a thorough inspection to accurately identify the bees you’re dealing with and locate any damage. Professionals will look for weathered wood that be susceptible to future damage. Call A-Tex Pest Management for all you pest control needs!