5 Things Homeowners Need To Know About Carpenter Bees

There are many types of bees that homeowners need to worry about. While some of them only ruin picnics and other outdoor gatherings, others can ruin your house. Here's what you need to know about a bee that falls into the latter category, the carpenter bee.

What do they look like?

Carpenter bees look very similar to bumblebees. They have the same fat, furry bodies, but the difference is that carpenter bees often don't have yellow stripes. They can be anywhere between 1/4 and 1 inch long. 

Where do they live?

Carpenter bees are found throughout the United States. They make their homes in soft wood, but unlike termites, they don't eat the wood. They just dig tunnels in the wood so that they have somewhere to live. They aren't picky about the wood they live in, so you may see them living in a dead tree in your backyard, in your deck, or in the side of your house. 

What are the signs of an infestation?

A carpenter bee infestation is fairly easy to spot as long as you know what you're looking for. Inspect the exterior of your home for small, round holes in the wood. Carpenter bee holes tend to be perfectly formed and look like they were made with a drill. You will also see sawdust around the hole or on the ground beneath the hole; this is because the bees push the wood out of the hole as they dig their tunnels. Carpenter bees are solitary insects, so if you see a lot of holes in your wood, you need to assume that you have a lot of bees, too. 

How much damage can they cause?

Carpenter bees have the potential to do a lot of damage to your home, but that's only a concern if there are a lot of bees making tunnels in your wood and you have allowed them to live there for years. If you pay attention to the signs of carpenter bee infestations and take steps to get rid of them right away, your house should be fine. 

How do you get rid of them?

There are a few things you can do to get rid of carpenter bees. First, spray insecticide into the holes that you find. This will kill the bees that are living inside. A day or two after the insecticide treatment, you need to fill the holes to keep other bees from taking over the tunnels. You should also consider painting the exterior of your home to discourage bees from wanting to tunnel into it. 

Carpenter bees can cause a lot of damage to your home, but only if you let them. If you think you have a carpenter bee problem, take action right away by calling a local bee removal professional (such as ASAP Bee Removal).