Black bees are a common sight around Raleigh in the summer. With their large, fat bodies and black markings, most people confuse them for bumblebees, but what you’re really seeing are carpenter bees. If you’d like to spend time outdoors without these large pests buzzing around and even ruining your wooden fencing, furniture, or playsets, our pest control company in Raleigh is sharing how to treat and prevent carpenter bees around your property.
Identifying Black Bees
First, let’s look at the difference between a carpenter bee and a bumblebee.
Carpenter bees are large, often an inch long and fairly fat. They are generally all black, though some may have yellow markings around their head, which is why they’re often mistaken for bumblebees. Unlike their fuzzy counterparts, carpenter bees only have a small amount of hair around their abdomen, and while you may not get close enough to see them, female carpenter bees have large jaws used to drill holes into wood.
Carpenter bees are fairly solitary and burrow into soft wood, including fence posts, porches, or old trees, rather than build nests. Over time, this can cause damage, especially when there are several bees that make their home near one another. Their tunnels can weaken the wood and cause structural problems. While male bees are territorial, they are unable to sting, instead of swarming and buzzing loudly to deter threats. Only females sting and this is generally only when threatened, but because it’s hard to tell the difference between a male and a female, it’s best to be cautious.
Bumblebees are fat, black and yellow striped bees with fuzzy bodies, and you’ll most likely see them clumsily bobbing around flowers and plants. They’re prolific pollinators and play a vital role in the ecosystem. Unlike black bees, these bees nest near the ground, often in old trees, piles of leaves, and holes in the ground.
Like carpenter bees, bumblebees can sting multiple times, but again, they’re not aggressive so the threat is not high, though it’s still important to take caution, especially if you have an allergy.
Treating and Preventing Carpenter Bees Around Your Home
Black bees are a nuisance, even if they aren’t particularly threatening, and if you have a lot of wooden structures around your home, they can cause damage. To safely treat your home to get rid of the bees and keep them from coming back, try these natural steps:
- Seal up any holes or cracks in wood. When bees look for places to burrow, they’ll look for pre-existing holes and crevices to start with.
- Repair any damage from old nests or burrows. With fall on the way, this is the perfect time to repair damage as the adults have died, and the larvae are still hibernating in the wood. Poke a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol down into the hole in the wood, then seal with wood putty.
- Use citrus scents to repel carpenter bees. Mix about 15-20 drops of lemon essential oil with 1/2 cup of water in a glass spray bottle, or boil citrus peels in water for several hours and pour the water in a spray bottle. Then, wooden structures around your home to keep bees away as the citrus scent is highly unpleasant and strong for them.
- Play loud music. Carpenter bees are sensitive to vibrations and loud noise, so if you’re enjoying the evening and want to keep carpenter bees away, be sure to keep Spotify handy.
Call Us for Wasp and Bee Control Around Raleigh
If you want an effective way to get rid of bees and keep them gone from around your home and property, we can help. Reach out to Stomp Pest Control to learn more about our pest control packages, wasp and bee control services, or schedule a time for a pest control technician to come out to your property for an inspection. Call us at (919) 231-3292 or fill out our form below to get started.
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