If you own a home that is made out of wood, which covers about 99.9% of us, then you’ve probably seen big bees flying around your property. This is the season for Carpenter Bees.
Carpenter bees resemble large bumble bees but have very different nesting behavior. They like the wood on your property.
- They bore long tunnels, at a sharp angle from entrance hole, into wood and divide these tunnels into cells where individual larvae will develop.
- This bee is black in color and marked with areas of yellow hair, but the dorsal sides of the abdominal segments have no areas of yellow hair. (see pictures below)
- They do not sting. If bothered, they hover in one spot and will have a staring contest with you. If you bother them enough, they’ll fly around you for a bit, then fly away.
- Many types of wood are selected for nesting, but softer woods are preferred. Unpainted or well-weathered wood is much more susceptible to attack than hardwood or well-painted timbers.
While we cannot prevent them from flying to your home (we’d have to change the laws of nature), we can treat the holes they make. Let us treat these areas before you do any of your own control methods.
Once we treat the wood, here’s what you can do:
- If you see them, feel free to use the nearest sandal or tennis racket to take them out. (my preferred technique is sandal)
- When you run out of energy from the first suggestion, seal up the holes with caulk. (only do this after we have treated)
- Carpenter Bees do not like painted wood, so paint your wood a nice pretty color. A lot of railings are not painted on the bottom side, so this can be your next summer project.