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Carpenter Bee Identification Guide

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What are carpenter bees?

If you see a large black bee hovering outside near your home, the deck, or other wooden structure on your property, you are most likely seeing a carpenter bee. Carpenter bees are solitary bees that prefer to build their nests within older or untreated wood. 
 
Adult carpenter bees grow between one half and an inch and a half in length. Carpenter bees have a round, robust body and are mostly black. The males have either a white or yellow face. The abdomen of a carpenter bee is shiny and hairless, which helps to distinguish them from bumblebees.

carpenter bee on the ground

Are carpenter bees dangerous?

Females carpenter bees have a stinger but are docile, and a sting is rare unless they are being threatened or directly handled. The males are quite aggressive, but luckily they lack the stinger needed to make them dangerous. It is always best to take care around any stinging insect as their venom is strong enough to cause a reaction in those allergic.
 
The structural damage carpenter bees cause is the biggest concern associated with these stinging insects. Female carpenter bees create a smooth hole the diameter of their own body into a piece of wood they wish to nest in. They then tunnel through the wood to create nesting galleries to lay their eggs.
 
Females create individual nests, but it is common for them to return to the same nesting sites year after year and for many females to choose the same wood or area to nest. 
 
Adding to the amount of damage these pests can cause is that woodpeckers love to feed on carpenter bee larvae. To gain access to the larvae, the woodpeckers use their beaks to make the entrance to the nest larger, causing even more structural damage.

Why do I have a carpenter bee problem?

Because they prefer weathered or untreated wood, carpenter bees will make themselves at home on any property that provides them with a suitable place to nest. In addition to a nesting site, these pests prefer to live on properties with easy access to food and water. They also like areas with lots of flowering vegetation where they can feed on plant nectar. 

Where will I find carpenter bees?

Carpenter bees are particular in where they build a nest; they like pieces of wood more than two inches thick, softwoods like pine or cedar, and wood that is weathered or untreated.

If you have a wooden structure on your property or home that carpenter bees can nest in, you are at risk of having a problem with carpenter bees on your property. Some of their most common nesting sites include:

  • Trees

  • Roof eaves

  • Rafters

  • Wooden trim or siding

  • Decks and outdoor furniture

  • Fences or play structures

How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

Trust TNT Home & Commercial Services to rid your Greater Houston area property of carpenter bees and stop them from returning. With over 20 years of experience in the pest control industry, we are proud to be a one-stop-shop for all your pest control needs!

Our focus is customer satisfaction and ensuring our customer’s safety. We will work closely with you to get rid of dangerous and damaging carpenter bees from your Texas property. If you would like to learn more about our solutions to control and eliminate carpenter bees, reach out to TNT Home & Commercial Services today. 

How can I prevent carpenter bees in the future?

More than an inconvenience, pests can be dangerous and cause a lot of damage. In addition to our professional pest control services, use the following tips to keep carpenter bees out of your yard and home:

  • Since carpenter bees prefer untreated wood to nest in, ensure the wood used on your home or to build structures on your property is painted, stained, or otherwise treated.

  • Inspect your home’s exterior and seal any spaces you find between wood trim and windows and doors.

  • If your home has wood shingles, use caulk to plug holes that develop in the shingles.

  • The ends of boards used to build decks, railings, or like items should have metal flashing on them.

  • Remove older, decaying wooden items from your property if they are no longer needed, such as wooden play structures, fences, or furniture. 

 

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