The Buzz on Carpenter Bees

When many people think of bees, they think of bumblebees, beehives, painful stings, and honey. But there’s a lesser-known type of bee that people in New England should put on their radar: carpenter bees! While they won’t typically sting you, carpenter bees damage wood. An infestation in your home can lead to serious (and seriously expensive) damage! If you’re a homeowner in East Longmeadow, Hampden, or the surrounding areas, here’s what you need to know.

What are Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter bees, like carpenter ants, get their name from their habit of boring into wood. They look similar to bumble bees in appearance, but they lack yellow markings on their abdomens. Instead, carpenter bee abdomens are smooth and shiny, whereas bumble bees’ have hairy, yellow abdomens. Male carpenter bees aren’t equipped with stingers, and female carpenter bees normally won’t sting unless directly threatened.

Carpenter Bees Damage Wood

Watch out homeowners, termites and carpenter ants aren’t the only wood-destroying insects. Carpenter bees do not eat wood, but they cause damage to structures by drilling ½ inch circular holes to create tunnels inside wood. Nobody wants carpenter bees to damage the structural integrity of their home, so it’s important to learn the signs of an infestation.

Signs of a Carpenter Bee Infestation

The most common signs of a carpenter bee infestation are the ½ inch round, smooth holes that carpenter bees bore into wood. To identify early damage to buildings, homeowners should regularly inspect the perimeter of the home and surrounding property for the presence of these holes and hovering bees.

How to Deter a Carpenter Bee Infestation

Because carpenter bees prefer bare wood, painting and staining wood can sometimes help deter them. However, they will occasionally attack stained or painted wood. With the extent to which carpenter bees damage wood, it’s crucial to get ahead of an infestation.

If you suspect you may have a carpenter bee infestation and want to call in the pros, feel free to give Graduate Pest Solutions a buzz.

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