As a homeowner, it’s important to understand the potentially risky pests and infestations that may damage your home or harm your family. While they get less attention than mice or termites, carpenter bees are a real potential risk to the structural integrity of your home.
Kansas City is home to the eastern carpenter bee: a large bee similar in appearance to bumble bees, but with a black, shiny abdomen. Because of their solitary nature and their habit of building nests burrowed within the exterior wood of houses, carpenter bees making themselves at home can be harder to notice than honey bee colonies or wasp nests.
Here’s everything you need to know about this unique breed of bee, so you can be aware of the potential pest.
Are Carpenter Bees Bad For Your House?
Although they may not be as destructive as termites, carpenter bees can still do significant damage to your home if left unchecked. These wood-loving bees will burrow holes in the wood of your home and carve extensive tunnels throughout, ultimately damaging the structural integrity of your home.
Despite the risk to your home, carpenter bees are no more dangerous to you than a typical honey bee or bumblebee. They even eat nectar, not wood, just like other bees. That said, just like any other destructive pest, you still don’t want them as roommates!
How to Tell If You Have Carpenter Bees
Recognizing carpenter bees simply by sight isn’t easy, since they look so similar to their fellow bee species. If you see a bee buzzing loudly around the exterior of your home, chances are it may be a carpenter bee. Pay attention to where they’re hovering and see if there are any holes in the exterior of your home near their location.
You can tell if carpenter bees are up to no good by looking for their telltale damage. Carpenter bees carve out small, perfectly round holes in the exterior wood of your home, usually about one inch deep. You may also notice sawdust on the ground near these holes, as carpenter bees chew up the wood and then push the sawdust out behind them.
If carpenter bees have been allowed the time to bore deeply into the wood of your home, you may be able to hear them chewing the wood or buzzing within the walls. If you can hear buzzing in your home, you need to call pest control immediately!
How to Prevent Carpenter Bees from Moving In
The best way to prevent carpenter bees from making themselves at home in your walls really comes down to home maintenance. Painting or treating any exposed wood on your home’s exterior will make the surfaces less appealing to carpenter bees. In addition, regularly check your exterior siding for any cracks or holes, which can be easy starting points for carpenter bees to burrow.
If you’re planning to build a new home or update your home’s siding, consider building with more durable materials that will be less attractive to carpenter bees, like vinyl siding, for example.
Carpenter bees drink nectar from flowers, just like any other bee. This means they’re likely to be attracted to the flowers around your home. If you’re planning on planting flowers, be sure they’re not placed directly beside exposed, untreated wood.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees
Once carpenter bees have officially moved in, getting rid of them becomes much more difficult. They’re quick in their destructive work: It only takes carpenter bees a week to drill a one-inch deep hole into your home’s structure, and once they’ve burrowed, they can create a network of tunnels several feet long throughout your home if left to their own devices. For this reason, it’s important to contact pest control to get rid of them before the damage becomes too deep!
DIY Removal: Why You Shouldn’t Use Bee Repellent
You may find DIY recipes and carpenter bee repellent sprays online, but these aren’t a guaranteed success. Insecticide homemade bee repellents offer no guarantee, and these methods are unlikely to permanently remove the pests from your home. If the carpenter bees have burrowed deep enough, it will be difficult for any repellants to permeate deep enough to take effect and terminate the nest permanently.
Trying to remove the bees yourself will also draw a nest of agitated carpenter bees out of your home temporarily. Female carpenter bees can sting more than once, and will do so if they feel threatened. So not only is bee removal ineffective in the long term — it’s also very dangerous! When it comes to an active carpenter bee infestation in your home, the best solution is to call a professional!
Bring in the Professionals
If you live in Kansas or Missouri within one of our service areas, Advantage Pest Control is ready to help with all your pest control needs!
Your friends at Advantage are licensed, insured, certified experts with extensive experience and can guarantee a thorough removal of the carpenter bee infestation from your home. You won’t need to worry about dealing with a partially-done job that lets the bees make a comeback. Let us come and give your home a thorough carpenter bee cleanout!
As a family-owned business, we care about maximizing the safety of your household. This is why we are constantly researching the newest pest control and lawn products and techniques to bring you unparalleled expertise.
If you don’t currently have a problem but would like to avoid potential future infestations, call us for a preventative inspection! As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The safety of your family and the integrity of your home is our top priority. Don’t wait, contact us today for a free estimate.