russell's pest control blog
carpenter bee up close

If you're reading this in spring or early summer and you live in our Greater Knoxville service area, you should expect to see carpenter bees around your Tennessee property. This is the time of year when carpenter bees are most active. But, not every home is susceptible to carpenter bee damage. It is important to understand what attracts these bees if you want to protect your home from infestation and all the problems carpenter bees can cause.

Carpenter bees are drawn to flowers. Just like all bees, they feed on the nectar in flowers. But flowers are not why they establish themselves on our properties. These bees will come and go from a yard that has lots of flowers in it if they are unable to find a suitable location to create a nest.

What do carpenter bees consider to be a suitable site for nesting? These bees bore tunnels into dead wood. And, since we build our homes out of dead wood, they can become a victim of carpenter bee damage, especially as the wood of a home ages.

Some locations that get targeted are decks, patios, exterior stairs, fences, and other structures that can become dry and weathered. Those bees will target unpainted and untreated surfaces first so applying a coat of paint can help as a deterrent.

What to Do When Carpenter Bees Infest

If you already have a carpenter bee infestation, it is best to seek the aid of a licensed professional. Improper carpenter bee control can lead to worse damage and ongoing infestation. Why is DIY carpenter bee control so difficult? Here are a few big reasons:

  • Carpenter bees put an elbow in their tunnels. That makes it difficult to spray insecticides deep enough to get to the bees inside.
  • Carpenter bees expand tunnels year after year. While an initial tunnel created by a carpenter bee may only be about a foot in length, it can be lengthened as new bees come year after year to use old tunnels.
  • When a female carpenter bee is sealed in a tunnel, she will have to create a new tunnel to get out. So it is vital to make sure tunnels are vacant before sealing them.
  • When carpenter bees get into a gap in the exterior of a home, it can be extremely difficult to see the entry holes to their tunnels.

If you live in the Greater Knoxville area and you're dealing with carpenter bees, we're available to help. Our industry-leading pest control team knows how to track down and properly eliminate carpenter bees and other Tennessee pests. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.

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