Painful stings are the first thing that comes to mind for many people when bees are brought up. Not all bees are out to hurt us, though—many species of bees are quite gentle and are too busy pollinating plants to bother us. One downside to their help beautifying our yards is that they have to make their home somewhere. Some bees nest in the ground or build hives in trees, but carpenter bees prefer to drill holes in the wooden structures of our houses. So, how can you tell if you have carpenter bees?
What Do Carpenter Bees Look Like?
Carpenter bees might be tricky to differentiate from honey bees and bumblebees at first, but with a little practice, you will be able to tell the difference. Here are three physical signs that the bees around your home are carpenter bees:
- Carpenter bees are larger than other bees. They can be anywhere from 1/2” to 1” long.
- Their abdomen is shiny and hairless, as opposed to the fuzzy bumblebee. It is also stark black, not yellow and black like a honey bee.
- You will often see them flying around up higher, around the roofing or awnings of your home. Bumblebees and honey bees are usually lower to the ground, closer to the flowers.
One tricky thing about identifying carpenter bees is that they are pollinators, too. They will also be found in your flower beds. It’s important to keep other indicators in mind.
What Do Carpenter Bees Do?
Instead of building hives with hundreds of bees, the more solitary carpenter bees prefer to bore holes into softwood. The female carpenter bee will lay her eggs in small pockets dug out in her tunnel and guard the area fiercely. In fact, the only time carpenter bees display aggressive behavior is when they believe that their young could be in danger.
Carpenter bees will create tunnels in any wood that they find suitable, so any wooden surface on the exterior of your home could be liable for carpenter bee tunneling. Their holes are very small, just big enough for the bee to get through, and almost look as precise as if they were drilled. Since the bees don’t actually eat the wood, you’ll likely find little piles of sawdust and pollen where carpenter bees have bored.
How Do You Get Rid of Carpenter Bees?
Luckily, carpenter bees don’t cause structural damage to homes very easily. If you let your carpenter bee population grow out of control, though, you might fear for the safety of your wooden structures. If you need your carpenter bees safely removed from your house, call your local pest control company. The bee removal experts at Russell’s Pest Control are trained to use the most humane and efficient methods available to remove bees, wasps, and hornets all around Knoxville TN. If you need stinging insects removed today, contact us for a free quote!