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Carpenter bees are black and yellow in color, often lacking stripes. They have an oval “stocky” appearance and are fuzzy except for their smooth hairless abdomen. Adult carpenter bees grow to be between ¼ -1 inch in length. They can be identified from many other bee species because of their solitary nature.
Carpenter bees nest in softwood that has not been painted or stained. Often found nesting in areas such as decks, porches, roof eves, sheds, wood furniture, and play structures. Carpenter bees create a hole that is the diameter of their body into wood and tunnel into it to make their nesting areas. Each female creates her own gallery to lay eggs in, although several species of females may “attack” the same pieces of wood.
Female carpenter bees do have a stinger and their venom is strong enough to effect a person, however, they are very docile and rarely if ever sting. Males are very aggressive but luckily do not have a stinger.
Carpenter bees are dangerous to the structure of wooden items. Their galleries (nests) can become quite extensive because they return to the same nesting sites year after year. Also, woodpeckers feed on carpenter bee larvae and can cause more damage to the wood as they try to gain access to the larvae.
Carpenter bees are best left to the professionals at Russell's Pest Control, DIY methods are not recommended. Since carpenter bees are a seasonal pest, treatment is only necessary April - September. A stand-alone service, carpenter bee control is also included in our year-round Power Platinum home pest control service.
The best way to prevent carpenter bees is to make sure that any wood which is used to build structures on your property is painted, stained, sealed or treated in some way. Carpenter bees will choose untreated wood over treated wood to create their nests in.