You’re not likely to get a sting after an encounter with carpenter bees, but you may get a case of tennis elbow – because while its too hot for any but the most die-hard tennis enthusiasts to grab their rackets for a day on the courts (temperatures can hit 120 degrees or more out there!), many folks are reaching for the racket to play a game we call “Swat the Carpenter Bees.”
If you live in the South, you know what Im talking about. Carpenter bees are about the same size as honeybees, but there are some notable differences:
- Honeybees have “fuzzy” yellow abdomens, while those of Carpenter bees are shiny and black
- Honeybees are “social” there are often several hovering around flower beds at the same time, and they share a hive; Carpenter bees are solitary you may see several in the same vicinity, but they are hovering around their own individual “nests”
- Honeybee hives are often underground – youll see swarms near a large hive: Carpenter bees drill holes in wood and lay their eggs within them
Contrary to popular belief, Carpenter bees do not “eat” wood. Instead, they bore holes in wood to create tunnels in which to lay their eggs and hatch their young.
You likely have Carpenter bees if you notice perfectly drilled holes (about ½ inch in diameter). They are attracted to unpainted or untreated wood, and are often found in house eaves, porch railings, even wooden lawn furniture. From these holes you may notice wood dust around the entrance to the hole, or small piles of wood dust below the holes.
While a single bee – or even a few – are not difficult to manage, and cause only minimal damage, many homeowners ignore the problem until it becomes overwhelming. This happens when several “generations” of Carpenter bees turn your siding or porch into an insect condominium, or when they become an all-you-can-eat buffet for insect predators, including woodpeckers.
Before you begin cursing your siding for hosting an entire food chain, call the Pied Piper to inspect the damage, treat the problem and ensure you don’t have any other wood-boring insects to contend with.
Remember Pied Piper Pest Control for all of your termite and pest control needs