Seemingly Just Small Holes in Wood, Carpenter Bees Holes Can Cause Serious Damage to Homes
With temperatures rising and warm-weather seasons in full-effect, it’s no surprise to notice a lot of bees and other flying insects around your home.
Although you might think the large buzzing bees around your home are harmless bumblebees, they may not be the case. If you’re noticing bees that have shiny, hairless black bodies and are gathering near wooden structures around your home, you may have a serious problem on your hands.
While some species of bees are harmless and provide benefits to our ecosystem, carpenter bees can cause structural damage when building their nests, in which they drill holes and tunnels into wood to lay their eggs.
What Attracts Carpenter Bees?
Attracted to bare, unpainted, or old and weathered softwoods, carpenter bees target these areas for their nesting sites. Favoring redwood, cedar, cypress, and pinewood, these driller bees commonly make their holes in eaves, fascia, window trim, siding of homes, as well as decks and sheds. Treated lumber and hardwoods are less attractive to the bees, making them less susceptible to an attack.
Most actively searching for nesting sites after mating in April and May, the fertilized female carpenter bees will then drill, or excavate tunnels in wood so she can lay her eggs.
Carpenter bee holes can be identified as perfectly round, with the diameter close to the size of your finger. While the holes you're seeing only appear an inch or so deep, the holes then branch off, with tunnels extending along the grain of the wood for another 6 inches or more.
Some signs that you’re dealing with carpenter bees include:
Piles of fresh sawdust directly outside the holes
Stains on the outside of the holes from bee excrement
Hearing scratching sounds from inside the wood
With that being said, extensive carpenter bee infestations that have been present for several years can bring a number of problems for homeowners.
Structural Damage: If the carpenter bees have been reusing the same wooden structure year after year, the large number of tunnels can start to weaken the wood itself, causing dangerous structural damage to your home.
Woodpeckers: The carpenter bee larvae and pupae inside of tunnels are ideal for woodpeckers looking for their next meal. Woodpeckers will make more holes in the already damaged wood, making the structure especially weak and potentially dangerous.
Water Damage: When a large infestation produces several holes throughout a wooden structure, it makes it easier for water to get inside. The added moisture can speed the process of rotting wood.
Stained Wood: As mentioned previously, stains on the wood located near the tunnels can occur from bee excrement.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees
Effectively controlling carpenter bee infestations begins with finding any and all nests within the wood structures in and around your home. Offering cost-free inspections for carpenter bee control, our local pest professionals conduct an in-depth and thorough inspection of your property to identify favorable conditions for the bees, as well as entry points to the nesting sites.
After conducting an inspection of your property, we then use a liquid or dust residual material to treat every single carpenter bee hole and nest, as well as the exterior of the building to prevent future nesting.
After a few days of allowing the bees to come into contact with the residual material, the holes can then be sealed. In addition to treatment, we offer home repair services to repair and replace any damaged wood caused by the carpenter bees.
As a homeowner, you can also help prevent future carpenter bee infestations by painting any exposed wood with a polyurethane or oil-base paint, or by capping bare wood with high performance metal.
If you want to learn more about the services we provide, or would like to set up a cost-free inspection of your home or business, contact our local pest professionals today.