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How to Prevent and Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

How to Prevent and Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are a common pest found in the eastern states, especially if your property has a lot of wood. These insects prefer softwoods such as fir, cedar, spruce, and pine. Like all wood-destroying pests, carpenter bees can cause a lot of damage if left unchecked. Learn how to identify carpenter bees, tips to prevent infestations, and treatment options for populations that already exist at your home or business.

How to Tell if You Have Carpenter Bees

It's easy to spot the distinctive signs of carpenter bees. They are large black bees that have a similar appearance to bumblebees, however, the abdomen of the carpenter bee is black and shiny, whereas bumblebees have a fuzzy abdomen. Another tell-tell trait is the solitary nature of carpenter bees. Unlike other species that live in large colonies, these insects live only with their mate. The females are typically ¾ to 1 long. They bore into wood to build nests and lay eggs, leaving behind round holes.

Carpenter Bee Control

Carpenter bees appear in the spring and remain active throughout the summer. They spend the winter in the nests they create in wood. It's important to take action once you notice unexplained holes in wood surfaces, as the bees emerge again in spring and continue to reproduce and wreak havoc. Control carpenter bee populations through effective prevention methods:

  • Conduct regular inspections of wooden eaves, shingles, porches, door and window trim, railings, fences, and fascia boards.
  • Paint, seal or stain wood to add a layer of protection and deter bees, as they prefer unpainted wood.
  • Use hardwoods where possible, this makes infestation less likely but not impossible.
  • Fill in any gaps and pits that the bees could use as the starting point for their nests.
  • Provide carpenter bee alternative homes by placing wood blocks around your yard.

If you notice any signs of carpenter bees or damage to wooden structures, act quickly to eliminate the infestation before the bees can cause widespread, costly damage.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Once carpenter bees have bored into a wooden structure, you need to use more aggressive tactics to get rid of them:

  • Try a carpenter bee trap. These rest near holes on soffets and are a curiosity trap for the bees.
  • Utilize an EPA-approved and appropriately labeled pest control product and apply directly into the carpenter bee holes.
  • Plug holes after the bees are killed to prevent any more from using the nests.

A large or persistent infestation of carpenter bees may require professional help. The experts have more experience discovering all the nests and selecting effective treatments and product application schedules to get rid of the bees and keep them away.

Get the Help of a Professional Carpenter Bee Exterminator

Protect your home or business in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware from carpenter bees and other pests by calling Viking Pest Control. An award-winning pest control company, Viking provides exceptional carpenter bee services to eliminate current infestations and keep them from returning the following spring. Schedule online for the ultimate convenience or fill out our form to request a free estimate.

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