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How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees and Avoid Damage to Wooden Structures

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees and Avoid Damage to Wooden Structures

Carpenter bees are a unique species of bee that builds their nest inside wooden structures.

If you think you may have these pests, it's important to learn how to get rid of carpenter bees before they do serious damage to your New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, or Eastern Shore of Maryland home.

Read on to learn more about these unusual bees and what you can do to eliminate them.

Carpenter Bees vs Bumble Bees: Get the Facts

In the world of bees, the carpenter bee is quite large and has around a one-half to a one-inch thick body in an oval shape. Both the carpenter and bumblebee are black and yellow, and both have a fair amount of fuzz on their body.

You can easily mistake a bumblebee for a carpenter bee, and vice versa. The main difference is that carpenter bees have a smooth, shiny abdomen while a bumblebee has fuzz all over their body.

If you notice strange holes in your deck, fence posts, or other wooden structures, you may have an issue with carpenter bees. These bees don't have nests or colonies like other bees. Instead, they create their own individual homes by boring round, smooth holes in wood.

To spot a carpenter bee home, look for a perfectly round hole in your deck or fencing. If you see sawdust underneath, it could be a sign that a carpenter bee has made that structure its new home. The bee bores tunnels and lives inside the holes, resulting in damage to your property and home.

Most carpenter bee tunnels are around four to six inches deep. However, if they continue to live somewhere, those tunnels may end up being several feet in length! Anything made of natural, untreated wood will attract carpenter bees.

Can Carpenter Bees Sting Me and My Family?

If you've seen carpenter bees around your home, their large size can make them look extremely intimidating. If you come too close to these otherwise docile bees, they can become aggravated and aggressive toward humans.

There's no need to worry if you see carpenter bees outside. The male bees are more aggressive, but ironically, they don't have the ability to sting you. If you and your children ignore them, they don't pose a threat to health and safety.

When a carpenter bee appears to be aggressive, it's probably defending its territory or where it's pollinating. Female carpenter bees can sting you, but this is a very rare occurrence.

The female carpenter bee will usually only sting if they feel as if their eggs are threatened. Never stick your finger into a carpenter bee tunnel in case it's full of eggs or an aggravated bee!

Unless you're highly allergic to bee stings, carpenter bees won't cause much trouble to you physically. If you do get stung, the pain is generally mild and will only last for a few minutes until it subsides.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Once you confirm that you have carpenter bees near your home, it's important to find out how to get rid of them. It's not the sting you need to worry about, but the structural damage they can do to fence posts, decks, and other wooden objects. Contacting a pest control expert, like Viking Pest is the best way to get rid of carpenter bees. Viking's pest management professionals are certified and trained to properly identify carpenter bees and their damage. If carpenter bee damage is found, your Viking technician will recommend the most effective treatment option to eradicate them from your home. 



To keep the bees from coming back, seal any holes that you see, then treat anything made of wood with a sealant or stain. You may also paint the wood to prevent the bees from coming back.

The best time of year for prevention is early fall when young bees haven't hatched yet, and mature bees have not dug their winter tunnels. Ideally, any type of hardwood or treated wood is much less appealing to carpenter bees than soft, unfinished wood. If you make your wooden structures unattractive to carpenter bees, most will seek shelter elsewhere or move on to a new location. 

Say Goodbye to Pesky Carpenter Bees

Once you know how to get rid of carpenter bees and what to look for, it's easy to prevent them from digging holes in your deck and other structures. 

If you are noticing carpenter bee activity throughout your NJ, PA, MD, or DE home, contact a professional pest control company, like Viking Pest that can come and assist you with carpenter bee removal and prevention.

Viking Pest is your local pest control expert. Visit our website and call for a fast, free and no-obligation estimate at 1-800-618-2847 today!

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