What Is a Carpenter Bee?

Did you know that carpenter bees can be found throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland? This means if you're a homeowner, you're likely to run into these pests at some point.

So what is a carpenter bee and what does it look like? Here's a small guide for your benefit.

What Is a Carpenter Bee?

Carpenter bees are an insect native to America. They're gentle, which means they won't bite you. The females have stingers, but they won't sting you unless you directly grab them.

How to Identify Carpenter Bees

The male vs female carpenter bee will look slightly different. Both are mostly black in color and grow up to 1 inch long. They look very similar to bumblebees (more on how to differentiate between the

male-carpenter-bee

 two later).

The carpenter bee male will have a yellow head. On top is a white do

On the other hand, the carpenter bee female will have a completely black head.t.

How Are Carpenter Bees Different From Bumblebees?

We said above that carpenter bees look like bumblebees; however, there are some major differences to look out for.

Bumblebees are fuzzy, burrow in the ground, and also live in hives with other bumblebees. Carpenter bees are hairless with a metallic sheen (blue, green, or purple), burrow in exposed wood, and are solitary insects.

What Damage Does a Carpenter Bee Cause?

carpenter bee damage-smallWhile they're relatively harmless to you, carpenter bees can cause serious structural damage to your home. As their name suggests, carpenter bees like wood. More specifically, carpenter bees like to chew into dead wood, burrowing tunnels to create nests for their young. A carpenter bee tunnel can be up to 10 ft long, and these tunnels weaken the overall structure. 

 

Where to Check for Carpenter Bees

Since carpenter bees like to nest in wood, you'll want to check any unfinished/unpainted softwoods you have on your property. Signs of carpenter bee damage include small holes in wooden structures such as decks and swingsets.

Carpenter bees like to nest in the following areas around your home:

- Eaves

- Rafters

- Fascia Boards

- Siding

- Decks

- Outdoor Furniture

To prevent carpenter bees from nesting, paint over and finish all wooden structures. However, if you suspect there is carpenter bee activity around your home, finishing the wood will not help an infestation. It is important to hire a professional pest control company, like Viking Pest, to properly exterminate carpenter bees from the area. Carpenter bees bore tunnels in wooden structures for their nests. If there is an active nest within a wooden structure, finishing the wood will not eliminate the carpenter bee problem. 

When are Carpenter Bees Active?

Typically, in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, carpenter bees will come out during the spring to mate. Carpenter bees remain active throughout the spring and summer months. During the colder winter months, carpenter bees remain in their burrowed tunnels for shelter. 

How to Get Rid of a Carpenter Bee Infestation

Now you know what a carpenter bee looks like and how to identify an infestation.

If you've gone through this article and determined you may have carpenter bees, don't hesitate to call an exterminator, like Viking Pest! Viking Pest is the carpenter bee exterminator expert throughout New Jersey, Pennslyvania, Delaware, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Get a fast, free carpenter bee estimate online, or call us today at 1-800-618-2847.

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Topics: Carpenter Bees