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Carpenter Bee Control Services

Miche Pest Control is a family owned and operated, full service pest control company that provides residential and commercial carpenter bee control services for homes and businesses in Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Our expert carpenter bee exterminators get rid of carpenter bee infestations fast, and work preventatively to keep the carpenter bees from coming back after they've been eliminated. Miche Pest Control has a 4.9 star rating and over 1,000 reviews online - call today or book online!

Carpenter Bees - Stinging Insects That Damage Wood

Bees are a common insect. Unfortunately, not all bees are as helpful and loveable as the bumble bee. However, of all the stinging insects you’ll want to keep at bay, you will likely want to keep carpenter bees away more than any of them. While not the most aggressive type of bee, they can quickly cause irreparable damage to your home’s physical structure, similarly to termites and carpenter ants. Read on to learn more about them and how to keep carpenter bees away for good!

Carpenter Bee v. Bumble Bee

Carpenter bees are commonly confused with bumblebees. One of the easiest ways to tell these two types of bees apart is by looking at their abdomens. Most carpenter bees have a smooth, shiny abdomen, whereas bumblebee abdomens are completely covered with dense hair, with a yellow band near the end. Males of some species of carpenter bees have a white or yellow face, unlike bumblebees, while females lack the bare pollen baskets of bumblebees; the hind leg is entirely hairy. Carpenter bees are also generally larger than bumble bees.

Carpenter Bee Traps

Carpenter bee traps are often just pre-drilled wooden blocks attached to glass jars or plastic bottles. The jar eventually traps the carpenter bees, where they perish and are later removed. Elegantly simple and wildly effective, the traps basically copies the carpenter bees' nests. Carpenter bees happily crawl into strategically pre-drilled holes in a wooden block, but once inside, they can’t find the entrance holes. A light source usually means escape, so they look around and spot light coming from the bottom of the box and head for it. What they don’t know is that light comes from a hole in the bottom of the box, which is covered by a glass jar. A translucent prison, if you will, from which there is no escape. The carpenter bees soon die and their accumulated bodies are disposed of by simply unscrewing the jar and dumping it out.

Wood Bees

Wood bees, more commonly known as carpenter bees, are named for their habit of excavating holes in wood, in order to rear their young. Carpenter bees prefer unpainted, weathered wood, especially softer varieties such as redwood, cedar, cypress and pine. Painted or pressure-treated wood is much less susceptible to attack. Common carpenter bee nesting sites include eaves, rafters, fascia boards, siding, wooden shake roofs, decks and outdoor furniture. Female carpenter bees then bore into wood, excavating a tunnel to lay their eggs. The entrance hole in the wood surface is perfectly round and about the diameter of your little finger. Coarse sawdust may be present below the opening, and tunneling sounds are sometimes heard within the wood. After boring in a short distance, the bee makes a right angle turn and continues to tunnel parallel to the wood surface. Inside the tunnel, about five or six cells are constructed for housing individual eggs.

Where Do Carpenter Bees Make Their Nests?

Carpenter bees bore holes in wooden surfaces as a place to make their nest and lay their eggs. Their nests are often found in and around wooden porches, railings, furniture, and sheds. Wooden door and window frames are also common places for carpenter bees to nest in.

How Do I Get Rid of a Carpenter Bee Nest?

Because female carpenter bees do have stingers, you should never touch, disturb, or try to remove a nest by yourself. Our highly trained exterminators can quickly, safely, and effectively rid your home of carpenter bees and prevent you, your family, and your pets from getting stung.

When Are Carpenter Bees Most Active?

Carpenter bees are most active in the spring when they emerge from their nests and begin their seasonal pollination duties. This is also the time of year when carpenter bees spend much of their time boring into wood and creating their nests. 

How Do I Know If I Have Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter bees:

  • Are approximately an inch in length 
  • Have shiny, black abdomens with no hair and no stripes
  • Bore holes in wood, leaving behind round tunnels and piles of sawdust 
  • May leave behind stains from pollen as well as their feces, which are often found near the piles of sawdust or near their bore holes

Because carpenter bees can cause significant damage to the structure of your home when left unchecked, you should take action right away if you believe you have an infestation.

What Else Can I Do to Prevent Carpenter Bees from Coming Back?

  • Remove and replace any already-damaged wood; carpenter bees are much less likely to try to make a nest in wood that has been chemically treated
  • Regularly maintain any painted wooden surfaces around your home 
  • Use caulk to fill in and seal any holes and cracks in unfinished wood around your home
  • Keep piles of firewood covered and remove any rotting wood
  • Enroll in a quarterly pest control program

What are carpenter bees?

Carpenter bees are similar to bumble bees but are larger and more robust. They are also a solitary species, which means they live by themselves rather than in a large colony, like bumble bees and honey bees do.

You can identify carpenter bees by the following traits:

  • Females are primarily black, while males are orange and black.
  • The abdomen is hairless and shiny black.
  • Males do not have stingers, but females do.
  • Carpenter bees are about 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long.

The easiest way to identify carpenter bees is by looking at their nest entrance, a circular hole they bore into wood.

Like other bees, carpenter bees are a necessary part of a healthy ecosystem as they feed off plant nectar and pollen, helping to pollinate as they do so. Because of this, you should always approach the prevention and control of this pest with care.

Are carpenter bees dangerous?

Like many other stinging insects, carpenter bees are docile species. They are also the least aggressive of the common stinging insects on residential properties. Although males can appear aggressive, they do not have stingers and pose no threat to people.

Females can sting but usually only do so if you bother them. In general, it is always best to leave stinging insects alone.

Why do I have a carpenter bee issue?

Carpenter bees are pollinators, so they are attracted to places with flowering plants. However, they also look for a secure place to build their nests, which are holes they bore into soft, untreated, or weathered wood.

Where will I find carpenter bees?

You can find carpenter bees in circular holes that they bore into wood. Typical carpenter bee nest locations include wood furniture, doors, fence posts, decks, railing, and other soft or damaged wood. 

How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

One of the recommendations for carpenter bee prevention and control is to fill in any existing holes. While this is a necessary step, you need to be sure that there are no pests inside, as carpenter bees will only bore further in, causing more damage. So the best thing to do when dealing with carpenter bees is to call experts for help.

Miche Pest Control is your go-to for issues with carpenter bees and any other pests you are experiencing. Contact us today to learn about the services we offer and how you can get started receiving the treatments you need.

How do I prevent carpenter bees in the future?

To prevent future carpenter bee issues, use these tips to deter them from building their nests on your property:

  • Eliminate untreated wood by using paint, stain, or varnish.
  • If you build or replace wood, use hardwood instead of soft.
  • Clear your property of damaged or decaying wood such as stumps, logs, and trees.
  • Repair any holes created by carpenter bees or otherwise. Check sheds, fence posts, decks, and the exterior of your home.
  • Don't let plants over-flower or reduce the number of flowers in your yard.
  • Use noise-making devices such as windchimes to make your yard less appealing.

Another prevention method that some people utilize is installing a bee house on their property, but away from the home's structure, giving these essential pollinators a place to live while leaving your home and property untouched. But it is best to talk to experts before installing one.

Give us a call at Miche Pest Control for carpenter bee control and prevention assistance.

Safe And Effective Treatments For Carpenter Bees

Miche Pest Control offers safe and effective treatment plans that are specifically designed to target, remove, and prevent carpenter bees from nesting around your home and destroying your wood. Contact us to schedule your initial pest control service and get those carpenter bees under control!

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