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FAQ’s about Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are named for their tendency to drill holes in wood. Unlike human carpenters, however, the effect they can have on your home can often be destructive rather than productive.

When spring arrives in Leesburg each year, usually in April or May, carpenter bees come out of hibernation and begin seeking food and nesting grounds. They’re the most destructive of all the bees, but how much do you really know about them? Here are the answers to four frequently asked questions about carpenter bees to help you prepare for them this spring:

Q: What types of surfaces are carpenter bees most attracted to?

A: Any exposed wood around your home is at risk – that includes overhangs, landscape timbers, decks, shingles, siding, lawn furniture, and any other unpainted (and sometimes painted) wood surfaces. Carpenter bees have also been known to be partial to redwood, cedar, and cypress, whether or not the wood is stained.

Q: Why do carpenter bees burrow into wood?

A: The female bees are actually the ones that do the drilling, creating holes in wood about the same size as their bodies. They bite against the grain until they’ve created inch-long tunnels, then turn at a 90-degree angle. What they’re doing is building nests, creating partitions out of wood chips where they lay their eggs.

Q: What kind of damage can carpenter bees cause in my home?

A: A single carpenter bee nest does little damage, but if nesting continues from year to year in the same area, cosmetic and even structural damage can occur. Other secondary effects include fecal stains outside tunnels and damage from woodpeckers, who forage for larvae in the nests.

Q: Do carpenter bees sting?

A: Male carpenter bees don’t have stingers, but they make up for it with a serious “tough man” protective instinct, buzzing furiously toward anything – or anyone – who happens to come into their “territory.” Females do have stingers, but only use them when they feel threatened.

The experts at Green Pest Services can identify the earliest signs of carpenter bees in and around your home and take care of the problem before significant damage occurs. Call us this spring for a consultation.