Carpenter Bee Identification & Prevention

What You Need To Know About Carpenter Bees

a carpenter ant in a hole

You've learned all about termites and taken measures to prevent them. You've kicked the carpenter ants out of your walls. You think you've gotten rid of all the wood-destroying insects in your Knoxville home. Then, here come the wood-boring bees! Carpenter bees can sneak up on you because they're solitary nesters, so it's easy to overlook an infestation until it gets huge. The good news is you don't have to deal with carpenter bee removal alone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Carpenter Bees

What are carpenter bees?

Carpenter bees are relatives of honey bees and bumble bees. Unlike these bee species, carpenter bees are solitary. They don't live in colonies. They don't have a queen. They breed and nest on their own, and each carpenter bee has to dig its own hole to lay its eggs.

Carpenter bees bore holes into wood to lay their eggs. They can dig holes ranging from a foot to over ten feet in depth! As you can imagine, getting several carpenter bee nests going in the same piece of wood can cause problems.

Are carpenter bees dangerous?

When you see a giant carpenter bee buzzing toward your head, you probably feel a lot of fear. However, this fear is misplaced. Carpenter bees can sting, but they rarely do. Usually, the only thing that can induce a carpenter bee to sting is physically accosting it. Furthermore, even if you are stung by a carpenter bee, unless you are allergic, the only thing you really have to worry about is a little pain and swelling at the site of the sting.

Carpenter bees are much more dangerous to your property than they are to you. If you get a serious carpenter bee infestation, this can do all kinds of damage – even structural damage – to the wood the bees infest.

Why do I have a carpenter bee problem?

Most of the time, you wind up with a carpenter bee problem because you are inadvertently attracting them. The biggest carpenter bee attractant is wood that is easy to bore into. Carpenter bees especially love decks, wooden siding and ceilings, and wood columns. If these areas are unpainted or unvarnished, they are extremely vulnerable to a carpenter bee infestation.

You may also be attracting carpenter bees if you have a lot of sweet, juicy flowers around your home. Most people think carpenter bees eat wood because of their wood-carving abilities, but they actually eat nectar and pollen just like every other kind of bee.

Where will I find carpenter bees?

Carpenter bees love to be in areas where they can bore deep nests and fill them with eggs. They love to infest wood that can offer deep shelter. Look for them in decks, wood columns, wooden ceilings, and wood siding.

The one thing that all of these places will have in common is they will be untreated wood. Carpenter bees have a very hard time boring into painted or varnished wood, so they will look for softer wood that does not have any barrier for their mandibles to cut through. Treating wood is very important in controlling carpenter bees.

How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

It isn't always easy to get rid of carpenter bees in Knoxville. If you only have one or two bees nesting on your property, you can easily seal their holes with a little wood filler to encourage them to leave and nest elsewhere. However, this solution is not tenable if you have hundreds of carpenter bees infesting your property.

In this case, you'll need to call the experts here at Southeast Termite & Pest Control. Our carpenter bee solutions are much more sophisticated than a little wood filler, and we can handle any size infestation you have. If you need someone to safely and effectively remove your carpenter bee infestation, don't hesitate to call us or visit our contact page to schedule a free inspection on pest control.

How can I prevent carpenter bees in the future?

Fortunately, preventative carpenter bee control is much easier than carpenter bee prevention. Just follow a few simple and easy tips:

  • Varnish or paint all exterior wood on your property. 

  • Get rid of high-nectar, sweet-smelling flowers. 

  • Remove other sugary attractants like hummingbird feeders. 

  • Spread almond oil or citrus oil solutions on wood surfaces to repel bees.

If these solutions don't work, don't hesitate to contact us here at Southeast Termite & Pest Control for all your Knoxville pest control needs.

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