05/27/15

Carpenter Bees Under The Deck?

Carpenter Bees Under The Deck?

5/27/2015

Have you seen them? Big fat bees wiggling into round holes under your deck? It isn’t hard to recognize when you have carpenter bees living on your property. Like other bees, this fat bumblebee-like insect is a benefit in nature. Without bees and other pollinators, we wouldn’t have all those colorful flowers to look at. But with these pests, their ability to damage a home far outweighs the benefit of having them around as a pollinator. At the very least, they should be made to make their tunneling in a nearby tree, instead of your deck or your eaves.

Identification: It is important to know what a carpenter bee looks like, especially if you haven’t noticed any tunneling yet. These big, fat bees look like bumblebees, with a noticeable difference, their hind section is entirely black. So, if you see a big bee with a black hiney, you might want to stop what you’re doing and see where it goes. Carpenter bee holes can sometimes be in hard-to-see sections of your home or deck.

Bee holes: The carpenter bee queen makes a very distinct circular hole in hard wood. She is especially fond of unfinished wood. One of the best ways this wood chewer can be deterred is by painting or varnishing all unfinished wood on your deck or home. Be sure to protect the edges of your boards with caps or a heavier coat of paint.

Hole maintenance: It is important to understand that carpenter bee queens reuse old holes and expand tunneling in those holes. The best time to seal up holes is in late fall after queen bees have left to hibernate or in early spring before they return. All other times of year it is best to have a professional seal those holes. Otherwise, you may find yourself with additional damage from queens boring themselves an exit tunnel.

Threat: The only significant threat carpenter bees pose is to your home. Male carpenter bees don’t have the ability to sting, and queens are not inclined to sting unless they feel their nest is in great danger. When any bee stings, it loses its stinger and eventually dies. Since the carpenter queen is motivated to stay alive for her brood, she is mostly docile. The males, on the other hand, are not nearly as docile. They are known to fly menacingly at anything they perceive as a threat. But, fortunately, they’re all bark and no bite.

If you discover carpenter bees on your property, fill out our contact form and the Schendel Pest Control team will give you a hand. This is an insect that can weaken your support beams and warp the structure of your home or deck. Protect your investment, and have this issue properly diagnosed.