Wood bore bees, also known as carpenter bees, can be a serious problem for homeowners. They look similar to plain old bumblebees until you realize they are boring into the wood of your house. That’s right, there’s another wood-destroying insect that’s moved into the neighborhood.
But before you start swatting, let’s first take a look at what wood bore bees are and why they want to move into your home.
What Are Wood Bore Bees and Why Are They Burrowing Into Your Home?
Wood bore bees look pretty standard except they aren’t quite as yellow on the abdomen. They also aren’t social, but that’s not as easy to tell unless you live in a hive. What is obvious is that unlike bumblebees the carpenter species will congregate under eaves and around the wooden exterior of a home.
They don’t eat wood (flower nectar and pollen are their food source). So, why the heck are carpenter bees cutting burrows into your walls? Because like you they want to use your house as a home. Wood bore bees carve tunnels into trees and the framework of buildings for their nests. There they store food and tuck their baby bees away. One sign of their presence is the discarded wood shavings, which are sometimes used to create walls in the tunnels.
The one good thing about carpenter bees is that the males can’t sting, and the females have to be very perturbed before they’ll use their stinger. Instead of being alarmed, be proactive in getting these pests gone.
Home Improvements That Keep Wood Bore Bees Away
So where are you most likely to see carpenter bees? They prefer unpainted wood that’s two or more inches deep. Roof eaves, decks, windowsills, doors and railings are all common hot spots.
One hole from a few bees isn’t a structural issue, but what begins as a single tunnel can quickly branch off as the baby bees grow into adults and the hive gets bigger. These more extensive tunnels are what lead to expensive structure damage. The bees also defecate, which can cause staining.
Below is a list of home improvement tips that can discourage them from nesting on your property.
Pest Control Treatments – The first thing that needs to be done is to evict the unwanted insects. An insecticide should be dusted into the excavated holes to coat all the tunnels inside. Keep the hole(s) open – the point is to have the bees travel through the tunnels so they come in contact with the insecticide. Multiple treatments may be needed to get all the bees. In the fall when it’s clear all the bees are gone, you can then plug the holes. Protective clothing should be worn during treatments to avoid bee stings, as well as a mask so none of the dust is inhaled.
Paint and Varnish – Because wood bore bees will seek out untreated wood, a simple way to prevent them from moving in is to paint or varnish susceptible wood surfaces.
Flashing and Screening – Putting flashing and screening over wood is another way to deter wood bore bees.
If you live in the Birmingham area and need help getting rid of wood bore bees, give Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, Inc. a call. We’ll handle all the insect eradication so you don’t have to worry about the protective clothing.
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