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Do Carpenter Bees Damage Wood?

carpenter bee

Having a wooden house structure is one of the best investments, but it might be prone to pests like carpenter bees or termites, as well as discoloration and rotting. Many homeowners are wondering whether the carpenter bees can really cause serious damage to their wooden structures. In fact, the carpenter bees will bore into the wood, which impacts the quality of the wood and can eventually damage it.

Keep reading as we share more information about the habits of the wood-boring bees and offer some tips on how to deal with these pests.

What Do Carpenter Bees Do To Wood?

The Athens stinging insects, are also known as wood bees, are solitary insects that resemble the bumblebees but have black, bare, and shiny backs, and don’t produce honey or live in the hives. These bees have a habit of boring into wood, thus, causing cosmetic and structural damage to the wooden surfaces. They lay their eggs in the wood and drill holes about a quarter inch in diameter.

The female wood-boring bees will remain in the holes while the males will be hovering nearby to ward off any intruders. They appear aggressive which may frighten you. Fortunately, they typically don’t sting and are harmless. However, if you provoke a female bee, it may sting.

Once the bees drill the hole in the outer layers, they will excavate a tunnel through the wood grains. After the bee has drilled into the wood, you may notice coarse sawdust that has come out of the hole and piled up underneath. The tunnels will run for several inches, which creates cavities that destroy structures. The females then lay the eggs in the pit in each chamber filled with pollen to feed the larvae until they mature.

Once the larvae have matured, the bees will continue drilling new holes in the wooden structures. Therefore, if you don’t immediately treat the wood once you notice the damage, the bees will cause more severe issues for your wooden structure.

During the wintertime, the carpenter bees will hibernate in the holes, and in early spring, they will resume their activities. The insects will clean out the old holes they used in winter and create new holes. They tend to migrate back to the same area, thus, it is better to exterminate them completely.

What Kind Of Wood Do Carpenter Bees Like And Avoid?

The carpenter bees don’t like and usually won’t eat hardwoods. Therefore, to keep them away, opt for hardwood such as walnut, hickory, oak, cherry, and black locust.

If you invest in softwoods like cedar, pine, redwood, douglas fir, or cypress, they might be an easy target. But these insects might attack any wood species. Pressure-treated wooden structures might not be resistant to the carpenter bees, either. Moreover, they might be attracted to distressed and bare wood, and they may attack stained wood as well. The bees will bore into the wood and form a tunnel network that damages the structure or furniture in the long run.

How To Protect The Wood From Carpenter Bees?

Since the carpenter bees will easily attack damaged, bare, and stained wood, it would be wise to paint the wooden surfaces to prevent the bees from infesting. The bees must see and feel the wood grain before they attack, therefore, painting the surface reduces the carpenter bees’ attack.

You may fill the old holes and tunnels with Energy Seal to prevent recurrent attacks, as the bees are attracted to existing holes.

You may also spray the wooden surfaces with pesticides that kill the carpenter bees, preventing further damage to your wooden structures. Make sure to check for pesticide ingredients that are dangerous to the carpenter bees. The pesticide may not kill the bees but act as repellents as they are not poisonous. The effectiveness of the pesticide may last for a month, and you would need to spray it frequently, especially if the carpenter bees had attacked your wooden structures in the past. The pesticide may be helpful during the peak summer season when these insects are most likely to attack your structures.

The high gloss might be another solution for carpenter bees. The gloss provides a finish that prevents the bees from drilling the holes. The insects don’t drill when they cannot see, feel, and recognize the wooden grains. Therefore, you may need to maintain your house with stain and solid topcoat paint, which act as a barrier between the pests and the wooden grains.

You should regularly inspect the wooden structures on your property for existing holes and tunnels, especially during the warmer months. If the carpenter bees are actively drilling, you may notice sawdust around their nests. You can fill the holes with putty as it kills the bees. Even if the holes look empty, they may need to be treated before sealing them off with a topcoat. Even if they are gone, the bees may come back next season, so be sure to fill each hole during the wintertime when the carpenter bees are inactive.

Carpenter bees can be a nuisance in more than one way. To prevent these insects from taking over your Northeast Georgia property, it would be wise to seek professional home pest control services in Athens.

Our specialists at American Pest Control can safely and effectively treat your home to get rid of carpenter bees. So if you need a local bee and beehive exterminator, we are the one to call. Contact us today for more information about our residential and commercial pest control services in Athens, and to get a free quote, or an inspection!

Our certified pest experts will work with you to find the best solution for your needs. Simply fill out this form for a free, no-obligation estimate.

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(706) 702-4532
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