Carpenter bees are commonly mistaken for bumblebees since they look quite similar, but they are a different species with completely different behavior.

Carpenter bees live by themselves while bumblebees are social insects similar to honey bees.

As their name suggests, the main behavior characteristic of carpenter bees is that they bore holes and tunnels into wood.

Drilling Holes for Laying Eggs

Carpenter bees drill tunnels to raise their young. Here’s how it works:

  • Female carpenter bees drill almost perfectly-round holes about 1/2 inch in diameter into exposed wood.
  • After boring the hole, the bee usually makes a 90 degree turn and creates a tunnel down the length of the board or piece of wood they are infesting.
  • Within the tunnel, a series of eggs are placed, partitioned by walls made of pollen. The young bees develop over the winter and emerge in spring to feed, reproduce and repeat the cycle.

Since carpenter bees have to chew through wood to make their tunnels, they prefer softer wood varieties like cedar or redwood. They also prefer untreated vs treated or painted wood.

Common Places to Find Carpenter Bees

In our service areas, the most common places to find carpenter bees are in the deck or the facia boards on the edge of a building’s roof.

If there is unpainted or untreated wood in the area, carpenter bees will infest those areas first before going after painted wood.

Although carpenter bees live only one year, future generations will re-infest the same holes year after year so damage tends to get worse with time if it’s not stopped.

Males keep watch on the nest while females lay their eggs. Although male bees, which are smaller than the females, often aggressively dart at passers by, there is no need to worry: male carpenter bees cannot sting you because they don’t have stingers.

Making sure your deck, pergola, and facia boards are all painted and monitored frequently for activity is a great way to help reduce your chances of carpenter bee damage to your home.

What proof. Professionals Do To Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are covered in our Pest Free Guarantee™ seasonal service, along with 30+ other pests including ants, wasps, mice and many other household pests.

If you are noticing carpenter bee activity around your home, give us a call today! We can have a technician out to your home within 1 or 2 business days to treat the affected area and prevent further damage!

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