Carpenter Bees – Signs Of An Infestation And Treatment Options
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Carpenter bees are small insects, ranging between ½ to 1-1/2 inches in length. The body is slightly larger than many other bee species. The female’s body is black while the male’s body is a mixture of orange and black.
Unlike the bumble bee, the carpenter bee has a hair-free abdomen that is glossy black.
Carpenter Bee Infestation – Why Is My Home A Target
Like the carpenter ant, the carpenter bee is drawn to decaying wood. In this case, the insect is drawn to softwood, such as cedar, redwood, pine, yellow buckeye, and black cottonwood. The insect utilizes its antennas and body receptacles to locate rotting softwood.
The main purpose of boring rotting softwood is shelter. The carpenter bee does not ingest the wood, it only bores holes for nesting. These insects exhibit unique behaviors, such as returning to the same location season after season. This is more common among carpenter bee pairs amid the mating season.
If the bored softwood is not detected between mating seasons, the carpenter bee pair will return the following mating season. When you consider this type of behavior, it is very easy to see why carpenter bees leave devastation in their paths.
Carpenter Bees – Harmless Or Harmful
The female carpenter bee poses more danger to humans and pets than her male counterpart. This is due to the female’s stinger, which the male carpenter bee does not possess.
Male carpenter bees can be aggressive when they sense danger. Even though you do not fear getting stung, you can just about guarantee the male will show aggression if you are in close proximity to its nest.
Birds, such as the woodpecker, are drawn to the carpenter bee’s nest because they like to feast on larvae – the stage of immaturity.
Instead of the carpenter bee causing the actual damage, the woodpecker is the culprit. The damage is contributed to the pecking action of the woodpecker. While carpenter bees try to create their nests out of reach, the woodpecker will almost always find a way to get them.
A woodpecker will rarely give up if it thinks there is a chance of reaching the larvae. The longer the pecking goes on, the more damage you can expect to see.
Carpenter Bees – Eradication Options
Carpenter bee infestations are generally not that difficult to eradicate. The difficulty level will depend on the severity of the infestation. There are two goals in mind when treating these infestations. These goals include the full eradication of the infestation and the prevention of future infestations.
Carpenter Bee Treatment – DIY Or Professional
There are two main options when it comes to carpenter bee infestation treatment. These include DIY and professional extermination. Many big-box and hardware stores generally carry a decent selection of carpenter bee infestation treatment. These products work very well for mild to moderate carpenter bee infestations, they will not even put a dent in a severe infestation.
Hiring a professional exterminator is the best way to eradicate a colony of carpenter bees in a timely manner. Even so, a severe infestation may warrant several repeat treatments.
Carpenter Bee Treatment – Does It Pose Health Risks
All insect pesticides and insecticides contain potentially harmful ingredients. To avoid these risks, you will need to opt for organic and all-natural carpenter bee infestations. Another way to avoid any potential insecticide risk is to follow the manufacturer’s application directions to a tee. And, never mix two types of pesticides.
Carpenter Bee Infestation Prevention
The best way to prevent carpenter bee infestations is to conduct quarterly home inspections, looking specifically for the tell-tale signs. Also, make needed repairs in a timely manner, keep exposed softwood painted or varnished.