What Is Attracting Carpenter Bees To My Property?
Most of the time, homeowners don't notice carpenter bees until the damage becomes noticeable. These bees are really good at flying under our radar. In fact, they even have a sort of natural camouflage. They look like bumble bees. And, since bumble bees rarely sting and don't do any damage, we have no problem shrugging them off. But, if you're seeing what you think are bumble bees, you may want to take another look.
Before we get into the factors that could be attracting carpenter bees to your property, let's take a quick moment to figure out if you actually have carpenter bees. Fortunately, carpenter bees make it really easy for us. From the middle of its body to the end of its abdomen, a carpenter bee is entirely black. A bumble bee is not. A bumble bees has a patch of yellow hairs on its abdomen. This difference can easily be seen from several feet away.
You're also not likely to see bumble bees and carpenter bees in the same places. While carpenter bees do buzz around near flowers, bumble bees hardly ever buzz around near your roofline, eaves, soffits, wood piles, shed, garage, deck, porch, fence, or other wooden structures. Carpenter bees establish their nests by boring holes into wood. This will have them buzzing around in all of these places.
Okay. Now that we know for sure you have carpenter bees, here are 5 things that may be attracting them to your property:
Flowers. Just like other bees, carpenter bees eat nectar and pollen. If you have lots of flowers in your yard, you will lure in all kinds of stinging insects, including carpenter bees.
Untreated wood. When carpenter bees search for a good location to create their nest tunnels, they will choose untreated wood first. They love old fences, stacks of firewood, decks, sheds, and other structures have not been treated or painted. Painting and treating the wood on your property will go a long way toward making it more resistant to these wood-boring pests.
Wood siding. If you have beautiful wood siding, carpenter bees will take notice. With the wide selection of vinyl and fiber siding options, it is easier than ever to get a wood look without having a home that is begging to be infested by carpenter bees.
Unprotected plank ends. These bees like to bore into wood and follow the grain. They'll often do this by starting at the end of a plank. If you have untreated ends, it is a good idea to cover them with aluminum flashing.
Old carpenter bee nests. One of the reasons carpenter bees are so destructive is that they use old nests established by other carpenter bees. When they do, they expand on tunneling. If you don't have old tunnels properly sealed, your home will continue to draw these insects in.
If you're seeing carpenter bees on your property there are a few important things you should know:
Over time, the sound of carpenter bees making their tunnels can drive you crazy.
While male carpenter bees can't sting, and females rarely sting, they can still be a stinging hazard. Ask anyone who has ever sat on one. And, though male carpenter bees don't sting, they are known to dive bomb and fly menacingly at people.
There are some pretty crazy DIY methods for getting rid of carpenter bees. The solution for this pest problem is targeted treatment and the sealing of holes. This is best done by a professional because the improper sealing of holes can lead to more damage.
Carpenter bee damage can add up over time and lead to costly repairs.
When carpenter bees damage exterior steps or railings, it can lead to a fall. This is bad when someone in the home falls, but even worse when it is a visitor.
Carpenter bee damage can be arrested with one-time pest control or with ongoing pest service. If you're in our New York service area, find out how our residential pest control service works to reduce or completely exclude a wide range of pests that can damage your home, make your family sick, harm your pets, damage your belongings, and leave painful bites and stings. Pest control isn't just a quality of life upgrade. It is essential protection every family should have.