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Spring Carpenter Bees - What To Do?

On one of the typical first days of coming out of winter and into warmer weather, you will no doubt notice some of the usual signs, like grass needing to be cut, Bradford Pear trees beginning to bloom, pollen laying down nicely on your freshly washed car, and the hum of Carpenter Bees.


Carpenter Bees are often enough easily mistaken for their scientific cousins, Bumble Bees. But there are key differences between them, and one big difference that makes the Carpenter Bee much more of a pest as it relates to your home.

carpenter bees can be easily mistaken for bumble bees

Carpenter Bees look very much like Bumble Bees, but a closer look can reveal which one you are dealing with. Carpenter Bees are smaller, are mostly black (though they can sometimes have a blue or purple appearance) and have a muted yellow torso section, whereas Bumble Bees are larger and have a more vivid yellow section on their abdomen (rear) section. Bumble Bees are social and live in colonies of often a few hundred in a nest, which is normally in the ground, recycling holes that might have been produced by other animals, making them largely harmless to your home. Carpenter Bees, however, are solitary insects, and can damage your home or business structure as the females lay their eggs by boring into wood and creating several small cells inside. They do not consume the wood as termites do (they simply bore into it with tough mandibles and discard the wood), but the damage they cause can be quite extensive if not treated, as this can weaken the wood and eventually contribute to premature rotting and structural failure.


The female Carpenter Bee has formidable defenses, indeed. The do have stingers that contain venom, and unlike other species of wasps and bees that may die after stinging, the female Carpenter Bee can sting more than once. Typically though, the females are content to stay in their nest unless directly provoked into action. Males of the species cannot sting but are more directly aggressive toward a perceived threat. Though harmless, they do like to swoop and dive at any perceived threat, and the buzzing can be quite intimidating. They are more docile in the evenings and are much less likely to be encountered at all than in daylight.


A Carpenter Bee hole (nest) can be almost artistic in its perfection. Their holes can be almost perfectly round and quite large, depending on the size of the bee in the nest. They can bore from underneath, from the side, or from the top, sometimes making such a nest hard to see. The female carpenter bee will move 90 degrees and bore a channel from 6 inches to 4 feet long. This channel serves as a main corridor from which she will drill small chambers a few inches deep. She can excavate up to one inch in six days.

carpenter bee entrances can be almost perfectly round in shape

Much like a termite infestation, sometimes a harmless looking small clue may hide a much larger issue. Such depths can cause severe structural weakness in your wood, and if not treated can lead to serious failures and expenses as they continue to bore into your wood year after year.

an entrance hole only hides a much larger area of damage to wood


Every Nelon-Cole service technician receives specialized training in how to deal with Carpenter Bee problems, which are especially common in the Carolinas. We can apply effective treatments to deal with any existing problems, as well as quarterly treatments that significantly help with any future infestations. Our team knows the pest problems inherent to our area, and are the most trusted and highly reviewed solution for customers throughout the Carolinas. If you suspect that you may have an issue with Carpenter Bees or any other invasive pest, call us for a FREE no obligation consultation today, and let us earn your trust and your business. Call today at 888-7-TheWeb or visit online at


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