Generally, carpenters are known for their construction abilities, not their destructive tendencies. Apparently, nobody told that to carpenter bees. These stinging insects are known for their wood-destroying talents and causing damage to wooden structures. While they aren’t the most dangerous pest you could have on your property, carpenter bees can still be a nuisance. Here’s what you need to know about carpenter bee control in Monmouth County.
What You Should Know About Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees are not any one species of bee but are multiple species with similar traits that engage in similar behaviors. Unlike yellowjackets and honey bees, carpenter bees are solitary insects that live on their own rather than in a large nest with many members. Carpenter bees take their name from their ability to carve out circular burrows in wooden objects, where they build their solitary nests.
Carpenter bees are often confused with bumblebees, which bear a close resemblance. The difference between the two is that carpenter bees lack the yellow abdomen markings of bumblebees and have smooth rather than hairy abdomens. The typical carpenter bee is between 1/4 and 1 inch in length and is black and yellow in color.
How To Tell If You Have A Carpenter Bee Problem
It’s usually not difficult to tell if you have a carpenter bee problem on your property. These pests can be observed commuting in and out of their burrows and may even patrol their territory to keep guard.
Carpenter bees create nearly perfect circular holes in wooden structures like siding, eaves, fence posts, and more. They prefer to build their nests in unfinished, damaged, or otherwise weakened wood. While they don’t cause the widespread structural destruction of property like termites, frequently used carpenter bee galleries can measure up to ten feet in length, and multiple carpenter bees infesting your property will cause real damage. Unless you happen to be allergic to their venom, carpenter bees are far more of a threat to the wood on your property than to your health and safety. In fact, these pests can attract other wood-destroying pests! Carpenter bee larvae are a favorite treat for woodpeckers, who can further damage property as they extract juicy grubs from carpenter bee nests.
How To Prevent Carpenter Bees
You can keep carpenter bees from infesting your property by following some simple tips:
Protect wood. Repair or replace any damaged wood around your property. Try dressing exposed wood with paint to discourage bees from nesting. Fill in any cracks or gaps in wood with silicone caulk, then apply a primer and at least two coats of quality paint. Varnish and wood staining may not prevent carpenter bees, but paint is generally effective.
Fill holes. Use steel wool, caulk, or spray foam insulation to fill the abandoned holes of carpenter bees. Abandoned holes may be reused year after year and can grow to massive size. You can also use metal lathe to cover any open holes.
Reduce water. Like all creatures, carpenter bees rely on fresh water to survive. Reducing water access can, in turn, reduce the bee population. Seal any leaking pipes or spigots, remove birdbaths and other sources of standing water, and clear gutters to ensure proper water flow.
If you’ve got carpenter bees destroying your Monmouth County property, get in touch with Alliance Pest Services for advice or assistance in dealing with your problem. With both residential services and commercial services available, we can get rid of the stinging insects on your property safely and quickly. For carpenter bees or any other pest control needs in Monmouth County, contact us today.