There are over 4,000 species of bees in the United States, but only a few are generally a problem for home or business owners. And, of all the bees you'll find on your property, one is distinctly different from all the others. It is the humble carpenter bee. If you have these bees living on your property, here are a few questions you're probably going to want to know the answers to.
Do these bees sting?
Yes and no. Like mosquitoes, only the female of this insect species will sting you. The males, though easily provoked by a waving hand or any other quick movement, only have the ability to dive bomb your head in a threatening manner. The female, on the other hand, can sting you, but she is not inclined to. Like other bees, she will lose her stinger and other parts of her abdomen if she stabs her stinger into you. This will result in her death. Since she has a nest of bees to raise, she is not looking to die. You'll have to handle her or press against her to get her to sting. So, for the most part, carpenter bees aren't much of a threat.
How do I identify them?
It is good to know what kind of big fat bee you have lumbering through the air around your house. Carpenter bees and bumblebees share many characteristics, but you can easily tell them apart. Carpenter bees are entirely black from the waist back, and the top of the abdomen is mostly bald. Bumble bees have yellow, or sometimes orange, fur on their abdomen. This difference can be seen even from a distance. You may also distinguish them by where they're hanging out. If you have big fat bees flying around your eaves, it is not likely that those bees are bumblebees. Bumblebees live in holes and fly low to the ground as they search for flowers. Carpenter bees live in trees and under bark. The siding on your home is just more bark to explore under. So, if you see bees up there, there is a good chance you have carpenter bees.
How much damage do they cause?
If you only have a few bees, you're not in too much trouble. But a carpenter bee issue that goes untreated can turn into a home repair nightmare. This is an insect that likes to return to old tunneling and expand. Each year you'll have more bees and deeper tunneling, until your porch starts to sag and your roof starts to bow.
How do I get rid of carpenter bees?
Call a professional for this pest. Carpenter bee problems can become worse if not properly handled. The chemicals used can also be harmful to humans and pets. Here at Witt Pest Management, our professional technicians understand the entomology of this insect and what products and techniques are needed to arrest the infestation. Our TopCare pest protection program gives you Total Ongoing Protections against all household insects and rodents common to western Pennsylvania. You can easily contact us today to schedule a visit ASAP. When you consider protecting your family from stinging insects, don't forget to protect your home from carpenter bees. You have a lot invested in your home. Don't let these wood chewers chew into your equity.