There are many different kinds of stinging insects in the Pittsburgh area. Honey bees, bumblebees, wasps, hornets, the list goes on. Carpenter bees can be especially problematic. Not only do they have the ability to sting you, but they can also cause severe property damage. Keep reading to learn some more about this unique type of bee and the problems it can cause.
What Is This Bee?
Carpenter bees can range in size from a quarter inch to an inch. Like bumblebees, they are yellow and black. Unlike bumblebees, they are smooth and shiny instead of furry.
Carpenter bees are unique in that they live in individual nests. Female carpenter bees build nests in wood, complete with tunnels and spaces for their babies. The male helps defend the nest. They do not live in large colonies like many other stinging insects.
These bees still eat nectar. They don’t eat wood—instead using it to build tunnels and nests. You might be able to identify a carpenter bee by spotting smooth, round holes in the wood around your home.
Carpenter Bee Dangers
Carpenter bees are considered dangerous because of the damage they can cause to wooden structures in and around your home. They are especially attracted to soft or damaged wood, as well as unfinished and unpainted wood.
Not only do carpenter bees build tunnels in wood, but they also might attract other creatures that could damage wood. For example, carpenter bee larvae could lead to woodpecker damage as these birds try to feed on the bee babies.
In addition to the damage they cause, female carpenter bees can and will sting if they feel threatened. Many people are allergic to stinging insects, and a carpenter bee sting could result in swelling, rashes, and even anaphylactic shock or severe allergies.
Preventing Carpenter Bees
To prevent carpenter bees, you want to make it more difficult to nest in the wood in and around your home. Here are some tips:
Repair damaged wood.
Paint or stain all exposed wood.
Cover rough wood with metal flashing.
Remove water sources.
Plant flowers far from the exterior of your home.
Use hardwood instead of softwood when building.
Use caulking to fill in holes and cracks around the exterior of your home.
Fill in unused tunnels before fall to prevent overwintering.
If you are still seeing carpenter bees around your property, it’s time to call Witt Pest Management. We can help you protect your home from the dangers of carpenter bees.
Like most stinging insects, carpenter bees are an important pollinator. We need bees to have many of the crops we rely on. However, that doesn’t mean these bees need to be in your yard. Let us help you safely prevent and remove carpenter bees from your home.
Instead of directly relying on chemicals, we will help you make environmental changes that will prevent carpenter bees for years to come. After all, as is the case with most pests, prevention is the best strategy for elimination! Call Witt Pest Management today.