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Carpenter Bees

Although called carpenter bees, their name is quite the opposite of what they actually do, destroy.  In extreme cases, you may need to hire a carpenter to fix what they leave behind.  Today we will learn about these pesky nuisances, and what it takes to get rid of them.

Carpenter bees are large, shiny, black colored bees, some species having yellow markings on the head.  Often they may be mistaken for bumble bees yet are slightly larger by anywhere from ¾ to an inch and a half in length.  The two main species in the eastern United States are Xylocopa virginica and Xylocopa micans, and three other species are found in the western areas of the country, Xylocopa varipuncta, Xylocopa tabaniformis orpifex and Xylocopa californica. X. virginica is the most common of this class of bee and is typically found in most situations.

Why do carpenter bees attack the wooden structure of your home?  Quite simple actually, they eat the fibrous materials and burrow deep inside to lay eggs.  If you see these pests, don’t waste any time and contact us now. If you’ve noticed one or two carpenter bees present on your property, then there is a great chance that there are many more where you cannot see them. If you know that they are drilling in the wood on your property to lay eggs, it means your house is in great danger. By leaving this problem untreated, the structure of your building can be completely destroyed by a carpenter bee infestation. However, with our top class service and great professional products you can always improve the situation before it gets out of hand.

As with all of our recommendations, we suggest that you should always focus on prevention. It is never too late to prevent a carpenter bee problem, and you can avoid big infestations with a few simple chores around the house. Start by looking for and filling any cracks and holes with an expanding foam or wood putty.  A quick burst of wasp and hornet spray into the chamber before plugging will take care of any still inside, preventing them from chewing out a new exit. Remember, carpenter bees prefer untreated soft wood. If you are planning a new construction or making repairs, choosing the right maple or oak wood will protect you from these bad guys.  In most cases, if you paint or treat your wood, you will not have to deal with unpleasant carpenter bees.  Unfinished, weathered or stained wood usually attracts carpenters. Clean and scrape any chipped paint then use a primer on these surfaces before painting.

Carpenter Bees usually reuse holes from the preceding season so the holes must be caulked in the fall. Territorial in behavior, male carpenter bees defend their nests with aggressive tactics. However, they have no stingers. Only females have them and may sting a person on a rare occasion. They are easily knocked down with a tennis racket or with a garden hose on a heavy shower setting.  Often you will find that woodpeckers will begin carving at the eves of your home to get at the abundance of larvae inside.  Most often these spots can be patched over with bondo and repainted without having to replace the entire segment of wood.  One particular telltale signs of carpenter bees are muddy looking splotches on siding and on shutters.  This indicates an active nest and should signal you to their presence.  Sometimes a pair of binoculars can assist in viewing areas in high or difficult spots to reach from the ground.

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