Dealing With Carpenter Bees This Spring
Carpenter bees are large black and yellow bees that look like bumblebees, but they have a large, shiny, solid black abdomen. They may look scary but they are generally not harmful to humans unless provoked. Although these insects may not pose a threat to you, they can wreak havoc on your house’s siding, fascia, or foundation, if not taken cared of early.
Read on to learn more about carpenter pests and protect your home from costly damages by following the tips listed below.
What are the possible damages from carpenter bees?
Carpenter bees prefer excavating their nests into softer woods like pine, cedar, redwood, and cypress, while treated or hard lumber are less inviting to them. They can create their nests in your fascia boards, siding, window trim, porch ceilings, decks, outdoor furniture, fence posts, and swing sets.
If a specific area is infested by carpenter bees, you should see holes that typically go inward for about an inch and the tunnel that turns and follows the grain of the infested wood for about 6 inches more. Aside from tunnels, some other indications of carpenter bees infestation are:
- Sawdust outside the hole.
- Scraping sounds from the infested wood.
- Stains that are shaped like fans outside the openings.
If detected early, there may not be too much to worry about. However, if the infestation has been going on for years, then your house or property may be prone to structural damage, water damage, stains, and woodpeckers. Fortunately, carpenter bee damage can be prevented and the ways to do so are outlined below:
Fill in cracks or openings on the wood.
Cracks, nail holes, divots, and splintered wood are attractive to carpenter bees so be sure to fill those in with caulking or putty. Doing this will close any entrance for carpenter bees, thus stopping them from creating their nests.
Paint or apply varnish to wood early.
After closing all entrances, paint all wood surfaces with a sealing primer and at least two coats of paints. Doing this will prevent carpenter bees and other pests from finding a place to bore their nests into. Although stains and varnishes are is less effective than paint, they are still better than bare wood.
If, however, carpenter bees had infested your house, you can do the following:
Spray an insecticide for carpenter bees.
Spray an insecticide like Cyzmic CS Insecticide, Demon WP, and FenvaStar Cap in areas infested by carpenter bees. Spraying twice during the spring months every 3–4 weeks is recommended to effectively get rid of the bees.
Close the entrance.
After spraying the insecticide, be sure to close the bees’ entrance by plugging the hole with a wood dowel coated with carpenter’s glue, caulking, or putty.
If you’re going green and want to consider a non-chemical approach to getting rid of carpenter bees, then bee traps are a great alternative. These traps are designed to attract and trap carpenter bees. Simply hang it directly over the carpenter bee holes if you have an existing infestation. For the prevention of infestation, you can hang the traps at peaks and corners of your home. Placing it in the sunniest area of your house is preferred.
Remember that when it comes to dealing with carpenter bees, prevention is always better and cheaper than cure. Be sure to follow the prevention methods above and save yourself from costly damages and carpenter bees stress. Good luck!