Bees are one of the most beneficial insects around, but they can be harmful to your health, especially those highly allergic, but few can prove to damaging property. Carpenter bees, which are among the species in California, are among the few that can prove to cause damage in structures and we at Animal Pest Management would like to share the fundamentals.
Large & Small Carpenter Bees
There are 2 classifications of carpenter bees, large (Xylocopa) and small (Ceratina). The large carpenter bees, which are the likely carpenter bees in California, are the typically the bees associated with property damage.
Carpenter Bee Identification
Carpenter bees range in size from just under a ½” to just over 1” long, where their size and characteristics greatly resembles the bumble bee. Colors vary; purplish blue, metallic blue, greenish black, and black. The males feature yellow sections on their face and both sexes don’t have visible hair on the top abdomen, they do have yellowish hairs on the legs, thorax, and abdomen, but it isn’t as dense or as vibrant as the bumble bees.
Carpenter Bee Wood Damage
The black and yellow carpenter bee is frequently attracted to the unfinished or weathered wood. Carpenter bees are especially drawn to the rails and posts of the split rail fences made of oak. They are also attracted to pine, Cyprus, and redwood; any wood that is not protected by bark or that is unpainted or unfinished, especially if it is old and weathered, is susceptible to carpenter bees. These bees do not eat the wood, but they do excavate tunnels within the wood to use as nests. They are frequently found destroying the wood of eaves, siding, fascia boards, porches, and decks. Over the winter months, carpenter bee adults use their nests to refuge in, but come the spring the reemerge. If these pests are left to thrive, they will continue to expand their tunnels and even find new other places excavate. Though these bees are harmless, the damage with their excavation work can be costly and their feces can cause unsightly staining.
Do Male & Female Carpenter Bees Sting?
Despite their sudden appearance from the wooden cavities being frightening to most, the females are capable of stinging, but only do so if they feel provoked and though the males do not have stingers, they will try to appear aggressive with their flight movement.
Signs of Carpenter Bee Infestations
An infestation is typically obvious as seeing these bees flying around the area and being particularly protective of their nests tips off homeowners, but if their numbers are small, seeing the following is fair indicator:
1) Entrance holes about a ½” wide in the wood.
2) Sawdust is found around the hole.
3) Pollen and excrement are near the entrances to the holes.
Carpenter Bee Inspection
If you think you may have carpenter bees, look in the following places in addition to the eaves, siding, fascia boards, porches, and decks:
– Untreated Poles
– Wooden Lawn Furniture
Carpenter Bee Inspections, Control, Removal & More in San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside & San Diego Counties, California
When it comes to carpenter bees, you want to have experts ensuring they are completely removed from your property to avoid costly damages. If you have carpenter bees call in the professionals of Animal Pest Management and let our professionals do the rest!