The Southern states, from California over to South Carolina, and below, have the longest nesting period for carpenter bees. Our East Texas service area is right at the top of this band. So for us, and the rest of the Southern United States, Carpenter bee season is quite long, running from February to October. The reason for this elongated season is all of the wonderful warm weather we get. Carpenter bees establish their nests during the warm weather months. If you're reading this during carpenter bee season, which is more likely than not, here are a few things you should know that could prevent your home from being damaged.
What To Look For
Carpenter bees and the holes they make in wood are both quite obvious if you know what characteristics to look for.
The appearance of a carpenter bee is distinct. While it is big, fuzzy and often black and yellow, like a bumble bee, it has an abdomen that is entirely black and visibly hairless. If you see a bumble bee with a black abdomen, you're actually looking at a carpenter bee. Knowing this can help you distinguish a carpenter bee from several feet away.
The appearance of a carpenter bee hole is distinct. Female carpenter bees bore circular holes that are so precise, you might mistake her holes for drill holes. These holes will be slightly bigger than her frame, which is usually about the size of a dime.
When carpenter bees create holes, they push sawdust out. This sawdust is a good indication that you have a carpenter bee problem. There is no natural reason for there to be a pile of sawdust under the stairs leading up to your deck. If you see a pile, we recommend taking a closer look.
Where To Look
If you want to stop carpenter bees before they do extensive damage to your home, you need to know where to look for the holes and the sawdust they create.
When a female carpenter bee bores into wood, she often does it vertically from the bottom up. This isn't always the case, but it is a preference. So you'll have to get down low and look up at the boards on your deck, patio, porch, balcony, or stairs to see most carpenter bee holes.
Sometimes carpenter bees will enter into boards from the ends. If you see "drilled" holes bored into the ends of the boards on your deck, you have carpenter bees in there. No other pests bore perfectly circular holes.
Sometimes you won't see any holes. Carpenter bees can find entry points in the exterior of a home and bore holes through wood that can't be seen. You can detect this by looking for carpenter bees going in and out of a gap, crack, or hole in your exterior.
What To Listen For
Sometimes you won't see carpenter bees or the holes and sawdust they create. Sometimes you'll hear them chewing. If you have several carpenter bees inside your home, this chewing sound can be unsettling, to say the least.
Another sound you might hear is the sound of a woodpecker tapping on the wood of your home. Woodpeckers eat the larvae of carpenter bees hidden inside their tunnels, just below the surface of the wood. If you see or hear a woodpecker tapping on your deck, patio, deck, or roofline, be aware that there is a reason for it. That reason may be a carpenter bee infestation.
What To Do
If you notice that carpenter bees have established themselves in your home, the best solution is to contact a licensed pest control provider. An educated professional knows what products to use, how much to apply, and when to apply them. If carpenter bee treatments are done wrong, it can make your problem worse. Trapped bees can create more damage as they bore their way out.
For assistance with carpenter bee control in East Texas and the Greater Houston area, contact Innovative Pest Control. Our highly trained service professionals have the resources and expertise to remove carpenter bees and manage the threat of carpenter bees. Whether you need one-time service or ongoing pest control for your home, we can help.