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Identifying Carpenter Bees in Eastern Texas

Carpenter bees look a lot like bumble bees. They are large insects with yellow and black coloring. They are about an inch in size, and in the right light, you can often see metallic reflections with blue, green, or purple coloring. While bumble bees have hairy abdomens, carpenter bees have shiny abdomens.

image of a bee on a tree

Understanding Carpenter Bee Nesting Habits

Unlike other bees, carpenter bees do not build or live in nests. Instead, female carpenter bees will drill holes into soft wood. 

Common Targets for Carpenter Bee Drilling:

  • Railings
  • Decks
  • Windowsills
  • Wooden lawn furniture

The Intricate Tunnel Systems of Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees take the little wood chips their drilling creates to form divided cells in which they can lay eggs and protect their larvae until they are ready to live on their own. You may see small mounds of sawdust around the carpenter bee entrances to wood when a bee creates a new tunnel, but bees will also re-use old tunnels as boring tunnels through wood is a lot of work.

Carpenter Bee Diet: Pollen and Nectar

Like most bees, carpenter bees feed on the pollen and nectar from plants. When females are creating divided cells within their excavated wood tunnels, they place a ball of pollen in each cell for their larvae to feed on.

Solitary Life of Carpenter Bees Explained

No, the primary difference between carpenter bees and other types of bees is that carpenter bees are solitary insects and  theydo not live in colonies with other bees. While typically considered solitary, some female carpenter bees may live with their daughters or sisters to share in the work and thus forming a small, basic social group. 

Are Carpenter Bees a Stinging Threat?

 While female carpenter bees have potent stingers, they rarely use them, and male carpenter bees don’t even have stingers! Males can become very aggressive and fly at your face when defending their territory, which is surprising but since they don’t have stingers there isn’t much they can do beyond that. 

Property Damage Caused by Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees pose more of a threat to property than they do to humans. When the bees bore holes through wood it can cause structural damages, in addition to leaving excrement and accumulations of sawdust around their entrance holes. Carpenter bees attract woodpeckers, so if you have carpenter bees living in your structure, the woodpeckers may also come and riddle the wood with holes trying to get the immature stages of carpenter bees inside.

Prevent Carpenter Bee Damage: Contact Eastern Texas Pest Control

  • Because carpenter bees prefer untreated and unpainted wood, make sure to paint or stain all of the wood around your property to help prevent carpenter bees. 
  • You’ll want to inspect all wood areas around your home periodically for evidence of infestation, which include round and smooth holes in the wood – plus, if you walk by the holes and male carpenter bees come after you, you can pretty much guarantee you have carpenter bees living in the wood!
  • If you spot any signs of carpenter bees on your property for help getting rid of them, call the Eastern Texas pest control experts at Innovative Pest Control!

holes on wood

Get Started Today For a Pest-Free Tomorrow

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