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There are a lot of things that can damage our homes. But few are as pernicious as carpenter bees. Carpenter bees don't come in a giant swarm and create a bunch of damage all at once. It happens over time, in a way that is so subtle it is often missed by homeowners--especially at first. That is why it is important to recognize the signs of a carpenter bee infestation when you see one.

Top 5 Ways To Know You Have Carpenter Bees In Your Home

  • You see them. On the surface, this may seem silly. Of course, you'll know you have a carpenter bee problem when you start to see carpenter bees buzzing around. But many people don't know how to properly identify carpenter bees, and often mistake them for bumblebees. We don't want that to be the case for you. If you see a large black and yellow bee buzzing around your home, take note of a few things. First, look to see where that bee is hanging out. At a distance, it might be difficult to figure out what type of bee you're looking at. But, bumblebees will have no interest in buzzing around near your roofline, soffits, and eaves. Bumblebees establish their nests in the ground, and they spend their time in flower beds and around plants that have flowers. Carpenter bees establish their nests in wood. The overhangs on your home will be very interesting to these bees. You'll also see them buzzing around underneath wooden structures like your porch, deck, patio, or balcony. If you get within 8 feet of a carpenter bee, you should be able to tell it apart from a bumblebee. Carpenter bees are entirely black from the middle of their bodies to the ends of their tails. Bumblebees continue to have yellow bands.
  • You hear them. All of that wood chewing can make a noticeable sound. This sound can be quite disconcerting, especially if you know that it is coming from the tunnels of wood-boring insects.
  • You find sawdust. When carpenter bees create their tunnels, they push the frass out. This frass is essentially sawdust, and it can be found piled on the ground or spread out on the ground underneath a carpenter bee tunnel. It may also cling to surfaces, like the frame of a door or window, a board, a portion of your eaves, rafters, or the under-structure of your deck or patio.
  • You see holes. One of the most unique signs of a carpenter bee infestation are the circular holes that these wood-chewing pests make. They are almost completely circular and are only slightly larger than the female bees that bore them. You'll usually find these holes underneath boards because carpenter bees prefer to bore straight up and then make a right angle or follow the grain of the wood they are boring into. When they follow the wood grain on a roofline board, it is sometimes possible to see a path of holes traveling with the grain. Unlike termites, carpenter bees do not die when they are exposed to the air or to the drying effects of the sun. For this reason, holes made by these bees are not always circular. When tunnel walls breach the surface of the wood, the holes can be any shape.
  • Something gives way. We hope that this is not how you find out that you have carpenter bees boring tunnels into the wood of your home, but if it is, it is important to recognize it. Carpenter bees can weaken exterior wooden stairs and cause them to break. They can weaken the railing on your deck or balcony and lead to a fall. They can cause planks in decks, patios, and balconies to split. When anything snaps, splits, or breaks, be sure to do a search for holes or tunnels in the broken wood.

If you see signs of carpenter bees, and you are in our Massachusetts or Connecticut service area, let us know. Do-it-yourself carpenter bee methods can cause more damage to your home and lead to continued damage if some of those bees go undetected. It is best to have an educated pest professional arrest the issue and help you prevent future carpenter bee infestations from occurring. You never get a second chance to prevent carpenter bee damage.

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