What Are Carpenter Bees, How To Get Rid Of Them, And More

This Is The Information We Want All Of Ann Arbor Clients With Wood Siding To Know
Carpenter bee on wood

It’s a fantastic idea to find out what those things buzzing around your house are before getting close. 

In this post, you can discover what carpenter bees are and how they differ from other bees. You can also find out where they live, how to know if you have any, what their damage looks like and how bad it is, if they’re aggressive and sting, and how you can get rid of them.

Is That A UFO?

“Not a UFO, probably a carpenter bee,” sighs Jason.

“What?! Do carpenter bees sting or bite you?” asks Sarah breathlessly. Jason shakes his head. “I’m not too sure. I just heard about them recently from our neighbor who also has wood siding.”

Sarah sighs. “So carpenter bees nest in wood, great. That just means wood damage. We need to look up stuff like carpenter bee control, what kind of damage they can do, and more.”  

“Then let’s Google carpenter bee facts and see what we can find!” says Jason, taking his phone from his pocket. “It helped us with woodpecker control.”

Here’s what the couple discovers:

What Are Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter bees are bees that drill holes into wood to lay eggs. This includes your wood siding. They’re solitary creatures, meaning they have no hives. They also don’t have the stripes that bumblebees have.

Where Carpenter Bees Live And How To Know If You Have Them

Carpenter bee damage in wood

These bees tend to choose areas higher up, usually the fascia of a house. There are a few ways to tell if you have them:

  • You see round holes in your wood siding
  • There is a bee or bees flying high around your home
  • You see woodpecker damage going in lines
  • You see yellowish excrement on the siding below the holes

What Carpenter Bee Damage Looks Like And How Much Damage They Can Do

Woodpecker damage on the facia with yellowish carpenter bee excrement on the board below

Carpenter bees drill holes by using the mandibles on their face as teeth. They cut and tear through the wood in straight lines. This makes a gallery where they can lay their eggs.

The damage looks like a hole going 1 to 2 inches perpendicular to the grain, followed by a 90-degree turn, and ending with a 4 to a 6-inch long line going with the grain.

So how much damage these bees do depends on how often they repeat this process. Any openings in wood siding are bad. It allows moisture and other damaging insects, like carpenter ants, to get in. This can cause damage in multiple ways and areas.

Where more damage comes in is from woodpeckers tearing your house apart trying to get to the eggs and larvae.

Are Carpenter Bees Aggressive And Do They Sting?

Flying carpenter bee

Carpenter bees aren’t very aggressive. Males will fly around your head if you try getting close to the nest.

Carpenter bee males have no stinger and neither males nor females are known to bite. Females do have stingers but are rarely aggressive enough to use them.

So overall, carpenter bees aren’t dangerous to humans, but they are to houses.

How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees

Woodpecker damage on a house caused by it going after bee larvae

These bees are an ongoing problem if you live in a wood house.

The best way to get rid of them is to use an exterminator. They’ll dust the holes with poison and the dust will get on the bees as they enter and exit the hole.

You can also control carpenter bees by using bee catchers. They look like small birdhouses that you hang on the outside of your house. The bees go in looking for a place to lay eggs and get trapped.

You May Also Like To Know

“I know more about these bees than I ever thought I’d need to,” jokes Jason. Sarah chuckles. “Me too. Now we really need to look into carpenter bee removal.” Jason nods. “And some carpentry services too. Let’s see what we can find.”