March 15, 2017
When spring temperatures warm up, all the creatures in Tennessee will become active again. Some of them will just crawl around in your backyard, dig tiny tunnels under your lawn, and hide under your rocks (and only be a nuisance every once in awhile when heavy rains make the ground saturated, or extended days of drought make the ground too dry.) Some will build nests on eaves and overhangs and leave painful welts on the skin when we accidentally come in contact with them. Some are wood-destroying pests that will damage our homes. There are many ways bugs can become pests. Of the three we’ve mentioned, what kind of pest do you think carpenter bees are?
If you said that these insects leave painful welts on the skin, you would be half right, because only female carpenter bees are able to sting. Male carpenter bees, though sometimes aggressive, are not able to sting. All of the dive bombing and excessive buzzing is just posturing, they can’t actually hurt you. Females, on the other hand, can give you a painful welt, or worse if you have an allergy to her venom. But a female carpenter bee doesn’t want to sting you. Her focus is on building a nest and making babies. That is how she has earned her pest status.
Female carpenter bees chew tunnels in wood to make their nests. While these tunnels aren’t all that extensive at first, they can grow quite a bit over the course of several years. These bees are prone to using and extending existing tunnels. When they do, these tunnels can cause quite a bit of damage.
Tunnels made by carpenter bees can be frustrating to repair because it is hard to know how much tunneling is present just beyond the tiny circular hole they leave in the wood they are attacking. If these tunnels are being created in a sensitive area, like a stair leading up to a balcony, a railing, or a support beam, serious injury could result if the damage isn’t properly addressed.
If you have carpenter bees appearing on your property this year, it is important to have a professional pest control technician take a look at your issue and give you some actionable input on how to protect your home. Identification of carpenter bees is quite easy. They look like a big bumblebee with an entirely black abdomen.
Don’t let carpenter bees damage your property and cause the potential for injury. This is an issue you should address when it first appears.