Although bees play a crucial role in the environment, most people don't know much about them. The carpenter bee is one of the least discussed bees in Pennsylvania. There are a few things you should know about carpenter bees and how you can keep them away.
What They Look Like
Carpenter bees are similar to bumblebees, but a few key details can help you tell them apart. While carpenter bees have shiny black abdomens, bumblebees have hairy abdomens. Some bumblebees have yellow markings, but a carpenter bee will never have yellow on it.
If you're not sure which types of bees you have on your property, watch the news fly around. A carpenter bee has a distinct flight pattern, as it gives and darts around. Typically, these bees seem to chase one another. They're also more solitary than bumblebees, so you're not likely to find them alone than in groups.
Are They Dangerous?
Because carpenter bees are such solitary creatures, they're reluctant to sting people. They only sting when they sense an immediate threat and are unlikely to attack in numbers like social bees and wasps.
Male carpenter bees don't pose any threat because they don't possess stingers. Although the females have stingers, they hesitate to use them. They would rather fly away than risk attacking a human. In the rare instance, a carpenter bee stings you, there's no real danger unless you have an allergic reaction.
Do They Cause Damage?
Bumblebees aren't notorious for causing damage, but carpenter bees have a reputation that precedes them. They make tunnels in woods and lay their eggs in those tunnels. Although the damage may not seem like much, it could attract another unwanted pest.
Carpenter bee larvae attract woodpeckers, which is bad news for your property. As woodpeckers try to get to the bee larvae, they do damage to your home.
Signs Of Carpenter Bees
If you see large bees near the eaves of your home, you could be looking at carpenter bees. They create perfectly round holes in wood, which is unusual for any type of pest in Pennsylvania. To avoid aesthetic damage to your home, contact a professional for assistance. Another sign of the bees is a visual sighting. If you notice any solitary, large bees flying around, you could have nests nearby. Check your home for holes to find out if they're nesting.
Preventing Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bee prevention starts with:
- Painting your wood: Because the paint repels bees, you're less likely to encounter a problem.
- Make your home less accessible to these pests by repairing your roofline and sealing up any access points. Windowsills, railings, and decks are particularly vulnerable to these bees.
- Caulk up old holes: However, be wary of covering an active bee nest. While these bees aren't particularly violent, they may become aggressive if you interfere with their nest.
- Any issues with your roofline or flashing, repair them. Typically, this means calling in a professional. In addition to keeping bees away, roof repair comes with the benefit of reducing leaks.
- Removing sources of water also makes your property less appealing to carpenter bees. Like all pests in Pennsylvania, carpenter bees need water to survive.
- Repair leaks in your yard and address drainage issues.
- The most effective way to prevent and eliminate carpenter bees is to consult with a professional for ongoing treatment. For more advice or assistance, contact our experts at BHB Pest Elimination. We have comprehensive home pest control programs to eliminate pests and we provide a variety of treatment plans including a one-time treatment. Call us today at BHB Pest Elimination for an inspection of your Plymouth Meeting home. We're ready to help you!