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Ever wonder about whether carpenter bees are harmful and how to best remove them from your property. This page tells you all you need to know about these seasonal bees. Let’s start with the number one question Priority Pest Protection receives about carpenter bees:

Do carpenter bees eat wood?

The easy answer to that is No, they do not eat wood. That is great news, but do they damage wood? Yes, they damage wood on decks and other wooden structures by making nests in the wood. They literally form tunnels in the wood by making 1/2-inch round holes. That is where their nest entrance is. Chambers are contained within the nest. When the bees come back year after year, they often use the same nests and also expand out and drill more holes. This tunneling activity causes weakness in the wood and can cause decks and flooring areas to lose their structural strength.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Removal of these bees requires a professional. Professional exterminators have to be trained on how to remove these pests as the effective strategies can change annually.

Looking for help with carpenter bee extermination in Nashville?

The second most asked question about these bees is, “Can they sting?” You may hear neighbors say they cannot hurt you, but beware. The female has a stinger and, if provoked, she can use it just like a bumblebee. It is rare that you see a carpenter bee get aggressive. You literally would have to be harming the bee or touching it. Males have no stingers.

Type of Wood Damaged by Carpenter Bees

These bees can bore into almost any type of wood. They prefer softer woods. Wood that is untreated, unstained, or unpainted is even more appealing to these insects. The easier for them to drill, the better. Areas most often affected are decks, wood siding, fascia boards, window casings and trim, and wood porch ceilings.

Here is a list of the woods carpenter bees like best:

  • Cedar
  • Cypress
  • Pine
  • Redwood

When are Bees Active

Carpenter bees get very busy in the spring months. April and May are particularly active months for these insects as this is the bee mating season. In August, they often emerge again.

How will you know you have carpenter bees?

  1. They leave a sawdust-like substance behind
  2. You will see them buzzing around areas with wood
  3. You will have nice symmetrical holes on the underside of boards
Close up photo of carpenter bee

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