The current favorite for “Rookie Pest of the Year” has to be the carpenter bee. These bumble bee look-a-likes have generated a lot of buzz this summer, as most homeowners in Wisconsin previously had little to no experience with them.
Identifying Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees’ appearance differs from bumble bees slightly, as they are of a similar size but with a shiny black abdomen instead of a hairy abdomen with yellow markings. Their behavior, however, is much different. Carpenter bees get their name from the way they excavate tunnels in wood to build their nests. Nests usually consist of tunnels half of an inch in diameter and 6-10" deep and may include several brood chambers. Many homeowners notice the small holes across the sides of wooden surfaces around their home. This can become problematic to the aesthetic appeal of a home, deck, or fence, and in some extreme cases can even threaten the structural integrity of the wood. They prefer the wood from redwood, cedar, pine, and cypress trees and target wood that is unpainted, untreated, and weathered. Male carpenter bees are also very aggressive and, despite not having a stinger, will dive-bomb the heads of people who come too close to nesting sites. Female carpenter bees can sting in defense if provoked.
Why are they here?
Carpenter bees’ expansion into northern states is explained as a natural progression of their territory as populations become more acclimated to colder weather conditions. The amount of inquires we have received from current and potential clients is proof that carpenter bees have arrived in strength, and their arrival offers a new challenge for homeowners in Wisconsin.
What can you do?
The carpenter bee emergence reminds us that the pest control industry is always evolving, and of how important it is to receive quality service and consultation from experienced professionals.
Incorrect treatment of carpenter bees can actually cause them to do further damage to the wood, so we recommend giving us a call at (262) 797-4160 or requesting a free estimate!