You might be wondering what the heck a carpenter bee is. I never even knew they existed until a couple of years ago. You can see the backside of one in the picture below. They might be mistaken for a big bumblebee, but their abdomen is shiny black in comparison to the fuzzy abdomen of the bumblebee. You'll often see them hovering in the air around the roofline of your home. If you see them, you'll want to pay attention. They may take up residence in your home.
|The Backside of a Carpenter Bee|
What is a Carpenter Bee?
According to the Entomology Department at the University of Kentucky
- Carpenter bees may resemble bumblebees but nest in wood rather than in the ground like bumble bees.
- Carpenter bees prefer bare, unpainted wood (my house is painted and that doesn't stop them).
- After mating, the females excavate tunnels in which they will lay their eggs. Balls of pollen are provided to feed the larvae.
- The extent of damage created by the tunnels may be extensive.
When carpenter bees first came to my attention, it wasn't the hovering around my roofline that I noticed. While watering a squash plant that was in a pot on my deck I saw what looked like sawdust all over the plant.
|Signs of a Carpenter Bee|
I couldn't figure out how sawdust would have gotten on the plant until I looked up and I saw this...
|A Carpenter Bee Hole|
Isn't that the loveliest, round, perfectly drilled hole you have ever seen? One might think that Hubby was out very early in the morning drilling holes in the fascia boards of our house for some unknown reason. While I was standing there looking at the hole, along came the carpenter bee you saw pictured above. Yes, the tail end of that insect sticking out of the hole belongs to an annoying carpenter bee.
Well, the carpenter bees are back again. This week I was alerted by chance when I looked out my window and saw signs of sawdust on top of our air conditioner.
|Sawdust from Carpenter Bees|
What Can You Do about Carpenter Bees?
Allowing extensive damage to my home is not acceptable. Measures will have to be taken. The University of Kentucky also provides suggestions for dealing with these pests:
- Paint all unpainted surfaces (This doesn't seem to work in our case because our surfaces are already painted.)
- Liquid sprays of carbaryl (Sevin), chlorpyrifos (Dursban), or a synthetic pyrethroid (e.g., permethrin or cyfluthrin) can be applied as a preventive to wood surfaces that are attracting the bees. Residual effectiveness of these insecticides is often only 1-2 weeks, however, and the treatment may need to be repeated.
- Tunnels that have already been excavated are best treated by puffing an insecticidal dust (e.g., 5 percent carbaryl) into the nest opening. Aerosol sprays labeled for wasp or bee control also are effective. (This was what we used.)
Here are other posts about the battles with pests in my world:
How to Kill Ants in Your Home
How to Trap and Kill Fruit Flies
Linked to Between Naps on the Porch
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