When spring arrives and the weather warms up, carpenter bees make appearances around SC homes. These bees aren’t much of a threat as far as stinging goes, but they can be a problem for home exteriors. Learn more about these bees to see if you need help from a Hilton Head carpenter bee exterminator.

What Do Carpenter Bees Look Like?

Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees, since they share a similar size and appearance. Both types of bees are larger and rounder than honeybees. However, carpenter bees have a smoother abdomen rather than the fuzzy one that bumble bees have. Carpenter bees also have a black abdomen, while bumble bees have black and yellow markings on their abdomen.

Where Do Carpenter Bees Nest?

Carpenter bees and bumble bees also differ in terms of where they build their nests. While bumble bees build their nests in the ground, carpenter bees make theirs in wood structures, including unpainted home exteriors and sheds. They usually prefer making tunnels in softwoods, such as cypress and cedar, rather than hardwoods.

In general, they stay away from wood that is pressure-treated or painted. You might find holes dug into the eaves of your home or in siding, around window trim and in fascia boards. Other nesting sites include patio furniture and decks.

When Are Carpenter Bees Active?

Carpenter bees spend the winter months inside empty tunnels in wood. During spring, they come out of these tunnels and mate. Fertilized female carpenter bees then dig tunnels in wood in order to lay their eggs. In some cases, they might decide to use tunnels that have previously been made. Carpenter bees fill cells inside these tunnels with pollen, which provides their young with food after they hatch. When the larvae have matured, they leave the nest in late summer.

What Are Signs of Carpenter Bee Damage?

Carpenter bees tend to leave holes in wood that are perfectly round. You might find traces of sawdust near the entry holes when these bees are busy making their tunnels. Carpenter bees sometimes create new entry holes in wood, but at other times, they make existing entry holes bigger and reuse these tunnels. When tunnels are used over and over again, this can lead to large entry holes in wood. If you have these signs on your property, a Hilton Head carpenter bee exterminator can help prevent further damage.

Do Carpenter Bees Sting?

Carpenter bees don’t sting for the most part. Females have stingers, although they only resort to stinging if they’re handled. Male carpenter bees have no stingers, but they might appear aggressive if you get too close to their territory. These male bees sometimes dive toward humans to try and scare them off.

Carpenter Bee Prevention and Control

You can discourage carpenter bees from digging holes in your house or other wooden structures by painting these surfaces. Staining might also help, although it is not as effective as painting. If you already have an infestation, letting a Hilton Head carpenter bee exterminator handle it is the best option.

Although these bees are not generally aggressive, they might attack when you disturb their nesting site. Exterminators know how to safely approach these nests and eliminate these bees before they can cause additional damage to homes. Keep in mind that the holes these bees have made will need to be closed up once these insects have been eliminated. This prevents other carpenter bees from using the same tunnels for their nests.

If you need a Hilton Head carpenter bee exterminator this spring, you can count on Island Pest Control. Our technicians receive extensive training and know-how to safely and thoroughly handle carpenter bee infestations. We also offer our free 58-point inspections to identify any other pest problems you might have in your home or on your property.