Carpenter Bees, Let’s Drill Down on What They Are All About

Carpenter Bees are often mistaken for Bumble Bees but are different in that they have a shiny black tail section.  You will see them hovering around eaves and wood decks in the spring time.  They get their name because of the holes they make in the wood with their strong jaws.  The holes often look like someone took a drill to the wood making almost perfectly round holes.  The Carpenter Bee excavates these tunnels or holes for nesting sites.  They do not eat the wood like termites, that is why you will also find little piles of sawdust around the site.  Painted and treated woods are less preferred but are not immune to attack.

Carpenter Bees overwinter often times in old nest tunnels.  The males are usually the first to appear in April or May.   The males have a white spot on the front of their face and do not have stingers but females do.  Several different Carpenter Bees may use the same entrance hole but will create different galleries inside the wood.  The female will develop a pollen ball which will be used as food for the offspring.  She will deposit an egg near the pollen ball and then seal off that section.  The offspring will hatch from eggs in about a day, then develop in about 5 to 7 weeks and emerge late summer.  The adult bee’s die in a matter of weeks after the nesting ends.  The new hatch of Carpenter Bee’s will not create any new tunnels but may clean out the old tunnels for over wintering.


Preventing Carpenter Bee damage is difficult because any exposed wood is vulnerable to attack. Since the bee’s are not actually eating the wood they are active over several weeks and must be exposed to lethal doses of pesticide to be effective. By treating the entrance sites or holes we can dramatically reduce future nesting activity whiles reducing the Carpenter Bee population. It is also important that the holes be sealed after treatment by the homeowner. It is best to seal the holes with aluminum foil, steel wool and weather resistant caulk or liquid nails and a dowel.

We at Keller Pest Control can work with you the homeowner to help control Carpenter Bees but can not be completely eliminated. There will always be Carpenter Bees in the environment and they will always seek out wood for nesting. It is also important that homeowner keep up with staining or painting their wood sided house and decks as Carpenter Bees are less likely to attack these surfaces.

Keller Pest Control uses the latest treatment methods and products that are proven to help control Carpenter Bees. Call us today to do an on site inspection and we can discuss how we can help you with your Carpenter Bee problem.