ABOUT CARPENTER BEES
Bees that are observed around the eaves of Bristol homes or businesses, are most likely eastern carpenter bees. This pest is known for constructing nests in wooden structures, which can often result in an economic loss for property owners. Professional carpenter bee control in Bristol is the best solution to this problem.
The carpenter bee is similar in size to the bumblebee, which is the primary cause for one species being frequently mistaken for the other. However, the two species are differentiated by the carpenter bee's shiny, black, hairless abdomen. The carpenter bee may be found with various colors, ranging from black to a purple-blue. Males can be identified by their lack of a stinger and the yellow highlights on their faces. The legs and thorax of both sexes are adorned by yellow hairs.
Staple items in the carpenter bee diet include nectar and plant pollen. Carpenter bees, like other bee species, are drawn to sweet human foods. Sodas, fruits and desserts may look particularly tempting to carpenter bees. However, they also may be drawn to high-protein foods like chicken and beef.
Contrary to popular belief, the eastern carpenter bee does not eat wood. Instead, carpenter bees bore into wood for the purpose of creating nests and tunnels where they live and rear their young. In the wild, these nests are found in trees, fallen logs and stumps. Carpenter bees who happen upon untreated or unpainted wood in human structures will often attempt to build tunnels there. Frequently, it is fences and decks that take the brunt of the damage from carpenter bees. They may also bore into windowsills, door frames or siding, especially if the paint on these items is wearing away. It is also not uncommon for a homeowner to discover that carpenter bees have taken up residence in their wooden lawn furniture, which can quickly render the pieces unusable.
PROBLEMS WITH CARPENTER BEES
A single bee will not cause sufficient damage to a home or commercial structure to require extensive repairs. However, it is important to realize that eastern carpenter bees use the same nesting sites year after year. As the brood of the initial female grows, so will the damage caused to the building. Thus, an infestation that goes untreated for several years may ultimately causing severe structural damage.
It is most often the male carpenter bee that is spotted buzzing around outside of buildings. People moving around within the vicinity or making noise may be met by the male in what is perceived as a threatening manner. However, this is only a defensive act, as males do not possess stingers. And while females do have the ability the sting, they are not typically encountered unless the nest is seriously disturbed.
Perhaps the foremost human health concern in relation to the carpenter bee is the danger of an allergic reaction to a sting. Carpenter bee stings are rare, but if they happen to sting a person who is allergic, then immediate medical attention would be required.
SIGNS OF A CARPENTER BEE INFESTATION
Home and business owners may have a problem with eastern carpenter bees if they notice such indications, as:
• Seeing large bees buzzing around under eaves, close to fences or near decks
• Piles of sawdust on the ground underneath a carpenter bee nest
• Holes in wood of about one-half inch in diameter
• Yellow stains under holes from carpenter bee fecal matter
It may be possible to protect property from a carpenter bee infestation by using these preventative measures:
• Use hardwoods for all building projects since carpenter bees prefer soft woods
• Finish, treat or paint all wood products
• Seal all cracks and crevices
• tore food in tightly-sealed containers
CARPENTER BEE CONTROL
While carpenter bees are helpful pollinators that are welcome in flower gardens, orchards and farm fields, they should not be allowed to build nests in manmade structures. Once these holes appear, the structure becomes vulnerable to successive generations of carpenter bees in addition to other far more destructive pests.
Treating for carpenter bees requires particular knowledge and experience. Treatments involve locating and dealing off tunnel holes, followed with the use of specialized dusts and insecticides designed for easy transmittal throughout the colony.
Eradication of a carpenter bee infestation in or around any Bristol home or office should be left to a licensed pest control professional.