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Although carpenter bees are just starting to be spotted in your area, they are not a species to be taken lightly. No one likely takes any stinging insect lightly and they shouldn’t. Although the male carpenter bees don’t even possess stingers, they are certainly not an insect you want to sleep on. They are new to your area but have been around for a long time in other areas. Throughout this time, a lot of unique and interesting information has been uncovered about the species. Knowing this information will only help towards your elimination efforts of the species. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding The Appearance
If you want to understand the carpenter bee species, you must first learn how to identify the bee. Of course, this is much harder than it sounds. Carpenter bees usually range anywhere from ¾ to 1-inch long and are considered substantial for their size. Their size will be one of the biggest indicating factors of the species. While the bee does give off a similar appearance to the honeybee, they do a harrier thorax. Despite this, their abdomen is bare and glossy.
As was mentioned earlier, the males don’t even have stingers. This is, of course, not true for females. They do have stingers and will sting but are not considered overly aggressive. As far as looks go, the female of the species will have black heads while the males usually have black heads with white spots.
Understanding The Behavior
Despite not having a stinger, the male carpenter can be threatening. In fact, they’ll dive bomb at your head and face if you come within close proximity of their nest. This is nothing more than a show, however, most people wouldn’t know it, so it is enough to make them think twice. The females, on the other hand, aren’t quite as aggressive. Sure, there will be a point when they will attack, but most aren’t likely to come at you just because you approached their hive.
This specific species likes to hibernate during the winter in their nest and only emerge in the early spring. This could be anywhere from mid-April to May, depending on the weather. Another interesting bit regarding this species is they don’t build colonies like other common flying insects. Instead, the females will build individual nets in wooden structures, where they can lay eggs. This is what makes them so potentially destructive to homeowners. Males don’t have to be worried about housing because they don’t live long enough to need nests.
Understand Nesting Rituals
Speaking of nests, carpenter bees prefer unpainted, softwoods. These nests can cosmetically damage a wood surface, but don’t normally do enough damage to be considered a structural threat. This is not to say they couldn’t cause structural problems because they do return year after year to the same wooden structures. Despite their ability to hibernate, they will return to the same nests year after year until deterred otherwise. The female of the species builds nests by biting into the wood going against the grain. After about an inch in, they will turn the nests so they form a tunnel.
Although not much of a physical or structural threat, carpenter bees aren’t flying insects you want to mess around with. They will become a nuisance, as their size alone and aggressiveness of the males can be threatening. Therefore, it is best to remove an infestation from the property as early as possible. This is something our pest management pros will be more than happy to help you accomplish. Just get our local office on the line and we’ll dispatch someone out to the property.