How Much Damage Can Carpenter Bees Do To My Austin Home?

carpenter bee on wooden table

Bees are some of the most beneficial insects around. While some bugs stop at nothing to devour the plant life around them, bees help their local ecosystem thrive by pollinating flowers. However, not all bees are alike. Destructive carpenter bees can pose a danger to your home and can be difficult to get rid of without the right treatment. If you’re concerned with carpenter bee damage in Austin, learning more about these pests can help protect your property.

What Are Carpenter Bees?

There are several kinds of carpenter bees found in the U.S. and features vary from species to species. Most carpenter bees have a metallic black or blue abdomen with a ruff of hair on their thorax in a yellow, orange, or white coloration. Carpenter bees strongly resemble bumblebees and usually measure between 1/4 inch and 1 inch in length.

Though coloration may differ from one species to another, all carpenter bees are solitary insects that build their homes in wooden structures. That’s right, unlike their cousins the honeybees, carpenter bees prefer to live alone instead of in large social nests. So, the question of distinguishing a carpenter bee from another species is how and where it lives rather than how it looks. And these destructive bees like to live in the wood around your property.

Problems Caused By Carpenter Bees

While other species of wasps and bees have visible nests that can be removed with the proper precautions, carpenter bees burrow into vulnerable wood and build their nests within, meaning that a carpenter bee nest can’t simply be picked up and relocated. The main problem with carpenter bees is the damage they cause.

Carpenter bees prefer weathered softwood to build their solitary nests. Old fences, eaves, porches, and siding are all common places they can be found. Nesting locations can be easily identified by the presence of perfectly circular holes about a 1/2 inch in diameter on wooden structures. Carpenter bees don’t actually eat wood but will destroy significant portions of wood to create the chambers for their nest. The trouble is, one nest can turn to many over time, compromising the integrity of the wood around your property.

And of course, carpenter bees can sting. They aren’t especially aggressive and won’t go out of their way to attack unless threatened. While most stings result in pain and minor swelling, a sting from a carpenter bee can be life-threatening for those who are allergic.

How To Prevent Carpenter Bees

The good news is that with a few simple methods, you can prevent carpenter bees from inhabiting your home:

  • Finish your wood – Carpenter bees prefer to build nests in unfinished wood, so applying a coat of varnish or paint can repel them.
  • Plug up holes – Identify any entrances and fill them with caulk. Wait until the bees have vacated the nest to fill the holes.
  • Use metal flashing – You can prevent carpenter bees from burrowing into rough woods by covering them with metal flashing or wire mesh.
  • Remove water sources – Like all animals, bees need water to survive. Look around for water sources like birdbaths, fountains, or basins and empty them out. Cover pools to prevent bees from congregating.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do to prevent carpenter bees from invading your Austin home is to get help from the professionals at White Knight Pest Control. With more than 15 years of experience in treating Texas homes for bees and other nuisance pests, we’ll help you protect your property from infestation and eliminate any existing problems you may have. Get in touch with us today.