Carpenter bees have made their way to Iowa, and they can be very destructive to your wood structures. These large native bees are both pests and beneficial insects. Therefore, you need to keep them away from your home at all costs or encourage them to nest elsewhere. 

What Are Carpenter Bees?
Carpenter bees are a group of large bees similar in shape and size to bumblebees. Many varieties of carpenter bees exist, and they have different color patterns. Some look like bumblebees with yellow and black stripes. Other types may be mostly or entirely black.

While female carpenter bees have stingers, they rarely sting unless handled roughly. Males do not have a stinger. However, the males defend the nest sites. If agitated, they will aggressively fly at intruders and annoy them until they leave the area. They generally hover around the intruders’ eyes and ears. For most potential predators, this is an effective way to drive them off.

Why Are Carpenter Bees Destructive?
The problem with carpenter bees is that the females bore holes into wood in order to make nests and lay their eggs. They chew perfectly round holes into the wood with their mandibles. Carpenter bees prefer to make nests in soft, but not rotten, wood. If you have exposed wood on your home’s outside, then they may find these areas to be ideal nest sites. In some cases, several bees will use the same entry hole that branches out to several nests.

In addition to a weakened structural integrity, carpenter bees contribute further damage if water or ice enters the holes. The bees’ feces may stain the wood and leave unsightly marks. The sight of carpenter bee holes may attract woodpeckers that will widen and tear apart the wood even further in order to get to the bees and larvae inside.

How Are Carpenter Bees Beneficial?
In most cases, carpenter bees are important native pollinators for both food crops and flowers. Because of their large size, they are able to withstand wind and other weather problems difficult for regular European honeybees. They are also the sole pollinators of certain flowers such as passion flowers. In addition to their pollination ability, they are also an important food source for birds and other animals.

What Methods Discourage Carpenter Bees?
Carpenter bees are not hard to discourage. Discover some things you can do to keep them away.

Keep Your Wood Painted
Make sure your outside wood surfaces are painted or varnished. Once you know that carpenter bees are in your area, keep an eye out for any exposed wood of which they can take advantage.

Plug Up Vacated Holes
Once the bees are done with their nests, plug up and paint over the holes so that they don’t return and reuse them.

Treat Active Nests
If you want the bees completely gone, then treat the nests and holes with an insecticide. The best time is usually when the bees begin to hibernate.

Provide Alternative Nest Sites
If you want carpenter bees around, but you don’t want them to chew up your home, then you can provide an alternative nest area. These bees will nest in artificial sites provided that you give them the proper kind of wood and place it in a good area.

Carpenter bees, though they seem aggressive and scary, are usually harmless. However, if you let them use your home for their nests, then you risk damage to your home’s wood. Therefore, if your home is plagued with carpenter bees, or you need help with carpenter bee prevention, then contact Diam Pest Control. We can treat for these bees and help with their prevention for the next season.