Carpenter bee holes are amazing to look at. If you’ve never seen a carpenter bee hole, they’re perfectly round and about the diameter of a dime. I’ve been in the pest control industry for 25 years and as my career has progressed I’ve begun to realize what a damaging pest carpenter bees actually are.
Having carpenter bee holes is only half the problem. The real issue is going to start later when the bees really get going on the wood. The typical house with carpenter bees has had the problem for many years. The signs and symptoms of carpenter bees are always the same no matter where you’re from.
When a home has carpenter bees around the beginning of May you’ll start to see large robust bumble bee looking creatures flying around the roof line of your home. What you’re seeing are females looking for suitable wood to drill or males fending off other bees.
The female bee has 2 options for drilling a hole to begin the life cycle. The first and most likely will be to clean out an existing hole. The second will be to start a new hole. Carpenter bee holes are visually round, but the 7″ drilled gallery is where the real damage takes place.
Once the female has a suitable gallery she’ll begin laying eggs. After each egg she’ll install a slurry of pollen and nectar so that the larva has something to feed on. The work continues until the end of the tunnel which is sealed with another slurry of pollen and nectar. This last slurry leaves a residual stain that looks similar to bird droppings, but is blackish brown with yellow mixed in.
Once the mixture of males and females are born the cycle starts all over again nest year. This recurrence is how carpenter bees become a long-term problem.
The best time to treat carpenter bees is upon first emergence in May. The treatment should include treating the area with a residual liquid insecticide and or treating the holes directly. Most treatments fail because the timing is off. If the bees are not actively flying or drilling then they’ll never come in contact with the insecticide. For this reason successful carpenter bee work is limited to the April–June time frame.
If you have carpenter bees or know someone who does, please call Envirocare Pest Control at 1-888-879-6481. We can help