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10 Fun Facts About Carpenter Bees

Serving Suffolk County | Nassau County | Long Island | Brooklyn

Spring is here on Long Island, which means so are carpenter bees! Named for their nesting behavior inside wood, carpenter bees are one of the more destructive pests to Long Island homes this time of year. Read on to learn 10 fun facts about carpenter bees to better understand these seasonal pests and their behavior so you can best protect your home.

Carpenter Bees Bore Into Wood

Usually, carpenter bees bore into the wood of structures like decks, wooden furniture, playsets, and porches, where they create tunnels for egg-laying and general protection.  Most of the time, these tunnel openings are around one to two inches deep, just enough for them to fit their bodies through the entrance. Then, the tunnel turns at a right angle, following the wood grain for around half a foot. After tunneling, carpenter bees leave behind a recognizable sawdust-like material called frass.

Carpenter Bees Live on Almost Every Continent carpenter bee

Believe it or not, carpenter bees are found almost all over the world. These pests have been spotted on every continent except for Antarctica!

Carpenter Bees Are Often Mistaken for Bumblebees

Though they’re often mistaken for one another, carpenter bees and bumblebees vary in appearance. While carpenter bees have black, bare, and shiny bodies, bumblebees have hairy abdomens with yellow markings.

Carpenter Bees Hibernate During the Winter

Hibernation isn’t just for bears! Adult carpenter bees also hibernate during the winter, usually in abandoned nest tunnels. Then, they emerge during the spring, which is why they are such a nuisance this time of year for Long Island homeowners.

Female Carpenter Bees Rarely Sting

Female carpenter bees have stingers on their bodies but aren’t aggressive. Because of this, they’ll only sting if provoked. They are a much greater threat to your property, however!

There Are Over 500 Species of Carpenter Bees

Believe it or not, there are many different species of carpenter bees in the world—over 500 as a matter of fact! In the United States, we primarily see 5 different carpenter bee species. These pests all share many common traits, however, including their destructive behavior toward wood and general harmless nature toward humans.

Carpenter Bees Live Up to Their Name!

As mentioned, carpenter bees are true “carpenters!” They’re able to bore into the softwood of trees, beams, decks, porch rails, benches, and more.

Carpenter Bees Are a Solitary Species of Bee

Unlike bees like honeybees, who are social insects, carpenter bees are a solitary species, meaning they do not live together with one another in large colonies; instead, individual bees create their own tunnels and nesting areas.

There Are Some Tell-Tale Signs of a Carpenter Bee Infestation

If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a carpenter bee infestation:

  • Entrance holes around 1/2 inch in diameter in wooden structures such as the railings of your porch
  • Sawdust left behind near drilled holes
  • Visible pollen or bee excrement left behind near the openings in the wood
  • Visible carpenter bees

It’s Not Impossible to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

If you’re dealing with a carpenter bee infestation, we’re here for you! Even though it can be stressful to deal with carpenter bee damage, early detection and professional guidance are key in minimizing damages. For a carpenter bee inspection, contact us today.

10 Fun Facts About Carpenter Bees Serving Long Island and surrounding areas

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