Carpenter Bees

Quick Facts

Risk Factors

  • Family
  • Home
  • Pet


  • season Summer



0.5 - 1 inch

Inch Long


Oval, Stocky

What do Carpenter Bees look like?

Carpenter bees have a stocky, oval-shaped body that is black and yellow. Their body is fuzzy except for their smooth hairless abdomen. They are a fairly large species of bee, and adult workers can grow to between ¼ and 1 inch in length. Carpenter bees are often mistaken for bumblebees because of their similar appearance. The best way to tell the difference between the two is that carpenter bees lack yellow stripes and bumblebees are stripped.


What are the signs of Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter bees are a solitary species of bee and do not live together in large nests; instead, individual bees will create tunnels and nesting areas in pieces or softwood. Carpenter bees prefer nesting in wood that has not been treated (painted, stained) in any manner. Carpenter bees can be found creating nesting tunnels in sheds, decks, porches, wooden play sets, telephone poles, wooden lawn furniture, and wood roof eaves.

Carpenter bees don’t actually eat the wood when they create their tunnels; they feed on nectar-like many other species of bees. Each female will independently do the work that is needed to take care of her eggs and larvae; however, several females may choose to use the same piece of wood to nest in.

It is common for carpenter bees to use the same galleries year after year or to create new galleries in the same area year after year. Adult carpenter bees will overwinter in their tunnels and will emerge in the spring to feed, create a nesting area, and lay their eggs.

What Damage do Carpenter Bees cause?

Carpenter bees are considered to be more dangerous to wooden structures more so than people. Because carpenter bees use the same galleries year after year and multiple carpenter bees will nest in the same piece of wood, over time their tunnels can significantly weaken the structure that they are invading. Also, woodpeckers like to eat carpenter bee larvae and will peck at and cause damage to the wood that carpenter bees have laid their eggs in.

How do you prevent Carpenter Bees?

Contacting Suburban Exterminating at the first sign of a problem is the best way to avoid carpenter bee problems. We also recommend painting, staining or adding varnish to any untreated wood and sealing any holes in around your home.

How do I get rid of Carpenter Bees?

There are numerous do-it-yourself treatments for Carpenter Bees including sprays, covering holes with dust, and traps. However, removing the hive and finding the main source of carpenter bees is difficult, especially if they’re living in your walls. Call Suburban Exterminating to find the source of the infestation and to remove the bees and their hives.

Can Carpenter Bees hurt me?

Only the female carpenter bee has a stinger, and they are not particularly aggressive and rarely sting. Their sting should be treated like any other bee sting. If you are allergic to bee stings, then you should seek immediate medical attention.

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Carpenter Bees!

What to Expect when Suburban Exterminating Arrives

Suburban Exterminating provides effective control for carpenter bees and other stinging insects that are causing problems in and around your home. Visit our home pest control page for details about our available plans or click here to schedule a free estimate.