It’s officially spring which means that carpenter bees are out in Atlanta and other southeastern areas. There is a good chance that you are seeing these large black bees along with the large black tunnels that they create in wood around your home. Those are carpenter bees that have been living in those holes and tunnels throughout the winter and are emerging in the spring time to find places for new nests, which can mean new holes and tunnels in your wood. Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees but differ slightly in appearance. The upper surface of the carpenter bee’s abdomen is bare and a shiny black color; while bumble bees have a hairy abdomen and yellow markings.
Carpenter bees drill through wood to build nests where they stay all winter and throughout the spring until they find a new nest or emerge to mate. Although male bees tend to be aggressive, often hovering around people who are near their nests, they are mostly harmless since they do not have stingers. On the other hand, females can inflict a painful sting but rarely do unless they are being handled.
You may find piles of wood underneath the hole where the bee has drilled their nest. Carpenter bees prefer to make their nests in bare, untreated or weathered wood. Wood that is painted or pressure-treated is much less susceptible to a carpenter bees nesting. Common areas for nesting include window trim, facia board, siding, wooden shakes, decks and outdoor furniture.
The best control for carpenter bees is to treat or paint all exposed wood surfaces. If you are using a spray, it is best to spray at night, while wearing protective clothing, when bees are less active to reduce your risk of being stung. Each hole should be treated individually if the bees are inside the holes. If they are not in the hole, seal or paint the hole so the bees cannot return.
As with most infestations, it is best to call a professional exterminator to ensure that the issue is taken care of quickly and thoroughly. Call Northwest Exterminating if you are seeing carpenter bees or other pests around your home.