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Identifying and Preventing Carpenter Bees in Georgia

Identifying and Preventing Carpenter Bees in Georgia

Carpenter bees in Georgia can be a real buzzkill. While they don’t typically cause much harm to humans, they can cause some serious damage to wood structures. That means your home could be in danger if you spot some of these swarming around.

Let’s take a deeper dive into how to identify carpenter bees, what kind of potential damage to be aware of, and what steps you can take to prevent them or treat your home if they’ve begun taking over.

Identifying Carpenter Bees

  • They’re typically one inch in length, which is slightly larger than other bees you’re used to seeing.
  • Yellow markings on their back stand out from their smooth abdomen. This is different from bumblebees, which, as you’ve probably noticed, are furry all over.
  • Only female carpenter bees have the ability to sting, but will typically only do so if they feel seriously threatened.

Carpenter bee in nature or in the garden. It’s dangerous.

Carpenter Bee Damage

  • Carpenter bees will drill holes in wood.
  • They’ll often stain walls from defecating near their nests.
  • They’ll burrow small holes, about half an inch in size. You’ll typically notice “frass”, which looks like sawdust, near the hole while the female is burrowing, which is a good sign that it’s been a recent excavation. One common misconception is that carpenter bees eat the wood. However, one thing to note is that they’re not eating it, they’re simply burrowing through it.
  • The most common places for a carpenter bee to call home (and to attack) are unfinished wooden decks, sidings, outdoor furniture, window sills, and log homes.

Caring for Your Home

  • The best and easiest way to protect your home from carpenter bees is to add some type of finish to any wooden structures around your home. Bees love unfinished wood!
  • Seal exterior openings. Search for cracks and crevices around your home and seal them in order to prevent bees (as well as other pests!) from entering.
  • Plug holes. If you notice any holes around the exterior of your home, especially if they’re accompanied by the “sawdust” we discussed above, it’s always a good idea to plug them up with something that will last like plugs, caulk, cork, or putty. The best time to do this is during the fall when the bees aren’t active. If you plug holes while bees are inside, they’ll create new tunnels and continue damaging your home. Just remember, bees will reuse old holes next season, so it’s important to plug these holes up.
  • Eliminate the colony! This is where we come in. The summer is a great time to call us to eliminate any carpenter bees that may be threatening your home. We’ll get rid of them now, and after they’ve been gone for a few months, it’s safe to seal up holes in order to prevent damage from other bees.

We’d love to help you protect and defend your home from carpenter bees (as well as other insects and pests!). If you have a carpenter bee problem, or you’d like to know more about our services, give us a call today. 706-979-2536