What Every San Jose Property Owner Ought To Know About Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bee flying over a wooden table.

Bees and other stinging insects are pests that you might be afraid of because their stings can be painful. However, while most bees are just a problem because of the risk of being stung, there is one species that can do damage to property, too.

Carpenter bees are the only bees in San Jose that can ruin wooden structures. Similar to carpenter ants, this kind of bee will bore into wood and create circular holes and tunnels that they use to build their nests. Unlike termites, carpenter bees don’t actually eat wood, and they are solitary creatures that don’t live in colonies.

Since these bees look similar to other species, we’ve put together a guide to help you identify carpenter bees.

  1. They have large, black abdomens.
  2. They look similar to bumblebees in overall body shape but they don't have fur all over.
  3. They have yellow fur behind their heads, but they don’t have yellow or orange stripes.
  4. They have translucent wings.

The Good And Bad Of Carpenter Bees

You probably already know that bees aren’t entirely bad. In fact, bees are very good for the environment, and carpenter bees are no exception. As pollinators, these bees play a vital role in the ecosystem and in food production for many species along the food chain. 

They also aren’t very aggressive, so you’re not as likely to be stung as you would be by stingings insects such as wasps or hornets. However, carpenter bees can still sting. These stings are mainly a problem for people who are allergic to their venom. Also, only the females of the species can sting.

The biggest risk with carpenter bees other than possible allergic reactions is property damage. They often build nests in outbuildings or on the exterior of homes or sheds, and it can be difficult to remove these bees and fix the damage they’ve caused.

How To Identify A Carpenter Bee Problem

In some cases, you might not be able to tell if the bees you’re seeing around your home are carpenter bees. There are some signs you can look for that indicate carpenter bees as opposed to another species. Here are the signs:

  1. Holes in the side of your home, business, or outbuildings.
  2. Scratching sounds that seem to be coming from the inside of walls.
  3. Wood shavings on the ground underneath small holes in the wood.

The best overall way to protect your property from carpenter bee damage is to take steps to prevent them in the first place. The following are a few of the best ways to prevent them from nesting around your yard:

  1. As they are especially attracted to unfinished or weathered wood, make sure to varnish or paint any wood on your property.
  2. Place a decor wasp’s nest to deter them.
  3. Remove standing water from your property.
  4. Make sure water features like pools and hot tubs are treated with the right chemicals.
  5. Get help from pest control professionals.

Help With Carpenter Bee Concerns

Because of the many problems that carpenter bees pose for property owners in San Jose, the best way to both prevent and eliminate an infestation is to contact the expert technicians at Bay Pest. Our trained professionals provide prevention assistance and advice and are also able to safely and effectively remove any current carpenter bees around your property.

We have over 40 years of experience and even offer no-commitment, free estimates. To request your estimate, or to find out more about our bee control options, contact us today.

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