Carpenter bees are also known as "wood bees" or "borer bees." They are true bees (as opposed to wasps) that look a lot like bumblebees. The most visible difference is that the abdomens of carpenter bees are shiny, whereas those of bumble bees are more fuzzy. They are non-aggressive bees who rarely sting, are significant pollinators, and are the primary pollinators of some crops.
The problem with carpenter bees is that they have this annoying and destructive habit of drilling holes in wood. Most often this occurs in roof fascias and deck railings; but they also drill holes in siding, playground equipment, deck furniture, wooden fences, and pretty much any other piece of softwood they can find.
One clue that you have a carpenter bee problem is the sawdust that falls from the hole from the bees' drilling activities. If you see a small pile of sawdust on your deck during the spring season, chances are that a carpenter bee was the culprit. A bit later on, in the early summer, you can recognize carpenter bee holes by the waxy stains that drip from the holes.
Carpenter bees don't drill holes just to annoy us. Female carpenter bees drill holes in wood to lay their eggs. They drill a hole in the surface of the wood and make a sharp turn in the direction of the grain, making tunnels inside the wood that can range from a few inches to several feet in length.
Once the tunnels have been excavated, the mama carpenter bee fills the tunnels with eggs, single file inside the tunnel, and separated by wax and honey. The eggs hatch in the opposite order from that in which they were laid, so the ones closest to the original hole where the tunnel started hatch first.
As interesting as carpenter bees may be, most people prefer that they not drill holes in their homes and other wooden possessions. That's why Rid-A-Critter provides carpenter bee-control and damage-repair services throughout Birmingham and its Metro area. In addition to treating the bee problem, we also fill the holes, or even replace infested wood if necessary.
For more information about carpenter bee removal or any of our quality services, please call us today for an on-site inspection and consultation.