There are over 500 species of carpenter bees, but only one is common in St. Charles and the surrounding area – the eastern carpenter bee, known to science as Xylocopa Virginica.
Carpenter bees do far less damage to a home than termites, as they don’t eat the wood but use it for nest-building each spring. Nonetheless, bees have a tendency to use the same nest year after year, which means the problem can worsen as time goes on. Woodpeckers and other wood-boring animals are also a risk with carpenter bees – they’ll peck into the wood to snack on the larvae and cause more damage than the insects themselves.
Here are three prevention measures you can take this spring to keep your St. Charles home from looking like Swiss cheese:
1. Unlike termites, carpenter bees are a little more selective in the wood they choose to dig into for their nests. They’re less likely to go for varnished or finished surfaces, so if you have any unfinished areas on decks or windowsills, paint or varnish them this spring. It’s also not a bad idea to give any painted areas a fresh coat.
2. Look for cracks and openings in your wood that might make boring more convenient for bees and seal these up with caulk.
3. If you already are seeing carpenter bee entrances, you can use a duster, aerosol or liquid insecticide in the hole to get rid of the bees. Some people also swear by more natural approaches like almond oil, white vinegar, boric acid powder, or diatomaceous earth. Once you’re sure all the bees have been exterminated, you can plug up the opening with putty or caulk to prevent future boring.
When dealing with any type of bee, make sure to exercise a great deal of caution. Male carpenter bees don’t sting, but will act aggressively if they feel their nest is being threatened. Female carpenters do have stingers, so if you’re worried about being safe over sorry, call Pointe Pest Control for a consultation. We’ll identify any areas around your home that are vulnerable to infestation, and take care of any nests that have already been built.