What To Do About Carpenter Bees On Your Chicago Property

Carpenter bee crawling through a wood hole
A sure sign that you have a carpenter bee problem is when you see large bees flying around the eaves of your Chicago home. They may be there for the first time, but if you are seeing more than one, they have probably returned for nesting. Aerex Pest Control knows the correct methods and procedures to put an end to your bee problem.

Carpenter Bee Vs Bumblebee 

Carpenter bees look a lot like bumblebees, but there are differences. This list should help you tell them apart.

Carpenter Bee 

  • 3/4 to 1 inch.             
  • Yellow head with a black body.
  • Smooth body.
  • Nests in wood.
  • Solitary.
  • Will sting if directly threatened.                                           


  • ¾ inch.
  • Yellow and black stripes on head and body.
  • Hairy body.
  • Nests in the ground.
  • Social.
  • Will sting to protect the nest.

Both of these bees are important to the ecosystem as pollinators. Carpenter bees pollinate many flowering plants found in our gardens, natural areas, and farms. 15% of our agricultural crops are pollinated by native bees such as carpenter bees.

How Do I Know If I Have Carpenter Bees? 

There are a few things to be on the lookout for if you suspect carpenter bees, but you have probably already noticed at least one of them. Being aware and proactive can save you a lot of money in the long run.

  • Holes that looked like they were made with a drill. These holes have nice crisp edges and you can tell that the wood looks fresh on the inside. These are new nests. You may also see older holes or tunnels from previous years. Keep in mind that the bee isn’t eating the wood, she is only making her nest.
  • What looks like sawdust on the ground. This is what is discarded when the mama bee is tunneling into your home.
  • Many bees flying around the eaves of your home, your deck, or pergola.
  • Woodpeckers will go after the bee larvae, doing substantial damage to your home in the process. 

Unless you are allergic to carpenter bees, the concern is with your Chicagoland home. The most vulnerable areas are window sills, railings, decks, fences, doors, eaves, and wooden lawn furniture. The signs are very obvious once you start looking, but you have to be looking.

Call In The Pros

We can say when all else fails, call in the pros, but that’s really not the best advice. Setting up annual inspections and treating your property in advance will save you money. Once the carpenter bees bore holes into your home, other pests and moisture will surely follow, doing further damage to your already compromised home. Aerex Pest Control will be happy to offer a free estimate and explain the best method for revoking Carpenter Bees in Chicago.

Prevention Tips

These bees prefer raw, unpainted, or unstained softwood. They will eventually use whatever is available including bamboo. They are also lazy, so last year’s nest will do just fine. The problem with that is that the babies will also come back when they are grown. In fact, they will overwinter in the same holes, but then make new holes in the spring for their own families.

  • Stain or paint all wood.
  • Once bees have abandoned the nests or died, fill holes with wood putty.
  • Hang a fake wasp nest.
  • Cover any attic air vents with a fine mesh.
  • Some people claim the bees dislike loud music.
  • Homemade wooden traps.
  • Metal flashing over vulnerable areas.
  • Remove standing water. 

These tips are a great starting point to deter the bees, but they will not completely stop them. That’s why it’s best to pair these prevention methods with our bee control services.

Share To: