How Bad Is It To Have Carpenter Bees On My Chicago Property?

When carpenter bees come into your yard, it may not be bad at all. Like all bees, and especially big, fat bees, they're helpful for pollination. The problem is when they decide to live on your property or, more accurately, "inside" your property. Today, we're going to discuss a few facts you might not know about carpenter bees and share with you why it could be bad when these bees come into your yard. For extensive help with stinging insects on your property, reach out to our Chicago, IL pest experts today!

carpenter bee on picnic table

Carpenter Bees Tunnel A Short Distance

Do you know that a carpenter bee only creates a fresh tunnel that is 4 to 6 inches long? It's true. Female bees bore a circular hole that goes up only a short distance and turns at a right angle and goes for a short distance after that. When these bees first start drilling into the wood of your home, the damage won't be bad. But, over time, carpenter bees make old tunnels longer. If they're left untreated, their tunnels can grow to be as long as 10 feet! So, how bad is it to have carpenter bees on your property? It depends on how long you have them.

Carpenter Bees Prefer Unpainted Wood

Do you know that carpenter bees will turn their noses up at timbers that have been painted? Female bees are looking for unpainted wood. If you have a deck and a set of exterior stairs that have a nice coat of paint on them, you may not have to worry about carpenter bees. Unfortunately, these bees can find holes in your exterior and get inside the walls of your home where you have lots of unpainted wood. This can turn into a bad problem, especially if it goes on year after year.  

Carpenter Bees Can Be Detected

Do you know that carpenter bees sometimes breach their tunnel walls and create damage that looks a little bit like the dashes and dots of morse code? When this happens, you'll want to get rid of those bees by all means necessary. There are also other ways you might detect carpenter bees. If you have enough bees inside the wood of your home, you could hear them crunching. That is unsettling, to say the least. You may also see these bees flying around and hovering near wooden structures. If you detect carpenter bees early, it isn't bad to have carpenter bees on your property. You can address the issue quickly and protect your property from further damage. But detecting them late can be bad as the damage they do can be extensive and difficult to repair.

Carpenter Bees Are Food For Other Pests

Do you know that carpenter bee larvae are an attractive food source for woodpeckers? It's true. If you see a woodpecker tapping on your home, they may be trying to get at the larvae hidden inside. If you hear a woodpecker, you need to deal with the problem quickly. But when a woodpecker does this while you're away, or if they are damaging a shed, barn, or outbuilding, the damage can be extensive.

Early Prevention Is Key

The longer carpenter bees are allowed to live on your property, the worse your issues will be. Not only can they damage your property, they can also weaken structures and create the potential for personal injury. Here are two ways to detect them early:

  • Learn to identify these big, fuzzy bees. A carpenter bee looks like a bumblebee but there is a distinct difference that you can notice from several feet away. Bumblebees have furry abdomens; carpenter bees do not. The abdomen of a carpenter bee is black, visibly hairless, and shiny. The abdomen makes up half the length of these bees so this distinction is quite noticeable if you know what you're looking for. Look for activity around wood and around flowers.

  • Look for holes. A carpenter bee creates a hole that is perfectly circular. It will almost look like someone took a drill with a large drill bit and bore a hole in your property. Get down low and look up to see these holes. They are most often created underneath boards because female bees prefer to tunnel upward into the wood.

What To Do When You Detect Carpenter Bees

If you need pest control in the Chicago area, contact Aerex Pest Control at the first sign of carpenter bee activity. We use industry-leading methods and products to protect your Chicago home from pests. We don't recommend trying to treat these destructive pests on your own because you can make the problem worse and increase the damage. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance. We're here to help you get control of all your Chicago pest control issues.