How well do you know carpenter bees? Do you know that male carpenter bees are unable to sting you and that females are docile, solitary bees that don't prefer to sting you? If so, you may not be concerned when you see these fat, furry bees buzzing around your property. Do you know that carpenter bees can bore into the wood of your home, but they only create about six inches? If so, you may not be too concerned about these bees damaging your property. Do you know that big, furry bees, like carpenter bees (both males and females) are very helpful with pollination, and are super important to our ecosystem? If so, you may do nothing about these bees when you see them around your Ventura County home. But all of the points we mentioned are half truths about carpenter bees. Here's what you need to know to properly address the threat these insects can present.
Carpenter Bee Stings
There are two types of bees: solitary and social. Solitary bees don't swarm and they are mostly docile. Social bees gather together in a swarm, usually in defense of their nest, and attack in large numbers. An example of a social bee is the Africanized honey bee, also referred to as a killer bee. You definitely don't want those bees on your property! But carpenter bees aren't entirely docile. A female carpenter bee can sting you, and unlike her honey bee cousins, she can sting you several times without losing her stinger. If you go into a space underneath your deck that has several carpenter bee nests, you could get stung by female bees if they feel threatened.
Carpenter Bee Damage
A female carpenter bee creates a perfectly circular hole that usually goes up a little ways, turns at a right angle, and continues for less than six inches. If one female bee bores a tunnel in your deck, you may not know it or even care that she did it. But when dozens of females create holes in your deck, the damage can add up. The worst part is that carpenter bees tend to use old tunnels and make them longer. Every year that carpenter bees infest your home, the longer the tunnels can get and the worse the damage will be. So, while each individual bee doesn't do much damage on its own, they can do a lot of damage, over time, and when they come in large numbers.
Another thing to consider about carpenter bee damage is that they aren't the only pests that can damage your property when they decide to create nests in the wood of your home. There are other animals that like to eat the larvae of carpenter bees. If woodpeckers hear carpenter bee activity, they can tap on the wood and create holes to get at the larvae. This can increase the damage quite a bit.
Carpenter Bees Are Important
There is no doubt about it. Big, fat bees are great for the ecosystem. We don't think that the world would be better without carpenter bees, but we're certain that your home will be a better place without them. If you take steps to exclude them from your home, don't worry; those bees will find many suitable places in nature to create their tunnels, establish their nests, and create offspring. It's also okay to let them visit your yard and do their job. You don't have to keep those bees away. All you need to do is protect your property and prevent infestation. We can help you with this.
There are many things you can do to deter carpenter bees such as applying paint to unpainted wood, installing flashing on the ends of wood timbers, and sealing gaps in your exterior. But for the best protection, it is good to have routine visits from a licensed pest professional. At Ventura Pest Control, we offer residential pest control plans that give your home and your exterior the protection needed to prevent pest issues from arising.
If you've been on the fence about investing in pest control, let carpenter bees be your inspiration. There are many pests that can damage the wood of your home. Some can get in and damage your belongings. Some sting or bite. And there are a select few that can present a serious health threat to you, your family, and your pets. No Ventura County home should be without an effective pest control plan. Reach out to Ventura Pest Control today and ask us about our bi-monthly residential pest control service or premium monthly maintenance service. It pays to be proactive about pests. Get your protection in place starting today.