Carpenter bees are approximately 1” in length. They are black, and have some yellow patterns on their thorax. They may appear to have a metallic color that is shiny, too.
Carpenter bees are attracted to the nectar of flowering plants. They create their nests in wood, either in tree bark, piles of logs, or in untreated wood, typically. You may find a nest of Carpenter bees in painted wood, such as along a window sill or on your home, but they usually target untreated wood, like on a fence or a wooden deck. The female bee will chew a hole in the wood, probably about ½” diameter, or less, and will tunnel her way into the wood. Tiny bits of wood are often spotted around the outside of the hole. In the tunnel, she will lay her egg, and cover it up with pollen that she has carried into the tunnel on her legs. Often, the male Carpenter bee will fly around the nest, in order to protect it, but he does not have a stinger to use for protection.
Although Carpenter bees can chew into the wood around your home, they do not actually eat the wood. The tunnels they create can provide structural damage to certain wooden products, and treating them is an important task. A pest control specialist can use insecticides for treatment, as well as plug the tunnels the bees have created, once the treatment has taken effect.
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