If you’re concerned about carpenter bees and the damage they can cause to your home, you’re not alone. Beginning in early spring, they emerge and buzz around. Although these bees are large, they aren’t known to bite or sting humans. The problems homeowners face when it comes to carpenter bees is the aesthetic damage they inevitably cause and the associated pests that they draw in. Are you unsure where to start when it comes to carpenter bee removal services? Use this guide to help identify carpenter bees and their damage, learn about what you can do, and how professionals take care of these pesky bees.
What do carpenter bees look like?
Pictured above: carpenter bee (left), bumble bee (right)
Carpenter bees, affectionately nicknamed “wood bees,” are large, active bees that hover and dart around your property in the spring. A lot of people find them to be slightly intimidating because carpenter bees aren’t afraid to bump right into you. Luckily, these pesky flyers aren’t known to sting. Often mistaken for bumble bees, carpenter bees have a shiny, black abdomen. Bumble bees are fuzzy throughout their bodies and are smaller than carpenter bees. The comparison photo above shows the difference up close between their abdomens. To learn more about the differences between carpenter bees and bumble bees, click here.
How can I tell if I have carpenter bees?
Other than seeing the physical carpenter bees, the easiest way to figure out if you have carpenter bees is to identify their damage. Carpenter bee damage is unique. They are drawn to the wood around your home such as the soffits and eaves of your home, your deck, playsets, wooden decks, and other unfinished wood. Pressure treated or painted wood is less susceptible to carpenter bee nesting. They prefer bare wood, don’t be surprised if you find them nesting on your wood-stained deck as the stain isn’t as much as a deterrent as paint. Female carpenter bees drill holes into wood to make their nest and lay larvae. A single female carpenter bee lives in each hole alone, so if you see several holes, several female carpenter bees are likely to be living inside. Although they are not social insects, it’s common to see multiple holes near each other.
Pictured above: carpenter bee nest drilled into the side of a shed
Carpenter bees also cause unsightly stains as a result of the nest creation process. They disposed of the wood they chewed through by kicking it out of the hole, inevitably landing below. This staining looks like a mud splatter and is more easily visible when damage is done within the eaves, soffits, or behind shudders when it lands on siding as you can see in the photo below. If you see carpenter bees in your yard but cannot find their nests, finding these characteristic stains can point you in the right direction.
Carpenter bees can also attract other unwanted pests. Woodpeckers feed on carpenter bee larvae, which can also cause significant damage to your home as they peck into the existing nests. By preventing carpenter bee activity, you will reduce the likelihood of woodpeckers damaging your home.
Pictured above: woodpecker damage on a deck railing due to carpenter bee nesting
Can I prevent carpenter bees from damaging my home?
If you’re concerned about carpenter bees, there are a few things you can do to deter them from staining and drilling holes into your home.
- Paint or apply wood stains to exposed wood around your property and the exterior of your home. Treating these areas could provide some degree of repellency as opposed to having bare wood.
- If you want to prevent their return, wrap all THREE sides of the board in aluminum or vinyl siding. Do not just wrap the two exposed sides because the bees will nest on the underside of the board. Be sure to wrap the front, under and back side of the fascia board to prevent carpenter bee nesting. Carpenter bees CANNOT chew through aluminum or vinyl, so this will prevent future nesting if all sides are properly wrapped.
- If you are looking to replace damaged wood, don’t just put up new wood since there is nothing stopping the bees from returning. In fact, female carpenter bees often return to the same nesting site year after year if the area isn’t properly addressed.
- Power washing away staining caused by carpenter bees isn’t going to deter them either. The stains are produced in the nest creating process, so without eliminating the bees, their activity will persist.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much that you can do to prevent carpenter bee damage. You can find products that look like little wooden bee “homes” with the promise of natural carpenter bee control. Although some bees may be attracted to these homemade traps, there is absolutely nothing stopping them from targeting the typical nesting sites on residential properties such as decks, facia boards, soffits, behind shudders, wooden decks, and more. Because carpenter bees are solitary (living alone in a single nest), you will not be killing off any sort of colony.
Why does carpenter bee removal pricing vary between companies?
Carpenter bee removal and pest control, in general, can be difficult for consumers to understand when it comes to pricing. If you’re seeing DIY carpenter bee chemicals at the store for $50, carpenter bee removal at one company for $400 and another for $150, what’s going on? The pricing varies by how much each company takes the following factors into consideration:
- Quality- Higher quality professional pest control products are going to increase the price of a service. Be careful when choosing what seems too good to be true.
- Guarantee- Some companies will offer unlimited technician visits until your problem is solved and some have a one-shot policy. The time that pest control technicians spend at your home is an expense that low-budget companies cannot afford. You get what you pay for when it comes to guaranteed service.
- Expertise- Companies with rigorous training programs and ongoing entomological research are going to come with a higher price tag. Mom and pop operations often rely on their personal experience rather than consistent, professional industry retraining.
If you are looking to invest in carpenter bee removal services, do your research before settling for the first cheap company that comes along. Carefully consider which of the elements listed above are most important to you, and make it a priority to find a company that matches all of them.
Pictured above: a carpenter bee flies back into their nest created in the side of a shed
How does Cooper get rid of carpenter bees at my home?
Our Carpenter Bee Removal Program targets the larger area where carpenter bee activity exists at your home. Instead of treating each hole individually, our Cooper technician will treat the entire wood area where the bees are drilling holes. This application acts as a non-repellent, causing carpenter bees die when they try to reenter their current nests or create new nests within the treated area.
This service is now available for purchase online! Click the button below to pre-select your preferred service dates and for fast technician dispatch. No inspection needed.
Our Carpenter Bee Removal Program is priced by the locations of the nest on your home. There is a base price of $199 and $75 is added to each story. This pricing structure is listed below.
Ground Level/First Story- $199.00 plus tax
Second Story- $274.00 plus tax
Third Story or Above- $324.00 plus tax
If you prefer to have a free carpenter bee inspection at your home, please call our customer service department.
What happens if the carpenter bees come back after treatment?
If you are still seeing carpenter bee activity after 2 weeks, you can contact our customer service department for fast technician dispatch at no additional cost to you. The Carpenter Bee Removal Program is 100% guaranteed until September 30th within the same year that you begin service.
You can also take advantage of our Carpenter Bee Prevention Program which prevents the carpenter bees from nesting instead of waiting until they nest to begin service. One treatment prevents carpenter bees from drilling holes and leaving stains on your home throughout the spring and summer. All areas prone to tunnel establishment will be treated using materials which repel carpenter bees, making the surface undesirable and deters them from tunneling into wood. This is a yearly program that can be renewed beginning in February of each year for full coverage for all of carpenter bee season.
Our Carpenter Bee Prevention Program cannot be purchased online. Please call our customer service department for more information.
Want to know more? Visit our carpenter bee information library to explore commonly asked questions, tips, and more.