Carpenter Bee Control
Carpenter bees (sometimes called "wood bees" or "borer bees") are large, stout bees that look a lot like bumblebees. The most visible difference is that carpenter bees have shiny abdomens, and bumblebees have hairy abdomens.
Carpenter bees are also easy to identify by their behavioral habits. In the late spring and early summer, carpenter bees fly around at breakneck speeds as part of their mating rituals. Once they get that out of their systems, female carpenter bees start hovering around various pieces of wood, looking for a suitable place to build their nests; and the males spend most of their time hovering around, guarding their females and their territories. Like bees in general, carpenter bees are pollinators, and in that regard are beneficial.
Male carpenter bees will readily confront and "attack" invaders, including humans. Their "attacks" can be scary to some people, but we're going to let you in on a little secret: Male carpenter bees don't have stingers. The absolute worst thing a male carpenter bee can do to you is dive-bomb you and bounce off your forehead. It's all a big show -- kind of like carpenter bee machismo.
Female carpenter bees do have stingers, but they rarely sting unless someone either sits on them or is dumb enough to stick their finger into the bee's nest -- in the case the person probably deserves to be stung. Carpenter bee stings are minor, not very painful, and harmless except to people who have allergies or sensitivities to insect stings.
So why do people hate carpenter bees? After all, they're pollinators, they're non-aggressive, and they're rather attractive -- as insects go. If it weren't for one very annoying and sometimes costly habit, carpenter bees would probably be pretty popular. But that one habit ruins everything.
Carpenter bees drill holes.
Carpenter bees drill holes in wood wherever they can find it. They drill holes in house siding. They drill holes in fascia boards. They drill holes in soffits, swing sets, door and window frames, wooden statues, decks, banisters... Basically, anywhere carpenter bees can find a piece of softwood, they drill holes.
And to make matters worse, carpenter bees seem to take special delight in drilling holes in places that humans can't reach, such as behind siding and along roof fascia and soffits. Wherever they drill holes, they create sawdust and leave behind unsightly stains known as ejecta.
Why do Carpenter Bees Drill Holes?
In all fairness, carpenter bees don't drill holes for the sheer joy of it, nor do they do it simply to annoy us. They drill holes and excavate galleries to lay their eggs in. Although we usually only see the entrance holes, carpenter bee egg galleries can extend several feet along the grain from the entrance hole. Over time, carpenter bee damage can become quite extensive, often requiring expensive work to repair or replace damaged wood.
Carpenter Bee Control
Because of their habit of drilling holes in out-of-the-way places, carpenter bees can be difficult to treat. It takes an expert exterminator with the right equipment to find the holes and get a suitable product deep enough into the galleries to be effective.