Have you ever wondered why these insects have the word carpenter in their names? These pests don't fix anything. They come to destroy. They should be called "need-a-carpenter bees" and "have-to-hire-a-carpenter ants." If you suspect you have either of these two wood-chewing insects, or want to know how to protect your home from them, you've come to the right place. Here is a quick rundown to get you on the right track.
What do you need to know about carpenter bees? First, it is important to recognize one when you see it. This is not a problem if you see a bumblebee-like pest wiggling its way up into your eaves or crawling up into a hole in your deck, but if you see one flying through the air, how do you know it is a carpenter bee? Actually, this little home wrecker has made it easy for you. Its entire butt is completely black. If you see a bumblebee with a black hiney, that bad boy is a carpenter bee.
Carpenter bees bore round tunnels into the wood of your home. This wouldn't be extremely bad if they did it for only one season. But the queen bee that does all that chew damage will search for tunneling that has already been done and expand those tunnels. This can lead to structural problems when tunnels collapse and wood begins to bend from loss of integrity.
To resist this insect, make sure your wood is painted and your siding doesn't allow these bees entrance. If you already have tunneling, those tunnels need to be sealed. This can be tricky because sealing them can trap the queen inside and lead to more damage as she tunnels her way back out. Consider investing in the help of a professional. They have the gear and expertise to seal up carpenter bee tunneling.
Identifying a carpenter ant is usually straight forward. This is the largest ant you'll have crawling around in your home. They are about 3.4 to 13 mm in length and are most commonly black in color, though some can have a reddish or yellowish tint.
If you have carpenter ants in your home, know that they have come for the food. Hiding food sources and keeping your home clean can keep these wood chewers from coming into your common area. But the sad truth is, they don't need the food inside your home to live and thrive. They can get sustenance from outside your home. If you have seen carpenter ants crawling around, you can't use the hiding of food as an exclusion method. You must get a professional pest control company to eradicate any colonies in or around your home. Only then will you know that your house is safe.
It is never good to have any insect in your home that has the word "carpenter" in front of it. Protect your equity. Always have these pests removed.