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How Much Damage Can Carpenter Bees Do To My Nashville Home?

Bees are important for pollination. They pick pollen up from one plant and introduce it to another as they go about collecting nectar. This is a fact most people know. And, it stands to reason that a big, fat, hairy bee, like the carpenter bee, is even more important. Carpenter bees, just like bumble bees and honey bees, are beneficial insects. Unfortunately, carpenter bees in Nashville do something not so beneficial when they come into yards. These bees bore tunnels in wood. Today, we're going to take a look at how and why they do this, and discuss how much damage they can do to your Nashville home over time.

carpenter bee on orange flower

Why Carpenter Bees Damage Wood

When considering how much damage these insects can do, you have to take a moment to think about why they do it. Unlike termites, carpenter bees don't eat wood. So, they're not going to eat you out of house and home. They bore tiny, 6-inch tunnels in which to create a nest for their larvae. These tunnels are a little bigger than a dime, and are just as round as a dime. A carpenter bee will often create the entrance to these tunnels on the bottom side of wood timbers. It will fly upward, turn, and grip the wood. Then, it will tunnel a short distance upward and turn at a right angle to tunnel for about 4 more inches. If you only have one bee visit your property, one time, it isn't going to do a lot of damage. The problem is that you can have several carpenter bees target your home if there are conditions that attract them. And, if carpenter bees come year after year, they will extend old tunnels. Pest professionals have measured tunnels that have extended as much as ten feet. In a moment, we'll discuss some factors that can make carpenter bees want to live on (or inside) your property but, first, let's take a closer look at how they damage wood. 

How Carpenter Bees Damage Wood

How a pest does the damage is important to consider if you want to determine how much damage it can do overall. Here are some factors that could alert you to a carpenter bee problem, and allow you to address it before extensive damage is done.

  • Carpenter bees aren't quiet like subterranean termites are. If you have a lot of bees chewing tunnels in the wood of your home, you may just hear them in there, crunching away. Homeowners describe this noise as unsettling. An unsettling noise is likely to make you take action.

  • Carpenter bees produce sawdust. If you start to see piles of sawdust under your deck or leaking out of a gap in your home, this can alert you to a threat. Of course, they can produce this sawdust in many hidden places, such as your wall voids, attic spaces, or underneath a closed-in deck. Keep this in mind.

  • Carpenter bees are big, furry bees. They're hard to miss when they buzz around in your yard. Just be sure that you can tell the difference between a carpenter bee and a bumble bee. You're likely to just ignore a carpenter bee and miss it as a warning sign if you mistake it for a bumble bee. A carpenter bee has a black, visibly hairless abdomen, which makes up half its body length. This can be seen from a distance.

  • Carpenter bees are diurnal. You're going to see them in the day, where there is light to see them. Carpenter ants (another destructive insect that can damage your home) are nocturnal and prefer to come out at night. When you add to this that the most destructive carpenter ants are entirely black, you can see why they're typically able to do more damage than carpenter bees.

  • Secondary damage can be caused by woodpeckers as these birds peck away at wood to get to the larvae living inside carpenter bee tunnels. Keep this in mind if you hear a woodpecker. If a woodpecker is tapping on the wood of your home, you should contact a service professional.

Carpenter Bee Management

If you have these bees in your Nashville home, reach out to the Nashville pest control professionals at All-American Pest Control. We can treat tunnels and seal them so that these bees don't keep coming back year after year. Reach out to us today to get started, and  to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Nashville.


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