The Carpenter Bee: Bumblebee Imposters!

July 31, 2019

Personally, I love spring and summer! I love hearing the peepers at night and the birds chirping during the day. I even like the buzz of the bees. It all makes the Earth feel and look alive. There is one bee that we find intriguing because it behaves as an imposter. That bee is the Carpenter Bee. Let’s take a closer look.

Carpenter bees are wood boring bees that become active during the late spring and early in the summer. These bees tunnel into wood (unlike termites, which consume it) and use the tunnels to raise their offspring and as safe harborage from predators.

This tunneling into the wood on homes and businesses can cause some pretty severe damage. Usually, the damage occurs under soffits, eaves of roofs, or on any unpainted area of a structure. Some homeowners have even noticed that their decks, railings, and fences have come under attack by these bees. The damage can increase year by year as the tunnels get deeper and more spread out.

The most unique thing about these bees is that they are imposters. If you look at a carpenter bee buzzing around your home you may think it is merely a harmless bumblebee. It looks like a bumblebee with its black and yellow coloring and size, but it’s not a bumblebee. One physical feature does give them away. Bumblebees have fuzzy yellow bottoms and carpenter bees have shiny black bottoms.

If you see a bee and you are having trouble discerning if it is a bumblebee or a carpenter bee, follow it for a bit to see if you can find where it lands and nests. You may be able to spot a small dime-sized hole in the wood of your home where it is tunneling. You also may see fecal matter outside the hole. This may be the red flag that you, indeed, have a carpenter bee problem and should seek help. Call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.


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