Don’t Let Carpenter Bees Destroy the Structure of Your Des Moines House

carpenter bee des moines


Now that spring is finally here, you may be looking forward to warmer weather, but this can also mean battling carpenter bees. Although they’re tiny, these bees can do major damage to wood structures. Ignoring the problem can eventually lead to the total destruction of a home or building. If you suspect you may have carpenter bees, here’s how to recognize you have this problem, along with ways to get rid of these destructive pests.

How Carpenter Bees Differ from Bumble Bees

Carpenter bees look very much like bumble bees, but they’re considerably bigger. Also, unlike bumble bees, Des Moines carpenter bees have a black abdomen that’s covered with yellowish hairs. While carpenter bees have bare backs, the backs of bumble bees are hairy.

Another difference is their reproductive habits. Rather than reproducing in hives as bumble bees do, carpenter bees lay their eggs in holes they’ve created by drilling into wood.

Furthermore, they’re more of a problem than bumble bees, so there’s a greater need to eradicate them.

Recognizing You Have a Problem

  • The biggest clue for realizing you’ve been attacked by carpenter bees is discovering piles of sawdust under awnings.
  • Finding holes in wood, that are about the width of a pencil eraser, can mean you have carpenter ants.
  • Their yellowish-brown droppings that build up on walls near their nests can be another warning sign.
  • A continual buzzing sound can suggest their presence. Even though they’re noisy, they don’t sting.

Preventive Measures

Carpenter bees generally attack bare wood, but they also drill their holes in stained wood. Fortunately, they leave painted wood alone simply because they don’t perceive it as wood. That’s why it’s a good idea to paint your wood surfaces to prevent an invasion.

Another way to prevent having carpenter ants is to spray pesticides that contain either deltamethrin or cypermethin on wood surfaces. These are products that are used to repel carpenter bees.

The Vacuum Method for Controlling Carpenter Bees

Some people suck out these bees by using a vacuum cleaner.

  • Wait until it’s almost sundown when the bees are in their nests.
  • Then, stick the hose of your vacuum cleaner into a nest.
  • Next, turn on your machine to vacuum out the queen bee, as well as the entire colony.
  • Once this is done, be sure you tightly seal the entrance and throw the vacuum bag away in a safe place.

Other Control Methods

Insecticides are used for disturbing and vacuuming out bees. But the only way that this is effective is if a nest is somewhat new or you apply the insecticides during the early evening hours as this is the time that carpenter bees are in their nests and move slower.

Insecticides also work. Just be sure your dress properly to protect yourself.  After making sure the bees are in their nest, apply the product.

Once completed, you could use putty or caulk to plug the entrances of carpenter bees. Then, paint over the putty or caulk.

Considerations and Warnings

  • Some woods are more prone to be attacked by carpenter bees than others are. Carpenter bees mostly go for cedar, cypress, redwood and other softwoods. But they also attack other wood species such as pine.
  • Replacing wood siding with vinyl siding is perhaps the only way to make sure you don’t have damage from carpenter bees. On the other hand, if you want to keep your wood siding, have it painted regularly.
  • Pressure treated wood can also suffer from an attack from these bees.
  • It takes a carpenter bee about two hours to drill holes that have a depth of a few inches. In just a short amount of time, many holes can emerge.

Don’t procrastinate in getting rid of carpenter bees. If you don’t feel confident to do the job yourself, please call Miller Termite Pest Control. Our exterminators are specially trained and highly experienced, offering a wide range of pest control services for homeowners in the greater Des Moines area. Please contact us.