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Do Carpenter Bees Sting?

carpenter bee up close on flower

Bees are the most important pollinators in our ecosystem but have developed a reputation for being scary. Bees are more interested in doing their job than interacting with humans, and in fact, some bees don’t even have stingers. 

Carpenter Bee Identification

Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees because they are similar in color and size, as they can grow in length from ½ an inch to 1 ½ inches in length. Unlike bumble bees, their belly is black and shiny. 

Signs of a carpenter bee infestation are:

  • Holes about ½ of an inch in diameter in wood that is unfinished or bare.
  • Sawdust on the ground underneath the bored holes

Do Carpenter Bees Sting?

Yes and no. Female carpenter bees have a stinger but will only sting if agitated. However, male carpenter bees do not have a stinger. 

Are Carpenter Bees Aggressive?

Carpenter bees, a common pest found in Maryland and Northern Virginia, are not generally aggressive. The male carpenter bee can be aggressive when it comes to protecting their nests. It is common for them to swoop down if you are getting too close to their nests. Though harmless, the dive-bomb-type of attack is very intimidating due to the large size of the bee and the loud buzz. 

Where Do Carpenter Bees Live?

These pests tunnel into wood to lay their eggs weakening the structure over time, and are often found around home, playsets, and decks.  

What Do Carpenter Bees Eat?

Although it appears that carpenter bees are eating the wood, they only use the wood to lay eggs and reproduce. They actually feed on nectar and make a concoction of pollen and regurgitated nectar to feed their larvae. After gathering this pollen for their young, they cross pollinate other plants, making them a key pollinator.

How to Prevent Carpenter Bees

  • Paint or pressure treat your wooden structures to deter them from nesting. Carpenter bees favor untreated, bare wood. 
  • Secure trash bins and avoid leaving sugary drinks or foods in your yard.
  • Seal openings or holes on your property.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees, like other pollinators, are very beneficial to the environment, so only treat them if you need to. If you are looking to treat your property for infestation of pests, do it the right way. At BOG Pest Control, we take careful consideration when treating carpenter bees to disturb these valuable pollinators as little as possible while protecting your family and property.

Would you’d like more information about our treatments?

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