Carpenter Bees Are All Bark And No Bite

Carpenter bees aren’t shy. Their noisy buzzing sounds like an electric drill on steroids, loudly announcing their presence on your Monmouth County NJ property. If that doesn’t get your attention, the males will launch their fuzzy black and yellow bodies straight at you, dive bombing your hair and face repeatedly until you turn tail and flee indoors.

While immensely annoying and upsetting enough to make children and pets afraid to venture outdoors, carpenter bees are pretty much all bark and no bite. Only the female bees have stingers; and they’re fairly docile, rarely stinging. The extremely aggressive and territorial males may make a fierce show of defending their nest, but with no stingers they can’t hurt you.

Despite their lack of physical threat to your person, carpenter bees do pose a real threat to your home. Living in mated pairs rather than social hives, carpenter bees are wood destroyers. The females bore a circular hole into weathered or unpainted wood, chewing long tunnels into the wood where they lay 6 to 10 eggs in a series of individual cells created with a mixture of chewed wood and saliva. Broods hatch in the late summer or fall but do not mate until the following spring. The summer is spent collecting pollen which is stored in the tunnels to sustain the bees over the winter.

Tunnels bored by successive carpenter bee generations can destroy wood porch ceilings, cedar siding, soffits, deck railings, outdoor furniture and play equipment. Monmouth County NJ pest control professionals will treat galleries to see that all bees and larvae are killed and seal tunnel openings to prevent recolonization.