Carpenter Bees

Pest Status:




Bumble Bees


smooth and shiny black


yellow hair on the thorax.

Carpenter bees may not eat wood, but they love boring into it to make a nice little home. Unlike other bees, they aren’t social, preferring to live their solitary lives making homes and foraging.

Facts, Identification, and Control

Let’s take a look at what you should know.

Facts about Carpenter Bees

Here’s what you should know.

Where Do They Live?

They burrow into wood to make small holes they can call home and you may find a carpenter bees nest. They live in the United States throughout the country in many different locations.

What Do They Eat?

Bees feed on nectar and pollen from flowering plants.

How Did I Get Carpenter Bees?

Unpainted, or unvarnished wood is often a target for these bees. While painting sometimes stops them, it’s not 100% full proof. They are also attracted to softer woods and woodpiles.

If you don’t treat and protect the wood, you may have an issue. Once you have a single bee, it could attract others to make their homes.

How Serious Are Carpenter Bees Problems?

Don’t ignore this issue.

Problem #1

Carpenter bees can cause severe structural damage to your home, deck, outdoor structures, and anything else. They burrow into wood, causing the integrity to suffer and if unchecked, can wreck your structure.

Problem #2

They don’t generally sting, but they can if improperly handled. Your biggest concern is the damage they do to your wooden structures, including your house.

Keep an eye out for their tell-tale holes and patch quickly. Make sure you also protect new wood with some kind of stain or paint.

Signs of Carpenter Bees?

You’ll notice their holes in the wood pretty quickly, along with refuse from where they’ve bored through the wood and discarded the shavings. You may also see them flying around in your yard foraging for nectar and pollen.

Carpenter Bee Prevention and Control tips

Want to know how to kill carpenter bees? Check out these tips.

Control tip #1

Paint or varnish wood to discourage burrowing. It isn’t 100% effective, but it’s a start.

Control tip #2

Remove old wood from your yard so that you don’t attract them inadvertently. Old structures, playground equipment, even wood piles could all sing out to a carpenter bee.

Control tip #3

Use an approved pesticide inside the holes to deal with developing bees and to kill the adults living in the tunnel itself. Fill gaps to make a carpenter bees trap and to prevent new bees from moving in.

Carpenter Bees Professional Pest Control

Carpenter Bees may require professional help if you do all those things and still have them. A professional knows how to look for these bees, treat their homes, and prevent them from coming back.


Frequently Asked Questions

Carpenter bees stay around three years, and there can be one or two generations per year. Often, newly hatched daughters live together in their nest with their mother.

Carpenter bees go to their holes at night to get some rest. Female carpenter bees are resting in their burrows at night, especially when they are still in the middle of constructing the tunnels inside.

The best treatment for carpenter bees is to use insecticide dust. The best method for preventing carpenter bees is applying an insecticide spray on the structure where the bees congregrate before they can cause damage.