How to prevent carpenter bees from ruining your deck

Abell Pest Control

Carpenter bees are a burrowing pain. Though they may not wiggle their way inside your home, they'll gladly wiggle through your deck. If enough carpenter bees make their home there, your deck could collapse at any point, putting you at risk. They'll happily dig through outdoor furniture and the siding of your house too. Consider these pest management tips to prevent carpenter bees from disrupting your outdoor fun.

What are carpenter bees?

Carpenter bees look like a black version of your average, harmless bumble bee. However, these bees aren't harmless, North Carolina State University stated. They don't like painted wood, but would rather dig through soft types of wood such as redwood, cedar, cypress, pine and others. Sadly, many outdoor decks and furniture are unpainted. These bees have a field day, leaving behind a trail of sawdust and demolishing the structure of whatever they burrow through. They'll mostly come around in the spring looking for something to bite through, Log Home Care noted. Males usually stay on the defense while the females dig. They may act aggressively toward nearby people, but, like bumble bees, they don't have a stinger. Females will lay their eggs in the established tunnels, which could be several inches long. The bees will also enlarge old tunnels. If left unattended for long periods, carpenter bees destroy tunnels.

Tips to prevent carpenter bees

Stain isn't enough

Some homeowners may think their deck is safe from bees because it's stained. Though it may be waterproof, it isn't bee-proof. Stains usually won't stop a bee from wiggling inside its desired target.

Paint Wood

Instead, try to paint all wood near your home. Painted wood acts as a natural repellent for carpenter bees because they don't view it as wood. A gloss topcoat on a stain may have the same effect. Decks that are stained and then painted with a gloss coat have proved to prevent bees in the past. Experts speculate that the shininess of the wood can look like a hard surface that can't be penetrated.

Homeowners should constantly look for small holes in wood around their home. If holes are found in the winter, bees might still be nesting inside. Call pest services professionals to properly eradicate bees from your home. Using pesticides yourself puts you and your family in danger and may not get rid of the bees entirely or cause them to return at a later point.

About the author:

Since 1924, Abell Pest Control has provided quality services, protecting our customers and their patrons from coast-to-coast. Our customers enjoy the expertise and resources of a national provider. Prouder yet, we are members of your community, ready to service your home or business 24/7.

We are reliable experts in pest control—experts who care. At Abell Pest Control, we bring experience, efficacy and knowledge to customers who are looking for a fast, safe and effective solution to their pest problem.

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