With autumn upon us, now is the perfect time for homeowners to get their property in shape and help avoid problems in the months ahead. Here are six key jobs to tackle before cold weather sets in
Warm Air Is All A Buzzzz With Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees are large bees, black and yellow in color, that buzz loudly, seem to dive bomb you and are often confused with bumble bees. In fact, one may have to get rather close to distinguish the difference. One way to identify a carpenter bee is that the carpenter bee has a black shiny tail section. Also, bumble bees live in colonies where carpenter bees are more solitary. Also, bumble bees will sting to protect their colonies where as the carpenter bee is more passive.
The carpenter bee earned the name from drilling holes in wood with strong jaws. They drill a round hole about ½ inch in diameter. These are usually found on the underside of a porch rail or deck. Additional targets are cedar, cypress and redwood shingles, overhangs and other exposed wood sections on houses and porches. Carpenter bees often expose themselves by leaving small piles of course sawdust under the holes.
The adult carpenter bees usually spend the winter holed up in their tunnel until around April or May. The first carpenter bees you see will more than likely have a white spot on their face. These are the male bees. The male bees are more aggressive because they are protecting the tunnel. However, without a stinger their best defense is to dive bomb. The male will attempt to drive other bees and people away from their tunnel nests. Female carpenter bees, while equipped and capable of stinging, rarely do unless you catch them in your hand or severely agitate them.
Carpenter bees feed on nectar but can cause any significant structural damage to wood. If left unattended, they can over a period of successive years, drill enough tunnels and nests to weaken and cause decay and damage to thin boards such as siding and other exposed tunnel openings.
Preventing carpenter bees is pretty difficult, however a good way to start is by either treating or painting exposed wood. Bees tend to be attracted to untreated and unpainted wood more.
There are plenty of pest control companies out there to help with the removal of the bees which is always important when you are looking to buy or sell a home.