The sun is finally out and the warm weather is here! Unfortunately, we know what that means, so are the seasonal pests. We have recently noticed an influx of carpenter bees within the residential areas of Toronto. These pests can be problematic for homeowners, so it’s important to know the difference when it comes to carpenter bees, to keep your home and family protected.
What Are Carpenter Bees?
Unlike bumblebees and honeybees, carpenter bees don’t live in colonies. Carpenter bees prefer to build individual nests to raise their young. The name “carpenter bees” comes from the nesting habits of this species, as their favourite place to burrow is in untreated, dead or weathered wood. Carpenter bees will often chew out holes and nest in common residential commodities such as wooden decks, rafters, siding and outdoor furniture. This causes apparent damage and stains to the area. Only female carpenter bees can sting, but males can appear more aggressive as they tend to fly around people and pets.
How To Identify A Carpenter Bee
You can usually tell a carpenter bee apart from others by their shiny exterior and hairless appearance. There are two different types of carpenter bees: small carpenter bees (Ceratina) and large carpenter bees (Xylocopa). Large carpenter bees are known to cause the most damage to residential properties. Use the following tips to help you identify the difference between carpenter bees.
Large Carpenter Bees:
- About the same size as an average bumblebee
- May appear dark green, blue or even purple
- Males will have some yellow on their face
- No hair on the abdomen
- Fine yellow hair all over the rest of the body
Small Carpenter Bee:
- Smaller than 8 mm in length
- Dark appearance
- May appear metallic
- Almost no body hair
- Possess some yellow markings
How to Avoid Getting Carpenter Bees
The easiest way to avoid attracting carpenter bees is to treat wooden objects by painting them and keep all doors to your home closed. Alternatively, citrus oils can be used preventively as a natural repellent. You can spray areas that might attract carpenter bees in an effort to protect your home frequently throughout the spring and summer months. If carpenter bees have already nested in or around your home, it’s always best to call a pest control specialist.
If you suspect that you have a carpenter bee problem and live in the GTA, call Advantage Pest Control at 647.560.3811 for a free consultation. Our pest control team is available seven days a week from 8 am – 9 pm. We are experienced with Toronto bed bugs, Toronto termites, Toronto carpenter ants and more!