As an owner of a log home you can probably count on getting to know Carpenter Bees, who they are, what they do, and how they live. Log homeowners should learn how to control carpenter bees and understand the importance of repairing any damage which most commonly occurs in the fascia boards, soffits, and trim. Understanding how they live you will help you manage their activity
The Carpenter Bee (xylocopa)
Carpenter bees are large colorful bees that look somewhat like bumble bees. The male carpenter bees are often seen flying around eaves and gables. Their job is to protect the nest however; they do not have a stinger. Carpenter bees make their nest in exterior structural or decorative wood such as fascia boards and trim. A round hole is chewed on the surface and is generally about ½” in diameter. Even though you only see the hole, what you don’t see is the tunnel they bored, usually at 90 degrees to the entrance. The tunnels are used year after year while being lengthened by the female.
Controlling Carpenter Bees
There are several different methods to control carpenter bees and repair their damage. One simple and common method is to purchase a “Carpenter Bee Kit” which contains the necessary products to control carpenter bees. Most kits include an insecticide, dust, applicator and caulking to fill the holes. You can purchase one of these kits from most log home supply companies. The best time to treat the area is after dark on a cool evening when the bees are calm.
Repairing Carpenter Bee Damage
It is very important to fill the holes. The round entrance hole and tunnels created by the female bees is not the only concern. If the holes are left untreated and not filled, damage is caused by allowing water to penetrate the wood possibly causing decay. Also, not filling the entrance holes will allow the bees to return and increase the length of the tunnel.
Tunnel Inside Log
Carpenter bees are very common and can be a nuisance. Remember to inspect on a regular basis for any activity and check for holes mostly in trim and soffit.