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To prepare as a responsible homeowner for the spring, it’s important to equip yourself with knowledge about common pests and the damage they can cause to your home. While winter weather causes a type of hibernation for many infestation issues, the pests come out in full force in later months. As a way to help homeowners protect their homes from pest damage, here is the first article in our spring pest damage series.

This week, carpenter bees are taking the spotlight as one of the most common pests to infest and cause damage to homes in the Northeast. 

How to Identify Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees look like many other bees, but they are especially distinct in behavior. While most other species of bees are social insects that exist in swarms, carpenter bees work alone. Carpenter bees are also less interested in attacking humans. For homeowners, this can be a good thing: one lonely and timid carpenter bee is easier to take care of than a growing hive of aggressive bees. 

Carpenter bees are much like bumble bees in that they are big and slow, but their abdomens are shiny, smooth, and black rather than furry. They only have one yellow furry patch. Ultimately, if you have a big, slow-flying bee that is hanging around wooden parts of your home, be suspicious that it is a carpenter bee.

What Does Carpenter Bee Damage Look Like?

Carpenter bees live and thrive in holes and tunnels they drill into wood. This behavior makes it easier to spot carpenter bee infestations. Homeowners should regularly check their property for holes in wooden surfaces, especially crevices and harder-to-spot areas of their homes and other structures. 

One or two small holes might not seem dangerous, but the damage is likely worse than it seems on the surface. Any damage to your home’s exterior can make it vulnerable to water damage and other pests and growths. It can also weaken the integrity of your structure, especially as more holes and tunnels appear.

Untreated carpenter bee infestation and damage can lead to severe signs like sinking floors and ceilings and bulging walls. 

Related Article: 3 Ways to Protect Your Wooden Deck

Carpenter Bee Damage Prevention

While carpenter bees prefer untreated wood, they will still damage painted and stained wood. The first line of defense is to keep them from entering the home, so keep doors and windows closed. You should also make sure that you seal all cracks and crevices with caulk. If you have any tears in your screens, repair them right away. 

If you already have holes and tunnels drilled into the wood of your home, there are a few ways to address further damage. Some people choose to use pesticides in the holes, and others choose to stuff steel wool into the holes.

Related Article: How to Manage Home Damage Before Help Arrives

Repairing Damage from Carpenter Bees

Unfortunately, carpenter bee damage to wood is irreversible. Holes in the wood left unattended can only lead to further damage. The best course of action is to call a professional to address your carpenter bee issue. Then, you should assess how extensive the damage is to your home. In minor cases, you’ll be able to replace damaged wood without an entire remodeling project. In serious cases, or in situations where you’d prefer to take the opportunity to upgrade your home’s exterior, you can start a remodeling project.

Advance Inc. has seen what extensive pest damage can do to your home. The best course of action is always prevention, but in the case that damage already exists, Advance Inc. professionals are ready to assess and provide solutions. If you have a regular issue with wood-damaging pests, consider installing vinyl or another damage-resistant material.

Contact Advance Inc. today for an in-home consultation to discuss repairing your home after pest damage.

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