Can Carpenter Bees Really Damage Your Home's Exterior?

Can Carpenter Bees Really Damage Your Home's Exterior?

13 January 2022
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Each spring brings out plenty of flying insects, among them a large type of bee known as a carpenter bee. While their name may suggest helpful construction work, they're actually known for boring holes into the wood on the exterior of your home instead. It can be quite shocking to see multiple large diameter holes bored into the wood of a fascia board, stair railing, or the trim around your front door. While these bees can do some damage while digging out nests for laying their eggs, they're not likely to leave your home collapsing around you at least.

Structural Damage Is Unlikely

Thankfully, carpenter bees are far less damaging than termites to the structure. They do chew out surprisingly long tunnels, with some excavations running up to 10 inches long down the grain of the wood. Since they prefer to chew with the grain of a board or piece of wood siding, they tend to only do damage to the exterior cladding of a building rather than penetrating into the structure. The exception to this occurs when rafter ends or other structural features are left exposed on the exterior as a design choice. These features do need carpenter bee protection since weakening even the ends of rafters or wall headers could result in structural issues.

Decorative and Surface Damage Can Be Extensive

While even a lot of carpenter bees are unlikely to destabilize your home's structure like termites might, they can do extensive damage to the exterior of the home. Returning year after year to dig new nesting burrows, the effect is cumulative and can leave some features so weakened they crumble under your hand. When the damage is concentrated on a safety feature like a handrailing next to a set of porch steps, you don't want to risk someone getting injured from it suddenly giving way. Limiting carpenter bee damage is recommended to ensure you don't need to replace important exterior features every few years at a high cost.

Pest Control Is Effective for Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees may be able to fly to reach parts of your home you can't access, but you're not struck dealing with them for life. Pesticides help treat existing bee burrows so the bees don't return, while painting or coating exposed wood discourages them from burrowing in at all. A comprehensive pest control plan for these destructive bees will focus on repairing and sealing existing damage as well as keeping them away in the future.

About Me
Life and Construction

Tomorrow, as you go through your daily life, try making a list of everything you can thank a construction worker for. Before you even step out your door, you'll probably have to list several contractors who worked on your home, from the painters to the drywall hangers. Then, you'll drive down the road, noting the work of the road construction companies. By the end of the day, your list will be pretty long. We know — because we've done this experiment ourselves. It is actually what inspired us to write this blog about construction work. With so many contractors to thank, we figured we could share a bit about their work while we're at it.