Carpenter Bees are considered a wood destroying insect, much like termites, carpenter ants and wood destroying beetles. While some of the other insects can cause more extensive damage, carpenter bees can also provide their fair share of headaches.
I have a customer in the Willow Grove section of Pennsylvania who called because carpenter bees were bothering them at their front door. The overhead section that extended out over the door was made of wood which was older and weathered, and the bees were drilling right into the wood, and when my customers left or returned home, naturally the carpenter bees would defend their home. So they called me.
These bees don’t eat the wood, instead they actually drill a perfect hole into the wood. You might notice wood dust below an active hole, or what looks to be a yellow mess smeared outside of an area they are working in.
The holes they make are perfect circles and as they drill forward they make a right angle turn and form a gallery that they will build upon year after year. It is in these galleries that they lay and take care of their eggs. these eggs are groomed and they will hatch at the end of the season, and the same cycle continues year after year. The damage after many years can be rather extensive, but usually not as bad as an insect like a termite can cause.
So what can be done about this? Treatments can include treating each hole individually, which can be expensive and sometimes not practical, or a surface spray treatment can also be effective. Spraying at the beginning of the season each year will help to break the cycle and discourage new bees from building new galleries.