A carpenter bee is smarter than the average bear and they have four life stages to contend with and it takes about a month and a half for a carpenter bee to reach adulthood. Of course, the time it takes to grow up will be determined by environmental concerns such as the weather and Mother Nature. Actually, they are pretty clever in that they locate a spot where breakfast, lunch and dinner is available, then return to their home to snooze then come out in the springtime. Large carpenter bees have one life circle, but in places like Florida, they may enjoy two or more generations per year.
Smaller carpenter bees build nests made of twigs and stems much like a beaver will do. And strangely enough the females reproduce without males. Perhaps, that’s why the smaller carpenter bee doesn’t have many friends. They are not very social and quite solitary in nature. So, here’s the $60 thousand dollar question you might ask: “How to you know when a carpenter bee has been hanging around your residence?” Well, like a policeman would do, you start looking for clues. One of those clues would be entrance holes in older pieces of wood and the presence of large stacks of sawdust on the area around where the hole has been drilled by the pesky carpenter bee. And, like the pest control person will tell you, “If you see one; there are more.”
One thing to remember about not only carpenter bees or any other type of annoying pest is whether they are dangerous or harmful to humans. In the case of this type of bee they actually look more menacing than they really are. If you see one flying near your pets or near people, maybe you can determine if it’s a male or not. The male will chicken out and leave the stinging to the female who usually won’t sting unless provoked or handled. All that said, prevention and treatment for a carpenter bee is a attack procedure and it should begin with a thorough inspection by a licensed, professional pest control company who has the experience to handle a problem of this type.
The most effective control method is to apply an insecticide “dust” to the bees drill hole and leave the hole open for a couple days so the carpenter bees can eat and leave and come back again. Once you know the bees have left town or died, fill up the holes and call it a success. Yet, if you are more environmentally conscience against pesticides, a control method that works and does not use pesticides is to paint any bare-exposed wood surface that is being attacked with some exterior paint or a polyurethane finish. Or, seal all existing holes you discover and the bees will leave town.