Carpenter bees about to wreak havoc on East Texas

Carpenter Bee (Source: KTRE Staff)
Carpenter Bee (Source: KTRE Staff)
Carpenter Bee (Source: KTRE Staff)
Carpenter Bee (Source: KTRE Staff)
Galleries created by Carpenter Bees (Source: KTRE Staff)
Galleries created by Carpenter Bees (Source: KTRE Staff)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Spring is in the air, and with that comes bugs. However, there is one bug in particular that you need to be on the look out for when it comes to the safety of your home.

Carpenter bees, which are appropriately named for their ability to eat through wood, are commonly mistaken for bumble bees because of their size and shape.

Carpenter bees burrow into old wood and create tunnels otherwise known as galleries.

"They will come into these two holes, and this piece of wood is broke off. They have gone into here, and they will tunnel and break off and go further direction too," said A.R.A. Exterminating owner Charlene Warren.

They create these galleries to collect pollen and to hold their larva, but if you don't treat the holes, you could be looking at an expensive repair bill.

Don't go swatting and spraying just yet. Carpenter bees are beneficial to the environment in that they pollinate, helping flowers and vegetables grow.

"They are beneficial in that they are pollinators just like honey bees and just like our butterflies in such that we really need them as pollinators," said Cary Sims, the Texas AgriLife Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources for Angelina County.

Warren suggested you take some preventative measures before the bees coming buzzing to your front door.

"They're not so active as to infest wood if it's been painted or varnished, and that helps," Warren said.

If you already have carpenter bees, there are several things you can do to stop them from coming back.

First, cover the existing holes with caulk or steel wool, but first make sure there is no existing larva. Then treat your wood with paint or varnish.

Carpenter bees usually only come out during the warmer months, and they don't produce in high numbers.

You may run into one of these furry flyers, but don't worry; they aren't known to be aggressive In fact, only the female can sting you.

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