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Have you ever noticed fuzzy insects around your house that look like bumblebees but have a shiny black underside instead of a furry yellow one? Those are carpenter bees, and their presence causes much dismay among East Coast homeowners.
How bad are carpenter bees in Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia, though? Are they something you should be concerned about, something to be feared, or can you feel free to ignore their presence?
For everything you need to know, keep reading through this simple guide to carpenter bees on the East Coast.
The consequences of carpenter bees
Carpenter bees, like most insects, play two roles: that of a human pest and that of a vital ecosystem component.
On one hand, they are excellent pollinators. Their fuzzy bodies pick up pollen when they land on flowering plants and spread them to others.
This facilitates the growth of future generations of plants. Without pollinators, many of the plants we rely on for food and beautiful gardens would die out.
On the flip side, a carpenter bee infestation can do a lot of damage to your home and belongings. These insects get their name because of their ability to drill through wood. Unlike termites, they do not eat it, but they use their strong jaws to burrow into lumber and build their homes.
Over time, carpenter bees can hollow out the posts on your deck, destroy the structural beams in your house or chew through the wall of your shed. Thankfully, they are not as aggressive to humans as they are to trees — they will only sting if provoked.
Why are there more carpenter bees in Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland?
If you think you have noticed an uptick in carpenter bees near you in the past few years, it is not in your imagination.
Back in 2003, the EPA banned chromated arsenicals (CCAs), a common additive in treated lumber. This was great from an environmental standpoint and resulted in less arsenic leaking into the soil. Even so, the replacement additive (ACQ) does not repel bees as well as the original.
What does that mean for you? If you have rebuilt your deck or other outdoor structures with treated lumber purchased in 2004 or later, you will need to keep a close eye out for bees. Call a trusted local pest control service if you notice the signs of a new colony instead of trying to take care of them yourself.
Are you finding carpenter bees in Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia?
Carpenter bees may be an annoying pest to have around your home, but they serve as a critical part of the Maryland/Virginia ecosystem. These fuzzy insects are important pollinators, so it is best to bring in the experts instead of the pesticides when they decide to move into your yard.
When you need to deal with carpenter bees in Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia, Planet Friendly Pest Control is the team to call. We take a planet-friendly approach to pest control, creating a custom plan for each home, and avoiding chemical insecticides whenever possible. Contact us online to set up your appointment for a comprehensive inspection today.