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How To Get Rid of Wood-Boring Ants and Bees

Carpenter ants swarming on a toothpick

Ants and bees are not only two of the most common spring pests in Akron and surrounding areas; they’re also two of the most annoying to discover in and around your home! In fact, they’re more than just a nuisance – they can also be damaging to wood.

Termites aren’t the only wood-destroying pests in town; both carpenter ants and carpenter bees pose a threat to the wooden structures in your home.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants sound harmless, but they are one of the most difficult ant species to control. Named for their habit of chewing through wooden structures, furniture, and trees, carpenter ants can vary in size and color. Carpenter ants can live both inside and outside of your home, constructing large tunneling systems to easily infiltrate your home without an open window or door.

How Do I Know if I have Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants differ in size and color, but carpenter ants are typically large and black in color. In Ohio, carpenter ants begin to swarm and bore tunnels in the spring months.

Typically drawn to wet, weakened wood, carpenter ants will build nests around your sinks, bathtubs, window and door frames, and leaky roofs.

In some cases, carpenter ants can be seen winged and swarming in your home. This is a dead giveaway that a colony is nesting somewhere inside or around your home.

How Do Carpenter Ants Damage Wood?

Carpenter ants will bore tunnels through both dry and wet wood, building nests in any exposed wood they can find. Wet or damaged wood is easier for them to chew through, but they can also make a feast of healthy wood.

Carpenter ants are similar to termites when it comes to building nests, but carpenter ants do not eat the wood they bore through. They simply chew it and remove it from their pathways, disposing of it through pre-existing cracks and openings in surrounding wood.

How Do I Stop Carpenter Ants From Ruining My Wood?

Carpenter ants can be tricky to remove and keep away. The best way to control them is to remove and destroy their nest. Carpenter ants are not just annoying, they are smart. They follow specific scent patterns, so if you can pick up on their behavior, you can easily find the nest.

But be careful when removing carpenter ant nests. When they feel disturbed, they will bite! They can also spray a defensive acid into the bite wound, intensifying your pain. Eliminating any sources of moisture or standing water around your property will also help to deter these pests from being attracted to your home.

Due to the nature of carpenter ant colonies, it’s imperative that treatments reach the center of the colony to be effective. That’s why handling a carpenter ant infestation is better left to the professionals.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are a bit different from the ants who share their wood-destroying habits. Commonly seen in Ohio in the late-spring and early summer, carpenter bees seek wooden shelter for nest building so they can lay their eggs. More commonly found on the exterior of your home, carpenter bees can cause damage to your belongings and threaten your outdoor fun.

How Do I know If I have Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter bees are most commonly found in the late-spring and early summer. Large and black in their bodice, carpenter bees resemble bumble bees, but the shiny black abdomen is what gives them away.

If you see a Carpenter bee flying around your home, it’s very likely they’re looking for a spot to build their nest, in order to lay eggs. If you notice small “tunnels” in the wood on or surrounding your home, it is likely this is the nest of a carpenter bee. These tunnels can typically be found in window trim, siding, decks, and outdoor furniture.

Do Carpenter Bees Sting?

Carpenter bees are territorial. Typically, male carpenter bees are the ones who will protect the nest. Aggressive in nature, male carpenter bees will hover around people who are they feel are too close to their nest. Luckily, male carpenter bees cannot sting.

Female Carpenter bees do have a stinger, but will only use it if provoked.

How Do I Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter bees are attracted to wood that is bare, weathered, and unpainted. The best way to keep them away is to make sure your exposed wood is painted, especially the areas that have previously been attacked. Painting is your best bet, but if you’re not crazy about the idea of painting everything you own, wood stains and preservatives are a second-best option for protection.

In extreme cases, liquid sprays such as bee or wasp control can be administered to your wooden surfaces. Spraying will help to protect against future carpenter bees reusing old nests. But “bee” careful, female carpenter bees will sting! The best time to perform this treatment is in the evening when they are less active.

If you are concerned about handling this problem on your own, it’s time to call on the professionals! Recurring pest control services give your home the ongoing protection you deserve to eliminate and prevent infestations.

At Epcon Lane, we offer ant and bee control as a part of our complete pest control programs in Summit County, Medina County, and Stark County, Ohio. If you’re ready to kiss carpenter ants and carpenter bees goodbye, call 330-724-0007 or request a free estimate today!