A flying green insect ate my patio furniture!

Asked April 26, 2016, 9:16 AM EDT

Hello! Yesterday, I found small, shiny green insects flying into my wood patio table. After investigating, I then found that all of the table legs had been eaten out from the inside. There was a lot of "sawdust" inside. I asked an arborist, and he said that this is NOT the emerald ash borer (thank goodness - we live in the woods). It looks like a shiny green wasp. I am fairly certain it is the "Cuckoo" wasp, but I wanted to verify with the experts. Also, I have found nothing about these wasps boring into wood furniture, so what's going on here? Did another bug get to my table before these wasps did? I had not observed any other bees or wasps in the table before these guys. Are they known to take over termite nests?? Thank you so much for your expertise! Alexis

Montgomery County Maryland bees insect identification pollinator mason bee rotten wood

3 Responses

This is a mason bee, a very beneficial and important pollinating bee because it emerges early in spring and pollinates at a time when there are few pollinators out and active for plants. Many people purchase or build special bee "houses" for these bees.

They nest in crevices in wood (or empty dried weed stalks, etc.). They do not eat or create the holes in the wood, they merely find holes and use them.

So, no, these bees had nothing to do with the rotten wood of your deck furniture. But, even though it's rotten, at least it served a good purpose!

ECN


Thank you for the fast response!

Can I encourage these beneficial bees into a new hive? I want to get rid of the rotted wood, if possible. Or, at least, relocate the wood to the back of my yard.

What do you recommend?

You could relocate the wood to the back of your yard. Mason bees are early season bees. Here are some links to encourage nesting habitats for mason bees
https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Other/note109/note109.html
http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/news/2015/create-a-mason-bee-habitat-1
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