Help - Carpenter Bees???

Asked September 12, 2018, 9:49 PM EDT

Hello and Help! Do carpenter bees buzz??? For at least a couple of years I swear I hear buzzing sounds. I hear it when I'm inside the house and also when I'm outside the house when I'm gardening. I've had extermination company come out last year but he didn't find anything. Our neighborhood is NEVER quiet. But sometimes when the neighbors are on vacation and it feels still outside I know I hear a buzzing sound. When I try to find where the sound is coming from, I loose the frequency and then I can't tell if it's my hearing in my own head or if I'm really hearing bees. I thought I had bumble bees but now thinking they are carpenter bees.Now, I have super tiny holes in my deck which is currently unstained. I'm in process of stripping it, cleaning it and then will re-stain it. Just waiting for the rain to stop. However, while on my hands and knees scrubbing, I've noticed super tiny holes in the wood. After going online I think I have carpenter bees. The other day I killed something super ugly on my siding. It was yellow brown and almost looked like it had fingers. I was afraid of it and left it alone hoping it would go away. It didn't. My husband hit it with a board and it pooped liquid. Gross. The body clung to the board and we through the board away. Then we both were super squeamish. Ick. Do you think I have carpenter bees and is this the noise I have been hearing all along. I also have boring holes in my dirt all over my home. A neighbor told me those were bee holes from bumble bees (I like these bees) so I have let all their holes exist. Now I'm thinking they are not bumble bees at all and they are carpenter bees that have infested my home. No one is home except me and I hear the buzzing even now. Date 9/13 Time 6:34 pm Help!!

Clackamas County Oregon insect issues insect identification horticulture

1 Response

Thank you for contacting Ask an Expert for information about bees.

I do not think carpenter bees are the issue. These are a large insect, boring holes about ½ inch in diameter and six to 10 inches deep. They do not have a “hive” where a number of bees would congregate. Rather they simply bore the holes, lay their eggs, and go on to another hole.

The tiny holes on your deck may be powder post beetles and your cleaning and staining should prevent further infestation—if that is what it is.

Yellow jackets and honey bees are two insects that could get under siding and form nests in the wall voids. Once the entry point is found and the insects removed or killed, any openings can be sealed to prevent further nesting.

Bumble bees do make nests in the ground and are generally considered to be beneficial because of their role in pollination. When nests are located in a high-traffic area, control can become necessary.

If you can capture a suspect insect in a container, identification help can be found with the Clackamas County Master Gardeners at 200 Warner-Milne Rd., Oregon City (503-655-8631).