When you see bees buzzing near your home, you probably don’t think much about them. You may assume they’re harmless honeybees or bumblebees—until you begin to notice alarming damage on your siding.
Carpenter bees are destructive insects that feast on wood, and unfortunately, your wood siding is no exception. Learn how to identify damage from carpenter bees and discover what you can do today to eliminate costly pest damage on your home’s siding.
What Makes Carpenter Bees Unique?
Bumblebees, honeybees, and carpenter bees are the most common bee species in the United States. Honeybees are smaller than the two other bees, so you can easily differentiate them, but you may find it more challenging to determine a bumblebee from a carpenter bee.
Both these bees are covered in black and yellow hair, but carpenter bees have a shiny black abdomen, whereas bumblebees are covered in hair on the stomach. Carpenter bees are typically solitary and aggressive, whereas bumblebees are nonaggressive and stay focused on flowers or plants—not people or houses.
What Does Damage from Carpenter Bees Look Like on My Siding?
Carpenter bees are one of the top wood-damaging pests in the United States. While they typically nest in old trees or plants with soft interiors, they may still find your wood siding an inviting place to build a cozy home.
Carpenter bees, unlike termites, don’t eat wood or exterior paint. Instead, they bore holes and tunnels into your wooden siding boards to create nests. You can typically identify damage from a carpenter bee if you see sawdust piles on the ground near the holes in your siding, or if you notice excrement stains beneath the holes.
Unfortunately, there may be more underlying damage beneath your boards, even if you only notice one or two holes on your siding from carpenter bees. These insects create networks of tunnels through your siding boards that are roughly six inches long, and female bees will lay eggs inside the tunnels. As time passes, these tunnels can grow larger and longer until they’re up to ten feet long.
How Can I Eliminate Damage from Carpenter Bees?
While you can kill carpenter bees and prevent new infestations with special products and treatments—these quick fixes will only last for so long.
By the time you identify carpenter bee damage, your wood siding is likely already filled with tunnels, compromising your exterior’s durability and structural integrity. Plus, it’s only a matter of time before carpenter bees target your wooden exterior again.
Instead, it’s best to install a pest-resistant siding material that will deter carpenter bees—for good. Wood siding, as we mentioned, is appealing for bees to burrow through. And vinyl siding, though it may seem durable, expands and contracts with fluctuations in temperature, creating gaps underneath your siding that spiders, wasps, bees, and other insects can crawl through.
However, fiber cement siding is a durable, pest-resistant material that provides no appeal to insects and critters like carpenter bees. James Hardie® fiber cement siding is North America’s #1 siding brand. Learn the unique qualities of this popular pest-resistant material below.
James Hardie Siding: North America’s Most Pest-Resistant Siding Material
Hardie fiber cement siding is made from a heavy-duty blend of cement, sand, water, and cellulose fibers. This manmade material isn’t appealing or digestible to pests, like carpenter bees, so they won’t create holes and tunnels in your home’s exterior.
Hardie siding can resist more than just pest damage—it also withstands fire, hail, and water damage. Because fiber cement siding is so sturdy, it won’t develop holes from insects or other critters, so your siding can retain its waterproof surface and distinctive curb appeal.
Hardie siding is Engineered for Climate®, so each board installed on your home is built to withstand the cold winters and humid summers in Indianapolis.
Unlike vinyl siding, which expands and contracts with fluctuating temperatures, your fiber cement siding will stay flat against your house, so you won’t have to worry about insects sneaking behind your siding boards.
Deter Carpenter Bees with James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding from JD Hostetter & Associates
While there’s little you can do to remove carpenter bees from your environment, you can keep them away from your home with durable, pest-resistant siding, like James Hardie!
JD Hostetter & Associates is a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor, so we can ensure you enjoy the full benefits of your industry-leading warranty with our expert installation skills and by following the stringent standards set by the James Hardie company.
We’d love to help you protect your home from carpenter bees and other insects. Contact JD Hostetter & Associates to get a free quote for pest-resistant James Hardie fiber cement siding.