Early detection for stinging insects


April 22, 2024

Andrew Fisher

Andrew Fisher, BCE, PHE

Although not usually recognized for their stinging capabilities, female carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.) may sting when provoked. Carpenter bees are more commonly known for being solitary insects that bore into wood to build nests, potentially weakening wooden structures over time.

Although they do not consume wood, carpenter bees can inflict damage by excavating tunnels for their nests. The entry holes they create are typically around 0.5 inch in diameter, appearing clean and perfectly round on wooden surfaces like eaves, decks or siding.

To confirm their activity, look for fresh wood shavings or bee movements near the holes during daylight hours. The best treatments involve early detection first, then applying dusts or other appropriately labeled insecticides directly into their entry holes in the evening — when the bees are less active and likely inside their nests. Sealing the treated holes with wood putty, steel wool or even balled-up aluminum foil can deter future infestations and help reduce inadvertent stings.


About the Author

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Fisher is a professional pest business unit specialist at Neogen.

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