Do Carpenter Bees Sting – A Complete Guide On Prevention And Treatment
Finding a group of bees buzzing through the air is nothing to be alarmed about. It’s another story if you don’t stop hearing their wings flapping inside the walls of your home or catching them gathering on your porch. This is even more true when these unexpected guests are none but carpenter bees – the ones likely to have drilled their way into any wooden structure you own and call it theirs.
Wanting them out is only natural. As the bee population has quite a bad rap for their painful treatment towards fingers daring to cross their territory, a little information on what you’re dealing with can merit a safer removal.
We shall start with “Do carpenter bees sting?” at gardening101.net, then a few mentions on how to speed up recovery in case the situation turns awry.
Do Carpenter Bees Sting?
What Are Carpenter Bees?
You should know that the term carpenter bee doesn’t refer to one species alone. Rather, it’s the universal tag for all varieties of one certain bee family that turn down the idea of a hive to tunnel themselves into a less conventional housing choice: wood.
Suppose you come across one or a couple of them (solitary creatures won’t gather into units unless during mating season), inspect your furniture or porch for circle-shaped indentations on the wood surface at once. The bees chew apart the soft wooden fiber to craft holes for nesting on the inside, and those are often the tell-tale signs of their visit.
Carpenter bees have a hard time burrowing inside treated wood. Having no fitting surface for them to make a home out of translates to a low possibility of infiltration. This goes the same for coming out with an empty hand on your search for a suspicious deformity on your property. Maybe the bees you notice are nothing more than curious
These bees themselves bear a close resemblance to carpenter bees. They all have typical two-toned body colors of black and yellow. They measure almost the same size in length, with only a few millimeters difference. One way to avoid confusing one with another is to get an up-close look at their lower body. Bumblebees are characterized by black and yellow markings, but carpenter bees look mostly black with somewhat shiny abdomens.
Do Carpenter Bees Sting?
The bad news is, yes, they do. The good news is they prefer the peaceful route and won’t react to humans’ presence if not provoked.
While the reality of them becoming unofficial occupants of your home, for the time being, might still seem like a threat, as you aren’t sure about what they deem offensive, rest assured that you’ll have plenty of time to retreat before it’s too late. The reason is that the venom-filled stingers exclusive for bringing pain are limited to females only.
The males might come off as aggressive and intimidating, but that’s a part of their defense mechanism as guards of the nesting sites. They are tasked with chasing off the potential invaders as the female carpenter bees stay out of sight behind the wood rearing their next generation. You can leave them to tend to their business and take your time figuring out what works best in permanently driving them back outdoors.
Just make sure not to act rashly and lay your hand directly on their home. That’s trespassing, and the female bees will take it as a cue to strike back.
How To Treat Carpenter Bees’ Sting?
Even with their benevolent nature, carpenter bees can deal a burning blow to your unaware hand. The first thing to do when the pain erupts is to stay calm and apply first aid as needed.
Pocketing the following tips makes a difference in quickly recovering from a carpenter bee sting.
- Inspect the string to see if there is any sign of the stinger poking up from underneath your skin. It’ll pump more venom into your blood as time passes and disrupt the healing process. Gently scrape it off (or pull it out) using your fingernails or tweezers.
- Clean the sting underwater with a little bit of soap. Then, apply an ice pack (or anything cold you have at hand) to soothe the pain if the inflammation is getting beyond your tolerance level. Don’t cover it up. Exposure to the air is a necessary factor in healing.
- Take some medication when the pain persists too long for your comfort. Typical painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen do a fairly good job at this. When there is swelling to address, antihistamine cream is also a recommended option.
Understand The Severity
Assessing the signs of the sting informs you of its severity, which is useful in determining effective treatment.
In the most fortunate cases where the bee’s venom triggers a mild reaction, you’ll sense the pain and witness a visible red welt emerging at the stung site. However, they recover within hours of the sting.
A more critical reaction might last for weeks. Then again, you shouldn’t experience any further symptoms save for the redness and the lingering throb.
How To Deal With An Allergy?
Being allergic to the bee’s venom is a rarity, but that doesn’t mean you are excluded from the list of its victims. The most noticeable allergy symptoms to exhibit are difficult breathing, feeling of nausea, perhaps swollen tongue, and the worst of all, anaphylactic attack.
When it’s clear to you that somebody nearby is coming down with an allergic reaction, contact the medical services right away.
If possible, and you trust that you know, start monitoring their vital signs (heartbeat or pulse) and perform CPR when they can no longer draw enough oxygen into their lungs.
Should You Get Rid Of The Carpenter Bees?
Outdoors, carpenter bees are helpful pollinators for the flowers. Indoors, they’re homeowners’ nightmare. They build their nest inside the wood of your porch, rooms, and furniture, causing irreparable structural damage over time. Their exploration of the whole place’s internal structure might expand beyond their own nest.
Before you know it, there can already be dozens of places hollowed out as they channel deeper into the wood’s texture. The integrity of your home will be gone for good.
The worst doesn’t stop at that. These wood bees are living beings that go about their routine right next to you. As with every living being, they have to eat. As a natural result, they defecate. Right inside your living area, on your porch, and pretty much many other places close to their territory that their little wings can carry.
Taking preventive measures is never a bad idea. If you don’t think it’s right to exterminate valuable pollinators, there are always less intense methods to rely on.
The easiest one without help from a pest management professional is to apply citrus or almond oil inside the entrance of their nest. The smell will make the place less attractive to the whole unit. Hanging wind chimes where the sound reaches them is the next viable option. The repeated clinking eventually disturbs the bees. They’ll then vacate the place in search of another nest elsewhere.
Make sure to sand down and paint your wooden furniture or house-related structure after the last one has buzzed away. These bees are interested in none but untreated wood. Doing this will end all of their intentions of returning.
Do carpenter bees sting? What to do to bee-proof your house? You have had all the answers delivered! The one final reminder is that these bees might sting more than one.
Unless you’re a bee elite equipped with the right knowledge to walk up to them without being seen as a threat, try not to invade their space. Respect them and the line they set. In return, they’ll respect you, even when you do something to take their home away when they aren’t paying attention.