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Is It Bad to Kill Carpenter Bees in Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia?

carpenter bee

Hanley Wood’s Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report once found that homeowners in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US could recoup almost 70% of the value of a $10,350 deck upon resale. 

That is if the deck is maintained and in good condition. If you’ve got a pest problem that affects your wood, that percentage could drop dramatically.

Carpenter bees are among the most common pest problems if you live in Southern Maryland or Northern Virginia. But is it bad to kill carpenter bees, even when they’re drilling into your expensive property? The answer may surprise you.

A Crisis in Bee Populations

You’ve probably heard about the campaign to “Save the Bees”, and that campaign is an important one. Our bees are dying from pesticides, pollution, habitat destruction, drought, and other causes at an alarming rate.

The rapid decline of the bee population may be catastrophic. We use honey, royal jelly, and pollen for food and healthcare as well as other bee products like beeswax or honey bee venom. Perhaps even more importantly, approximately one-third of the world’s food production is dependent on pollination from bees. 

Honey Bees Versus Carpenter Bees

Honey bees are some of the world’s best pollinators, and that’s especially true in comparison to carpenter bees. That’s because carpenter bees are nectar robbers.

Nectar robbers take nectar from a flower without opening the flower, therefore bypassing the reproductive structures and the process of pollination. They may diminish the strength of a flower, which can result in breakage. They can also diminish the pollination potential of honey bees that carpenter-lacerated pollinate flowers.

At the same time, carpenter bees are capable of something called “buzz pollination.” That means that while they visit flowers, they vibrate at a frequency that dislodges pollen. Plants like blueberries, cranberries, eggplants, and tomatoes benefit from that form of pollination and honey bees can’t pollinate in this way. 

Is It Bad to Kill Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter bees are considered pests because they drill holes in deadwood. While many people think the bees are feeding off of their wood, like termites, it’s actually a female building her nest. These galleries do very little structural damage because they’re built along the direction of the wood grain.

Regardless, homeowners don’t realize that and, when faced with a carpenter bee problem, tend to head right for a pesticide. But is it bad to kill carpenter bees?

As discussed, carpenter bees aren’t doing any structural damage to your deck. They’re also not aggressive and are not among the bees that sting often. Most important, carpenter bees are pollinators, and we need as many of them as we can get.

With that said, if you do decide to get rid of these valuable creatures, you should go about it the right way. That means a way that doesn’t compromise your safety or the safety of the environment.

Need Help With Pests?

It’s bad to kill carpenter bees because they’re pollinators. They don’t pose much of a risk for the wood structures around your home because of the way they build their nests and they’re also not particularly aggressive unless provoked.

However, if they become too much a nuisance, there are safe and effective ways of treating the problem. Contact us to find out how we handle pest control with the highest environmental standards.

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