Skip to Content
Carpenter Bee Drilling

Telltale Signs Your Florida Home May Have Carpenter Bees

Spotting signs your home may have carpenter bees in Florida can save you a lot of hassle and potential damage.

Look for perfectly round holes about half an inch in diameter in wooden structures around your home. These are often the entry points where carpenter bees drill into wood to lay their eggs.

Hearing a soft buzzing sound around wooden areas or noticing bees hover around? Keep reading to discover how to identify and deal with carpenter bees effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Round, 1/2-inch diameter entry holes on wood, fresh sawdust accumulations, buzzing noises, stains on wood, and sightings of shiny black bees indicate a carpenter bee infestation.
  • Citrus oil sprays, plugging existing holes with wooden dowels or putty, installing bee traps, and applying insecticidal dust to affected areas are effective DIY methods for controlling carpenter bee populations.
  • Extensive damage, such as multiple tunnels and structural weakening, suggests a severe infestation that may require the expertise of professional pest control services.

What Are the Signs of a Carpenter Bee Infestation?

signs of infestation

Carpenter bees leave specific clues indicating their presence. As homeowners, you should be vigilant when looking for these various signs.

Recognizable Entry Holes on Wooden Surfaces

Carpenter bees create noticeable entry holes on wooden surfaces. These openings are typically round and about 1/2-inch in diameter. These holes allow them to dig tunnels for female bees to lay eggs.

Holes are often found in the following places:

  • Eaves
  • Fascia boards
  • Decks
  • Wooden railings
  • Siding

Accumulation of Sawdust Beneath Wood Structures

As carpenter bees bore holes into the wood, they produce piles of sawdust or frass. However, you have to note that not all frass are the same. Fresh sawdust accumulations indicate recent activity.

Here’s how you can detect one from the other:


Fresh Sawdust

Old Sawdust



Darker, weathered


Piled right below holes

Dispersed, might be moved by the wind


Fine, like wood pulp

Finer, and sometimes clumped

Active Bee Presence and Noises Near Wood

Carpenter bees are pretty active around their nest sites unless disturbed. As homeowners, you might notice buzzing sounds and other activities, such as:

  • Male carpenter bees often hover nearby, guarding the entry points.
  • Their buzzing sounds are loud and sustained.
  • Unlike wasps, bumblebees, or honey bees, their noise focuses more on the wooden structures where they nest.

Stains and Discoloration on Wooden Surfaces

Carpenter bee activity can leave behind unsightly stains and discoloration on wood surfaces. This is due to oily secretions that mark territory in contact with frass.

While these signs might go unnoticed initially, leaving them untreated can cause permanent wood damage. Here’s what they look like:


What They Look Like


Yellowish, due to excrement


Faded or dark patches around entry holes

Live Bees on Property

Seeing live bees around your property, especially in increased numbers, indicates an infestation. With more frequent sightings suggesting a growing nest site, here’s how to tell them apart from the bumble or honeybees:

  • Black abdomens with a shiny appearance
  • Range in size from 3/4 to 1 inch (19-25 mm) long
  • Less fuzzy, prominent thorax
  • Stingers present in female carpenter bees

Structural Damage and Weakening of Wood

Over time, carpenter bees contribute to structural damage, much like woodpeckers and termites. As the damage varies by severity and wood type, consider this to guide you:

Damage Stages


Impacted Wood Types


Small tunnels, minimal weakening

Softwood: pine, cedar


Multiple tunnels, minor structural impact

Untreated wood


Extensive tunnels, significant structural damage

Redwood, framing wood

Unusual Nesting Spots Around Your Home

You can often spot carpenter bee nests in wooden structures on your property. However, when they’re preparing to overwinter, it would mean they can nest elsewhere, such as:

  • Decks
  • Sheds
  • Attics
  • Wooden playsets
  • Painted wood
  • Cracks in old structures

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Removing carpenter bees involves careful and timely interventions to avoid harming these beneficial pollinators.

DIY Carpenter Bee Control

DIY solutions for carpenter bee control can work temporarily, but they might not be the best long-term approach. Before calling the phone number of professional exterminators, here's how you can get rid of carpenter bees on your property:

DIY Solutions


Citrus Oil Spray

Spray areas like eaves and railings with citrus oil to deter bees from those spots.

Plugging Holes

After bees leave, plug their nesting holes with wooden dowels or putty to prevent returned usage.

DIY Traps

Install traps near bee activity areas to capture and kill carpenter bees.

Insecticidal Dust

Apply in and around bee holes. Effective, but use caution due to the presence of chemicals.

Commercial Insecticides

Choose products that target carpenter bees and apply them according to the label.

Proactive Measures to Discourage Carpenter Bee Activity

Long-term prevention is essential to prevent carpenter bee stings. To keep them at bay, follow these strategies:

  • Inspect wooden structures: Check for new holes or bee activity.
  • Seal and paint surfaces: Regularly repaint exposed wood.
  • Use treated or composite materials: Opt for bee-resistant construction materials.

When to Call Professional Pest Control Services

You may only notice the carpenter bee problems when the wood shows signs of holes and sawdust. This typically can mean the infestation is more extensive than initially thought.

So, it’s best to calla professional pest control company (like us at Native Pest Management) for a free quote.

As professional pest control, we not only perform bee removal safely but also prevent future infestations. This is especially helpful since we have the right tools and know the best methods to handle carpenter bees efficiently.