Did you think that carpenter bee damage stopped with the nest tunnels they build? Unfortunately it doesn’t. Carpenter bees are a favorite food of the ever-so-destructive Woodpecker. Woodpeckers absolutely love carpenter bee larva and will peck their way through a carpenter bee nest to get after their tasty treats. Bottom line - if a woodpecker is attracted to your carpenter bee nests and you haven’t handled them properly, the damage to your home can increase dramatically.
Preventing carpenter bees from nesting in your wooden structures is incredibly important to keeping those woodpeckers away. Being proactive in the spring, rather than reactive to their nests, is truly the best way to structural damage to your home. Hanging up carpenter bee traps at the beginning of the season - right as spring comes around - is ideal to prevent carpenter bees from nesting in your home. Having the trap up will catch the carpenter bees before they even beginning sawing through your wooden structures and producing larva, making woodpeckers a non existent problem.
If you are a bit behind this season and already see the carpenter bees at work, it’s okay! You can still win the battle, it’s just a bit more work.
Carpenter bees spend the first several weeks of their life finding a mate and exploring areas to nest. Once they pick the place for their home (usually when you start to notice them the most) they take some time to create the perfect quarters for the larva they lay. Carpenter bees will build back their nests about 2’ - 4’ each season and make chambers off of the tunnels to lay their young.
Filling in these nests and plugging them up will make it much harder for woodpeckers to find any larva. Treating the holes with a pesticide before sealing up the nests helps to kill the carpenter bees living there. Plugging up the nest after treatment to make it flush with the exterior will not only stop the carpenter bees from burrowing further, but also helps keep the woodpeckers away. Check out our article on plugging up carpenter bee nests here!
After plugging up the nests be sure to place a carpenter bee trap in the area to catch any remaining carpenter bees looking to make a home. Following these simple steps are your best defense against further damage from woodpeckers.