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Carpenter Bee problem or Natural Soffit vents


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The other day I had an inspection of a home up on a hilltop in the middle of the woods. It was a really neat looking "A" frame style weekend type home overlooking a valley. It had a few issues and one was that carpenter bees had made Swiss Cheese of the soffits and other parts of the home. The home was clad with western ceder, but the soffits were I think pine.

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It looks like at least some of that damage was present before that piece of wood was nailed onto the house. When cutting lumber with existing carpenter bee (or carpenter wasp) damage, sometimes the path of the saw blade is along the length of the tunnels leaving a streak instead of a hole.

Marc

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It looks like at least some of that damage was present before that piece of wood was nailed onto the house. When cutting lumber with existing carpenter bee (or carpenter wasp) damage, sometimes the path of the saw blade is along the length of the tunnels leaving a streak instead of a hole.

Marc

Everybody's got to bee somewhere. [:)]

That is too many bees in one plank, though, and they don't normally bore along the surface like that, do they?

I agree, the planks could be sawn from insect-damaged logs. I would suggest they have a talk with the builder.

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I did a log cabin once, out in the boonies, that had been vacant for a season. It was the middle of the Summer and the place was infested with carpenter bees - holes everywhere. Walking the roof was especially fun, because the darn things were hovering around me, like helicopters, and darting at me every time I moved.

Carpenter bees do drift too close to the surface, now and then, leaving an open streak, but their holes seem to be pretty consistently about the size of a marble.

That photo does cause one to wonder if it wasn't like that when nailed into place.

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My first thought was that it was pecky cypress, but it was not. This picture is of one soffit that was replaced a year ago according to the agent who was also the owner. The bees had only made a few holes in it. This house was built in 1995 and those soffits on the "A" frame are original.

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Thanks Scott. I understood they are generally solitary, but they are rare here.

Tennessee must be the place for bees to bee. Would painting the wood help discourage them?

They are solitary, in that they don't nest together. Each has it's own little hole (hangout) and they are ferociously territorial, so when there are a lot of them around they dart at any movement, and will confront each other mid-air. They are masterful little aviators - hovering and darting much like humming birds. They don't sting, but can bite the He$$ out of you.

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Each has it's own little hole (hangout) and they are ferociously territorial, so when there are a lot of them around they dart at any movement, and will confront each other mid-air. They are masterful little aviators - hovering and darting much like humming birds.

They also make great sport. I've entertained myself for many an hour by swatting them out of the air with a tennis racket.

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Each has it's own little hole (hangout) and they are ferociously territorial, so when there are a lot of them around they dart at any movement, and will confront each other mid-air. They are masterful little aviators - hovering and darting much like humming birds.

They also make great sport. I've entertained myself for many an hour by swatting them out of the air with a tennis racket.

Yep, but try it with an Ultra-Stinger flashlight! I knocked one about 20 yards with a lucky hit!

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I agree, the planks could be sawn from insect-damaged logs.

That is the result of years of exposure in an environment that the bees thrive in. If that board were milled that way it would have been culled and burned to heat the mill, sold as pallet stock, or marketed as a premium "character" piece. Once it's cut it gets used for something.

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