Do Carpenter Bees Have Teeth?

Carpenter bees are notorious for their hole-drilling activities. Every spring, we get quite a lot of carpenter bees drilling into logs, fascia boards, eaves, decks, and other unpainted wood surfaces. If you aren’t prepared to protect your wood, it could be a nice new home for carpenter bees!

do carpenter bees have teeth?

Carpenter bees are big, black solitary bees that look similar to bumblebees but have bare, shiny backs, whereas a bumblebee’s back is hairy. Unlike honey bees that reproduce in hives, carpenter bees drill into the wood in order to lay their eggs. Their holes are perfectly round and about 1/4 inch in diameter.

One look at them and you’d think they have teeth. But do carpenter bees have teeth?

Do Carpenter Bees Have Teeth?

Some insects sting, others bite, but they rarely do both. Bees are famed for their stingers, but research shows that they can also bite. Amazingly, they have mouth parts that are adapted both to suck and chew. 

Carpenter bees, however, don’t have teeth. Rather they have mandibles that they utilize like teeth to bite through the wood. Their mandibles (jaws) appear like little forceps located at the front of their face.

Since these bees mate in the spring, they always need a spot to make their home. The female bee drills into the wood while the male wards off any adversaries or intruders. Female Carpenter bees make openings in wood to store their eggs. 

Carpenter bees can bore or bite through wood at a pace of around one inch every five to six days. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, these wood-damaging bees can make burrows a few feet in length.

These bees are not perilous. Male carpenter honey bees don’t have a stinger, so regardless of how they appear forceful, it’s just a ploy to get you far away as possible from the home where its mate is breeding the eggs. While they may look scary, male carpenter bees are the ones most likely to dive-bomb your head with a whitish spot on their face.

Female Carpenter bees do have a stinger but are also not an aggressive species. They will only more than likely sting in the event that you trouble them first, for example, by attempting to smack them.

Take Action to Halt Their Drilling Process

Carpenter bees drill and bore into wood in perfectly symmetrical and tubular holes. These insects have an attraction to wood and tend to show a preference for clean, untreated, and unpainted wood. Bees have extensions or toothed edges on their mandibles. Carpenter bees do not have teeth so they use their mandibles to drill holes in wood and will take advantage if you don’t actively work to protect your wood.

In order to securely protect your wooden structure from them, you can easily get some home remedies to keep carpenter bees away or make your own carpenter bee trap. The female carpenter bee is the one who does the work and they are also easy to keep away once you employ the right DIY solutions to get rid of carpenter bees. Carpenter bees strongly dislike robust citric scents such as citrus oil so you might want to try that out. The best option would be to seek professional help before the situation escalates.

Resources:

https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/honey-bees-bumble-bees-carpenter-bees-and-sweat-bees.html

About The Author:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. His main goal is to provide accurate and helpful DIY tips to keep your home pest-free and how to identify different types of household pests!