Carpenter Bee Stings: What Are They And How Can You Protect Yourself From Them?

If you're allergic to bee stings and notice strange insects buzzing around the wooden structures of your home, you may wonder if the insects are dangerous for your health. Those strange insects may be carpenter bees, which are found all over the United States. Although the bees live mostly outdoors, they can build individual nests inside wooden structures, such as the beams of your carport. When disturbed or threatened, carpenter bees can sting their victims multiple times. The chemicals produced by the stings may cause respiratory distress and skin problems that may endanger your health. Here's why carpenter bees build nests in and around your home, why they sting you and what you can do to protect yourself from them.

What Are Carpenter Bees and Why Do They Enter Your Domain?

Carpenter bees look similar to bumblebees but lack the insects' signature yellow and black striped abdomens. Carpenter ants have all yellow or all black abdomens with fuzzy, yellow or tan thoraxes. The pests are considered wood-boring insects because they create long tunnels in wooden structures. You may notice eraser-sized openings in the surfaces of your porch beams, carport or window frames. 

Although the insects live solitary lives, females can and will care for their young until they're old enough to survive on their own. You may hear buzzing sounds coming from the holes in your wooden structures as the bees carry out their functions. If you do hear buzzing, it's critical that you avoid the areas. 

Female carpenter bees are more dangerous than their male counterparts because they can sting repeatedly. Males don't have stingers and will only use aggressive behavior to frighten you, usually by flying around your face and body. Because male and female wood-boring bees look alike, it may be safer to avoid any insect that resembles carpenter bees. The allergic reactions caused by carpenter bee stings may be life-threatening for some people.

Are Carpenter Bee Stings Dangerous?

The venom produced by female bees is very potent. For some individuals, allergy symptoms can develop right away, such as swelling in the face and hands. Other symptoms may include the inability to breathe or swelling in the sting site. It's possible to go into shock or lose consciousness during a severe attack. Your allergic reaction may vary in severity, so it's essential that you alert someone immediately after an attack.

One of the things you might do to protect yourself from potential carpenter bee stings is see an allergy specialist for care. An allergy specialist may test your skin to see if you have problems with the insects through immunotherapy. The testing may involve introducing small amounts of venom into your body and monitoring your reaction to it. Immunotherapy also allows your body a chance to build up an immunity, or protection, against insect stings.

A specialist will discuss how they plan to help you overcome your allergies during a private and informative visit. Until you see an allergist, take steps to protect your home from carpenter bees.

How Can You Keep Carpenter Bees Away From Your House?

To stay safe from any possible bee stings, contact a pest control company to help you get rid of the bees living in and around your home. Pest control may use treatments that deter bees from constructing nesting sites in your home's wood. The contractors may inject the treatments directly into the wood or spray them around the house. 

Carpenter bees don't like chemically treated wood, so it may be in your best interest to have your home repainted or treated with sealants and other chemicals. The chemicals may taste bitter to the insects when they attempt to eat through it. Removing and replacing any wood damaged by the bees may be something you might do. Some carpenter bees use old nesting sites when they need to lay eggs. Getting rid of the old sites may help deter future nesting.

For more information about carpenter bee stings and treatments, contact an allergist today. You can also visit sites like for more information.