- Resemble bumblebees, but the top of the carpenter bee’s abdomen is hairless, often shiny, black, and has no yellow stripe.
- Are about one inch in length.
- Bore into dried, seasoned and untreated wood surfaces, preferring softwoods such as cedar, redwood, cypress, pine and fir.
- Males are noted for aggressive behavior and a white spot on their face. They are harmless, however, and do not possess stingers; females have stingers but are generally docile.
- Nest in nail holes, exposed saw cuts and unpainted wood.
- Leave sawdust piles near perfectly round tunnels in wood; often these sawdust piles are accompanied by defecation stains.
- Usually emerge from the nest in spring.
- Are commonly found in porch and shed ceilings, railings, overhead trim, wooden porch furniture, dead tree limbs, fence posts, wooden shingles, wooden siding, window sills and wooden doors; prefer wood that is at least two inches thick.