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I've noticed something is burrowing a small holes on a railing of our backyard deck. I've not seen or heard anything unusual, but there are new holes (about the size of a dime) and a small mound of fresh wood shavings located directly beneath it. I know it's not termites, but is there another type of insect, bird or rodent doing this? I'd appreciate your thoughts.
I live in Virginia also and it sounds like carpenter bees. They are making holes to live in and are large black and yellow bees that look a lot like bumble bees, but the stripes are different. Usually they just fly up to us and are not aggressive and just hover there for a second or so and then fly on.
Most likely you have carpenter bees. They are harmless (only the female has a stinger and is usually too busy to bother with humans), and they are important pollinators.
If you want to get rid of them, go for a non-insecticidal approach--plug the holes with caulk or another hardening substance. Some people regard them as "pets"!
Surprisingly look for bumble bees! You can't miss them if they are the culprit - very loud buzz & larger than normal size. They bore into the wood & "nest".This happened with my arbor.
I would like to know how to prevent this from happening!
Do you have any type of bees in your area?
We have bumble bees down south so bad and they
will make holes in rafters, wood siding on the house,
anything they know they can drill thru and make a nest inside for the baby bees...