Many stinging insects don't die off in fall and the beginning of winter. Some that would normally die off in colder climates can make it through the winter if they've established themselves in a warm place, such as a piece of furniture stored in an attic space.
Carpenter bees that have infested will remain in the wood of the man-made structure and emerge in spring to bore out a new home—possibly in the same wood. Honey bees that have created a hive in the wall void of a building will consume their honey for energy and come out periodically, when it's warm, to leave excrement.
Problems Stinging Insects Bring to Homes They Infest
There are many ways a stinging insect can present a problem. They all present a stinging threat. This threat varies depending on the pest. Some are considered lawn pests because their burrowing activity puts soil on top of the grass and smothers it. This results in dry patches of ground. Some damage wood by boring into it. This can lead to repair costs and personal injury.
There can be a big difference between getting stung by a bee and getting stung by a wasp or hornet, depending on the species of bee. Some bees have a barb on the end of their stinger. Some don't. If a bee has a barbed stinger, it can only sting once.
Honey bees and carpenter bees are examples of bees that have barbed stingers. Bumble bees are an example of a bee that does not have a barbed stinger. These bees can sting several times. So while they are normally a docile insect, they can be a serious threat if you disturb a nest full of them.
No wasps or hornets have barbs on their stingers that are large enough to cause the stinger to become lodged in a wound, so they are all able to sting multiple times. And only females sting. Male bees, wasps, and hornets are not able to sting at all.
Cicada killer bees may sound bad but they fall more into the category of a lawn-damaging pest. They can push a surprising amount of soil out of their burrows. This can create unsightly dead patches in your lawn. While they have impressive stingers and are capable of stinging, these solitary wasps rarely sting unless accidentally trapped.
Carpenter bees fall into this category. In nature, they can be found burrowing into logs, stumps, and in the heart rot of a living tree. When they are drawn to man-made structures by flowers in landscaping, they can become a serious problem for property owners.
They have a preference for unpainted objects and will attack wood that is at least two inches thick. They target decks, railings, fences, window sills, doors, roof eaves, shingles, and more. Each year, carpenter bees bore new tunnels or expand old tunnels to create safe places for their developing offspring.