KNOXVILLE (WATE) - If you're having problems with carpenter bees at your house this year, drilling holes into things like your deck, patio or any other wood structure, you are far from alone.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture says more and more people across the state are reporting higher than average issues with them this season, and the problem has swarmed its way to East Tennessee.
Pest control companies like Arrow Exterminators in Knoxville say they've seen a major increase in carpenter bee activity this year.
Arrow has received about 50 percent more calls from customers reporting damage from the bees this year over last year.
"Not a real dangerous insect but they can cause a lot of damage," said Robert Lane, the service center manager at Arrow's Knoxville location.
Arrow showed us the damage the bees left behind at one home they were treating Tuesday in South Knoxville.
A barn on the property was badly damaged, with holes in just about every beam, covered in piles of the sawdust left behind.
Lane says the bees can bore into wood as quickly as overnight, and unfortunately there is no real preventative measure homeowners can take.
With the recent increase, they’re recommending all homeowners check for the telltale signs of carpenter bees at work.
"The first thing to do, if you see piles of sawdust, if you see sawdust around your home, is to get in touch with a professional quickly and get something done about it," said Lane.
They sooner you can get them out, the less structural damage they can cause.
"If you've got a heavy enough infestation, then it can weaken the wood because they're boring the inside of the wood out," said Lane.
While Arrow has seen a big increase in calls all across the area, they’ve seen the biggest increase in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
They believe that's due to the high number of cabins there that are built of exactly the type wood that carpenter bees prefer; soft woods like pine, cedar or cypress that are unstained and unpainted.
For more information, you can contact Arrow Exterminators at 865-670-3516.