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(WBIR) They're back-- they're big, and they buzz... a lot. They're also causing havoc on homes across East Tennessee.

Yes, we're talking about carpenter bees.

"We've been having a lot of calls for them," said Frank Goosie, an exterminator at Dayton's Pest Control in Knoxville.

Carpenter bees burrow holes into soft wood, normally found on siding of houses. Damage to homes could go into the thousands of dollars if not treated.

"(The bee) could lay three to five one-inch galleries per year. It takes about a week to do one gallery. Over time, they will come to revisit those same holes, which can extend over 10 feet," Goosie added.

As far as just filling in those holes the bees create -- not a good idea, said Goosie. He said the only way to treat carpenter bees is to use an insecticide.

"It repels the carpenter bees; they don't want to be on it. If they do get on it and chew into it, they will die," Goosie said.

Only the female carpenter bees burrow and sting. The male bees do not.

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