Don’t Blame the Termites for this Damage

Golden fronted woodpecker

Golden fronted woodpecker

This is Passport to Texas

If you live in East Texas, and have noticed strange holes in the wood siding of your home, don’t panic and call the police—call an ornithologist.

There are fifteen species of woodpeckers in Texas, eight of which are in the eastern third of Texas. And that’s where we get most of our calls of woodpecker damage.

Non-game ornithologist, Cliff Shackelford, says the pileated and red bellied woodpeckers are among the feathered culprits inflicting damage on homes with wood siding.

What happens a lot of time is that they see these houses that might be painted brown, they might have cedar siding, and this is very attractive to the birds to try to excavate a cavity. So, they’re not looking for food when they’re doing this; they’re looking to make a cavity to call home.

The pileated woodpecker, about the size of a crow, can excavate holes as big as a man’s fist—and not just in the outside walls of your home, either.

That’s right. We’ve documented pileateds going through into the sheetrock and into the room of the house. Of course, they’re very lost when they do that, they quickly go out. They’re not looking to make a mess of the house.

But they do. How to keep woodpeckers from damaging your home…that’s tomorrow.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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