When Nick Castro, founder of Nick’s Extreme Pest Control in Santa Rosa, got called to an Airbnb in Sonoma County, he thought it was going to be business a s usual. After over 20 years, he has seen everything from bats to raccoons, to wasps and more. Though somehow, none of that prepared him for what was in this home.
“There were some worms that appeared to be coming out of the wall, and the worms looked like maggots,” Castro said. “Everybody kind of thought there was a dead animal inside the wall.”
When Castro and his team arrived to the two-story home, they used a drywall knife to cut a hole into the wall to see what was going on. Luckily there was no dead animal inside… just acorns…. LOTS of acorns. There were so many that they began to flow from the walls at a steady rate. It also turns out the suspected worms/maggots were mealworms
These oak tree based fruits where stacked in the walls all the way up into the attic! It took 4 holes in the drywall to drain them all out. In total Castro measured 700 lbs of acorns. It took eight 40-gallon garbage bags filled to the brim and hours to haul them all off. “It was unreal,” Castro said. “We see weird stuff all the time, but I’d never seen anything like this.”
Now you may be reasonably asking yourself “how does that even happen?” The answer is a pair of woodpeckers. When Castro was wrapping up the job he saw woodpeckers flying around the rooftop trying to get into the ventilation portholes. From there he realized they had been poking holes in the chimney stack to stash their food. Only issue is the acorns would fall into the empty wall cavity where they couldn’t get them back out.
While Castro admits he felt bad trashing all their hard work he also had to admit their plan was “pretty creative.” Luckily, he is also a big advocate from nonlethal strategies for pest control. So he sealed off the structure so the birds couldn’t get back in. He also encouraged the homeowner to install vinyl siding to prevent further damage to the home. He claims “he hasn’t heard any pecking since.”