Aw, nuts: Woodpecker stashes 700 pounds of acorns in home’s walls

A pest control technician thought the call he received was about a dead animal in a home’s walls. But instead of a critter, he found acorns.

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A customer noticed small worms coming from the wall, People magazine reported. They thought something had died there, and that a quick cut, removal and repair would do the job.

Boy, were they wrong.

Nick Castro, who owns Nick’s Extreme Pest Control in Santa Rosa, California, said when he first saw what came out of the walls, he thought there might be a couple of handfulls of nuts in there.

But as the company’s name says, the stash was a bit extreme -- about 700 pounds of nuts were found.

The company shared the discovery on Facebook:

“I was just kind of shocked and just wondering when it was going to end,” Castro told The Washington Post. “We really expected maybe a couple handfuls of it, at most, but nothing like that. There’s no way you can even account for that.”

He kept digging and digging and more acorns rolled out. It looked like something out of a cartoon.

Castro estimated that the acorns were stacked about 20 feet high, stretching from the home’s first floor all the way to the attic, People magazine reported.

The work crew also found some in the siding and trim of the home.

Three holes in the wall and eight garbage bags later, the job was done about eight hours after it began.

When he and his crew were taking the bags of nuts to their truck, they noticed woodpeckers and acorns surrounding the house.

He thinks the birds pecked holes in the chimney and the wood siding around it to store the acorns. Castro said that the bird came through the attic ventilation port holes, People magazine reported.

A bird expert said it was an acorn woodpecker that can hoard thousands of nuts in the winter. They peck small holes in anything to stockpile their food.

Paul Bannick said, “It’s a compulsive process,” and if woodpeckers see acorns on the ground, “they’re going to collect and store as many as they possibly can.”

Castro said if the birds deposit their acorns again in the home, he’ll come back and clean it up for free, the Post reported.

This isn’t the first time Castro said he’s been surprised on the job by the size of a removal job.

One time he said he caught 60 rats that had crawled through a drain and chewed through a floor to reach a dog’s bowl of food, the Post reported.

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