How 700 Pounds Of Acorns Got Into The Walls Of A California Home

When homeowners in Sonoma, California, became suspicious after noticing maggot-like worms coming from a wall in one of their bedrooms, they did what anyone would do — they called pest control. Nick Castro from Nick's Extreme Pest Control came to the rescue ready to rid the house of any pests, but they didn't expect what they found hiding in the wall's interior (via KTVU).

After Castro cut a hole in the wall, he thought something — maybe a small animal — might emerge, but he wasn't prepared for the 700 pounds of acorns that came spilling out. It turns out that the maggots were actually a type of mealworm, and they were attracted to the nuts stored there. Castro explains he wasn't too surprised to see acorns, but he didn't expect to see so many. He said he was shocked as thousands continued to pour out of the hole, WLWT reports.

Blame it on woodpeckers

The culprits in this case happened to be acorn woodpeckers, and, unsurprisingly, they are known for hoarding huge stockpiles of acorns in all kinds of places. Mostly found in the western part of the United States in the states of Washington, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and west Texas, acorn woodpeckers generally stash the nuts in granaries, or acorn trees, but sometimes they choose more unlikely areas, such as manmade structures. For instance, a group of them used a wooden water tank to house 485 pounds of acorns, according to the American Bird Conservancy.

That is nothing compared to what the birds did to the California home. Castro said that the woodpeckers used the chimney stack for a hiding place, and they also made hundreds of holes in the siding around the chimney to hide nuts, KTVU reports. The resourceful critters even used attic ventilation holes to store the acorns. In a Facebook post, Castro wrote that the woodpeckers "completely destroyed" the exterior of the house.

The acorns went from the floor to the ceiling

While there is no way to know many acorns the woodpeckers cached in the home, it took the entire day for Castro and his crew to remove them all. WLWT reports that Castro had to cut three more holes in walls in order to remove all of the nuts, which he estimated went from the floor to the ceiling, per WSB Radio. He said they filled eight large black garbage bags, which were so heavy they could hardly lift them (via KTVU).

And the wild thing? Castro said that while his crew was working on the problem, he saw the woodpecker adding more acorns to the holes. But the good news is that before the end of the day, the holes were filled, hopefully putting an end to the hoarding. Unfortunately, the acorns couldn't be saved because they were covered with insulation and bird poop.