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Pest Intrusion Awareness

Updated: Mar 27

On one of my home inspections I observed a hole in an exterior stucco-covered foam trim board. As I continued my inspection I noticed a Woodpecker flying around the area. So I decided to remove myself a distance away to see what the bird was doing. It only took a few minutes when I saw a Woodpecker land at the entrance of the hole in the trim board. I realized what was happening, the Woodpeckers using its bill to find insects. In this case the material that the Woodpecker was pecking on was easy to penetrate and so it continued to burrow out an entrance into the trim material.

Exterior grade cement coated (stucco) foam molding is made of Styrofoam or Polystyrene Foam, which can be fabricated into many different shapes. This product is used nationally in many climates. Foam is easy to cut into and shape as needed. Stucco covered foam trim is very beneficial as a source of insulation and as a decorative element around exterior surfaces of a home, like around windows and doors.

As with all structures, there is always a concern for potential animal intrusion. Animals are very good at finding ways to get into areas to build nests. Rodents for instance will jump off tree branches that are too close to the building and land on roofs. Once they land they search for gaps and holes to enter into.

When inspecting a home it is crucial to look for possible entry points around the house and report on those areas. The next step for the inspector is to observe areas inside the house that might be impacted by those entry points. In the case of this Woodpecker, the damages were limited to just the exterior trim board. In other cases, I have seen gaps in soffits and eaves where animals have penetrated and entered into attics. In the case of animal or pest infestation, a licensed pest removal contractor is recommended.

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