No seriously.

I know I ooh and aah over her sunsets and clouds and skies and stuff,

but DANG she hates me.

Mainly in the form of living creatures with eyes and noses and mouths like bats and squirrels and llamas and shower bugs.

When we bought our house, there were many things that needed to be fixed. That was all great and fine because we loved the house, but not so great and fine because we’re not exactly fixer-uppers. And we’re CERTAINLY not DIY-ers. We’re the kind of people who consider bringing in a maintenance crew to change an especially tightly wound light bulb.

Okay we’re not that bad, but close – my mom does sneak over to plant things just so that my flower beds don’t cry themselves to sleep every night.

One of the repairs needed when we bought our house was the chimney. There were four or so large holes in the siding – presumably put there by one of God’s precious creatures.

Six years later, we actually got it fixed, when we were getting sod anyway because we were getting our house painted anyway because we were gutting Ali’s bathroom anyway because she flooded it.

(House repairs never come in sets of one.)

It was really lovely. To have a hole-free house, a yard to actually play in rather than a muddy gumball pit (oh yeah – we got the gumball spreading tree removed as well), and a slightly-brighter-than-we-intended fresh coat of paint.

But I didn’t mind the brightness because I was so dang proud of myself for making four paint color decisions in UNDER TEN MINUTES.


I mean seriously, I remember it taking my Mother at least 13 months to make that kind of decision when we were kids. How has Guinness and their World Records Team not contacted me yet?

It’s been nearly a year and that brightness hasn’t faded even a smidge. But it’s okay because most of our neighbors can still sleep without sunglasses.

About a month ago, I started to hear a bone-chilling sound right outside of our master bathroom.

peckpeckpeckpeckpeck ………………….. peckpeckpeckpeckpeck

I didn’t want to know. I mean I knew, but I didn’t want to know.

I avoided looking out the window for quite some time, but eventually I could not not look any longer.

I opened my window and found myself eye-to-eye, five feet away from three of the tiniest woodpeckers I have ever seen.

Woodpecker Eating a Chimney


Naturally, I yelled at them.

“Hey! Go! Scram! Stop it, guuuuyyyyyys!!!”

They looked at me, cocked their heads to the side, then looked at the chimney.

peckpeckpeckpeckpeck ………………….. peckpeckpeckpeckpeck

The next day, we were all outside enjoying one of our sunny, seventy degree winter days.

And I heard it from ground level.

peckpeckpeckpeckpeck ………………….. peckpeckpeckpeckpeck

I looked up with a green fire raging from my eyes.

Woodpeckers Destroying a Chimney

I ran over to our spigot, yanked the hosepipe, turned it on full force, and I SPRAYED those dastardly creatures.

Unfortunately our chimney is rather high so I could only reach two. Which flew away completely unscathed from my spraying (PETA take note).

The third kept pecking just to show me that he was, in this case, my Daddy.

My blood boiled against him, knowing that there was no way I could reach him. I fell into my husband’s arms, helpless and vulnerable, powerless against The Great Bird in the Sky.

And he patted me on the head and comforted me with,

“We’ll buy a super-soaker to keep in our bathroom, and we can hang out the window and shoot them from there. It’ll be fun!”

And then,

“You know, the bats were probably scaring them away. Then when you got rid of the bats…they came back.”

And there it was.

The Circle of Life.

Biting me soundly in the Proverbial Butt.

(And when was I the one that got rid of the bats?? I thought that had been a fairly joint decision. But now that the Woodpeckers are back, it’s all about me and my bat removal.)

And so.

I called Rid-A-Critter again, desperately hoping that this would fall into our one-year guarantee against all varmints in our house.

(And as an added bonus, by the time I got around to calling them, the Woodpeckers had managed to make a big enough hole to actually enter and exit the chimney, so technically, they were certainly in our house.)

An older gentleman called me back.

“Well, ma’am, the only reason in the world that those Woodpeckers would be doing that to your chimney is if you have Carpenter Bees. They lay their eggs in chimneys, and their larvae is like Feelay MeenYAWN to Woodpeckers. Yes ma’am, they just luuuuv it.”

Seriously. Woodpeckers weren’t enough of a problem?! We have to have another gift of nature tearing our house down, too??

But I did know of these giant bulbous creatures called Carpenter Bees.

“We do have Carpenter Bees on our back deck – they’ve bored through all the undersides of our stairs. But we fixed our Chimney last year, so I wouldn’t think they’d be in there.”

“Well, ma’am, just because you covered over the problem doesn’t mean it’s not there. You probably planked right over their nest, and as soon as those larvae turned into adult carpenter bees, they were fully able to bore your new planks from the inside out, then go back in and lay more larvae to tempt those Woodpeckers.”

If you didn’t believe me before surely you do now.


So he said he’d call someone to coordinate an appointment with me. When the next guy called me back, I brought up the one year warranty.

“Well, it depends on how he wrote it up. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. I’ll let you know when I come out.”

And there we stand.

Will they or won’t they be able to vanquish our birds? And our carpenter bees?

I know not.

Will it or won’t it be covered in our one year warranty against God’s creatures?

If it’s not, I will be buying reinforced steel siding.

And my neighbors can forget sleep.

28 thoughts on “I Want to Give Nature a Punch in the Face.

      1. There is always the water hose. ;)

        Sorry to hear about your new infestation.. Hopefully, it turns out to be a lot better than it is sounding right now. And everything is covered under your warranty.

  1. Aw, Rachel, I’m sorry. That stinks! I got to the part with the woodpeckers and thought “Oh no… I wonder if she knows that means she’s got bugs?” I really hope they get it all sorted out for you this time – and I’ll cross my fingers for the warranty.

  2. Oh wow. Normally I wouldn’t agree with someone who said nature was out to get them, but in this case I think you might be in the middle of a “Final Destination: Nature” series. We had woodpeckers on our front porch once that sounded like someone beating down the door. I totally pulled a gun on them one time. Sneaky little boogers.

  3. I’m not a huge fan of birds–I don’t mind the pretty cardinals and bluejays in my yard looking picturesque, but in general they are just way too flappy-about-the-head for me. And when they get in the house? It is ON. We had birds crawling in those vent things on the sides of the house and walking around above the ceilings…we could hear them in the living room when it was really quiet. But birds and bees together? Yikes.

  4. I’ve been known to throw rocks at woodpeckers pecking ion my house. Do you know how hard it is to hit a woodpecker with a rock.? It certainly does seem that you have more than your fair share of problems with nature!!

  5. I never heard of carpenter bees…maybe it’s because I live where it’s -26 degrees. I had to look them up and found this step as one of the suggestions. It came with a great cartoon picture too….actual photo was probably not available because no one would actually try this. Spreading gas over the area was another awesome suggestion……I’m guessing they didn’t have a chimney in mind.
    Lay the swat down. In spring, carpenter bees fly around looking for burrows to lay eggs and deposit pollen as food for the larvae. (They use old burrows too, therefore it is a good idea to plug them.) This means they are very active for two to three weeks. A badminton or tennis racket is very effective to smack them with, especially easy with their habit of stopping and hovering for a moment.
    Make sure to give them a good brisk smack! Stepping on them, (with shoes of course), is an obvious extra option after you smack them.

    We used to have a woodpecker who would wake us every morning by pecking at the antenna (yeah, antenna) next door at 5am every morning. It was a summer house so people were rarely there and the birds are protected. It was like a machine gun alam clock every morning. Good luck with your unwelcome house guests !!

  6. I did notice the brightness of your house when we came by last weekend. I thought I only noticed it because the tree was gone. Haha. I like it. Looks like a very happy home to me. Thanks again for a great couples date night! We will have to do it again soon.

  7. Oh please let me know what you find out about the carpenter bees! We have them all under our deck and in our soffit (that wood area above the siding and under the gutters). My termite/bug guy acted like there’s not a whole lot we can do about them. He sprayed, but said that when the spray washes/wears off (which I’m sure it did this winter) they will just come back. And plugging up their holes is a temporary solution. My dad, master of all things carpentry and home-repair related, just kind of shrugged and scratched his head, too! What to do! What to do?

    1. Blurgh.

      My Dad, also a master of all those things, is a beekeeper, so I’m pretty sure he’d be against the removal of said bees, even though they’re not honey bees.

      Maybe not, though.

  8. I’m laughing with you, only you’re not laughing I’m sure. I must agree with you…nature hates you. Very undeserving, if you ask me, given all you have done to promote sunsets! I hope the problem won’t be as bad as it seems, and that the warranty was written in the right way to cover it (I love the “maybe it will, maybe it won’t” approach-very noncomittal)..

  9. I think nature really might hate you….

    I hope they get rid of the bees and birds for free (and for good!)

  10. The only thing I’ve had infest my home is ants. That was enough for me. We were never able to get rib of them in our apartment, but we did manage to rid our newly built house of the little pests. I remember finding them in my cereal, iron, dishwasher and everywhere else to the point that I apparently started hilucinating even more ants. I would say to my hubby “That box is crawling with ants!” and he would check it and there were no ants in it. In the end, I kinda think the ants knew and were messing with me.

  11. Every stinkin year, the woodpeckers show up at our house and peck on the chimney. But not just the wood, oh no, they like to peck on the metal part on the chimney flu (sp?). The most awesome part is it goes on for months, and usually it starts at like 6 am. This is because it is spring and it is mating season and the loud pecking/banging is how they attract mates. You wanna know the next most awesome part? The chimney is located on the same side of the house as our bedroom, and it is right on the other side of the bedroom wall. There have been dozens of mornings when I wanted to commit some serious woodpecker murder. We’ve wrapped tinfoil all over our chimney in an attempt to keep those dang birds away. The correlation to carpenter bees scares me a little because we’ve had bee problems in our house before too…
    I feel your pain!
    And I’m going to run that whole bee thing by my hubby.

    1. So apparently, the only way to truly get rid of Woodpeckers is to….move??? Ugh. I’m glad we’re not the only ones who have this problem, but exceedingly sad for you that you have to be that person.

  12. Haha, you do seem to have an extrodinary problem with your house and little creatures! Hope they can help you out…under warranty. :)

  13. You probably don’t care, but that is actually not a woodpecker. It is a brown-headed nuthatch. I know them all too well because they ate my house too. The have cousins, white-breasted nuthatches, who are just as helpful.

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