In the spring and fall of the year, MSU Extension hotlines light up with questions about woodpeckers damaging the exterior wood siding or trim on houses. Many of the callers have been told that the damage is related to having wood siding riddled with all manner of insects. But this is almost never the case. Woodpeckers have their own agenda and it has nothing to do with pecking the buggy-goodness out of the wood.
Damage to a house can take two forms. One involves horizontal, straight lines of holes that are closely placed. On rare occasions, the holes are placed vertically. The second is having one or more large chipped holes in an area. Holes are usually placed in the top third of the structure. Sometimes, the hole goes right through the wood.