Screenshot by NPR/Storyful
A California exterminator got more than he bargained for when he looked inside the wall of a customer’s home recently — 700 pounds more.
Nick Castro, who owns Nick’s Extreme Pest Control in Santa Rosa, posted photos on the company’s Facebook page showing thousands of acorns pouring out of a hole in the wall and covering the floor of a room.
In a video shared on social media, Castro repeatedly scoops out handfuls of the nuts while expressing awe at the size of the stockpile.
“Bird was a bit of a hoarder,” Castro joked on social media, saying he’d never seen such a stash before.
The acorns filled up eight garbage bags and weighed a total of 700 pounds, he said.
Castro told The Press Democrat that he was inspecting a customer’s home for mealworms in December when he found the acorn cache, which he estimates was towering 20-25 feet high in the home’s chimney.
He suggested that a pair of acorn woodpeckers had been building the stockpile for at least two to three years.
“The more acorns I pulled out from the wall, the more there were. It felt like it wasn’t going to end,” Castro told the newspaper.
The sizable acorn collection caught the attention of people on social media, with some saying they felt for the birds who lost their hoard. “Kinda just feel bad for those hard working birds,” one Instagram user wrote. Another quipped, “Omg these woodpeckers are more prepared for retirement than I am.”
Castro told the Press Democrat that the acorns had been covered by fiberglass and rat droppings and were discarded.
Noted for their clownish faces, acorn woodpeckers are found in the Western and Southwestern U.S. and store acorns in holes they’ve poked in dead trees.