A particularly determined woodpecker on the island of Oland has gone on a pecking frenzy, creating dozens of fist-sized holes in several houses in the town of Tornbotten. The problem has become so bad that residents of this quiet island off south eastern Sweden have asked local authorities for permission to shoot the bird dead.
Speaking to the newspaper Expressen, Leif Johansson explained that his house has been repeatedly targeted by the woodpecker, and his frustration is boiling over. “There are fist-sized holes in the houses…it costs money to replace those boards. If it makes a hole in my house I need to tear down a whole wall. This woodpecker is totally out of its mind.”
The victims of Tornbotten have tried all kinds of measures to deter the bird, such as putting nails and tar into the holes made by the woodpecker. But nothing seems to deter it. “The worst hit house has sixteen holes in a gable. It doesn’t peck like a regular woodpecker that’s looking for food; it never gives up,” Johansson told the newspaper. “Oddly enough, it’s only going after nice houses too; it’s totally senseless.”
In order to save their homes from being pecked away, the county administration granted residents a permit to use guns to kill the bird in question. But this won’t be an easy task, as the woodpecker avoids people altogether. Johansson and his neighbours are confident, however, they’ll get the culprit in the end.