Sapscker Holes – Attract Insects

Q: I have a tree in my yard that has many small holes in it, oozing sap. There are a lot of small flying insects about the size of no-see-ums around the holes. Can you help me understand what is going on?

A: This is a good example of what happens after sapsucker woodpeckers tap their feeding holes in tree bark and then fly away. The sap continues to bleed for a couple of days and then it ferments.

All the critters that enjoy a bit of alcohol in their diet fly in and drink the fermented sap. Most of the time rainfall washes the sap away and the insects leave. You can hose it away if you like.

Your tree will repair the damage itself.

sapsucker damage

  • Advertisement