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I have a tree in the front yard the wood peckers are destroying. I know they are just getting insects, but is there any way to
kill the insects, thus keeping the Woodpeckers at bay? I sprinkled powdered 7 on the infected areas last week. Too early to tell
right now if it is working at all, and with all the rain we have had, i'm sure most of the 7 has been washed away.
 

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tree insecticides

I have a tree in the front yard the wood peckers are destroying. I know they are just getting insects, but is there any way to
kill the insects, thus keeping the Woodpeckers at bay? I sprinkled powdered 7 on the infected areas last week. Too early to tell
right now if it is working at all, and with all the rain we have had, i'm sure most of the 7 has been washed away.
There are some systemic insecticides registered for horticultural/forestry use. The names escape me at the moment but a quick call/email to your local Cooperative Extension agent should give you the information. It may depend on the type of insect which could require a site visit. If the woodpeckers are on the job, they are probably going after a beetle or other insect under the bark and external treatments will only be marginally effective.

Treefarmer
 

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We have 3 varieties of woodpeckers around here.

I have found that if a woodpecker is really working a tree, the insects he is after have already comprimised the tree meaning the tree is dying anyway.

That's been my experience too. If they come once and poke around - no biggie. If they keep coming back I cut the tree down and plant something new. The couple of times I've done this I found the tree itself was rotting in pockets and insects had infested the dry-rotted wood (or maybe the insects caused the rotting wood?).
 

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That's been my experience too. If they come once and poke around - no biggie. If they keep coming back I cut the tree down and plant something new. The couple of times I've done this I found the tree itself was rotting in pockets and insects had infested the dry-rotted wood (or maybe the insects caused the rotting wood?).
I suppose it depends on the type of tree and woodpecker. We have these critters called yellow bellied sapsuckers. They can kill a healthy tree. What they do is come and peck little holes all the way around the tree at several different elevations. Then the sap starts profusely running, which attracts a variety of insects. Then the woodpeckers come back and feed on the sap and the bugs. Maple trees, birch and fruit trees seem to be pretty vulnerable. Oak trees seem to shake them off pretty effectively.
Those big pileated woodpeckers are a different story. They are going after bugs deep in already rotting trees.

The county guy says we should leave some sacrificial trees for them.
 

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We have 3 varieties of woodpeckers around here.

I have found that if a woodpecker is really working a tree, the insects he is after have already comprimised the tree meaning the tree is dying anyway.
Exactly.
That tree is in serious trouble.
Not from woodpecker but from beetles in it most likely.
 

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Pet / Animal friendly bug killer

FWIW, I use diatomaceous earth (DE) around the yard & in the house to get rid of insects. I use food grade quality, yes you can eat the stuff too. I put it in a cleaned out shaker that contained baby/talcum powder. Sprinkle some where the bug problem is, and in about 3-5 days your bug problem will either vanish or be greatly curtailed.
Other uses include: shake some on your dog or cat if you have a flea problem & rub it in, sprinkle in your kitchen if the sugar ants invade, put some in a fire ant mound ( may take repeat applications). You can get it on the large online retailer with the name of a long river in South America.
I bought 10lbs 2 years ago & still got a lot left.
If the woodpecker eats a bug that was killed by DE, it will not hurt it.
Good luck.
 
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