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Your wood fence provides security and privacy for your property, but it can also become the target of pests and wildlife. Understanding why these creatures attack your fence can help you take preventive measures to protect it. In this article, we will explore the different pests and wildlife that can damage your wood fence and discuss effective solutions to mitigate the risks.

Woodpeckers and Their Impact on Wood Fences

Woodpeckers are known for their distinct drumming and pecking behaviors. Unfortunately, your wood fence may become a target for these birds. They may attack your fence for several reasons, but the primary motivation is foraging for food. Woodpeckers feed on insects that bore into the wood, such as ants, termites, and beetles. As they search for these insects, they peck at the wood, causing damage to the surface.

Squirrels and the Damage They Cause to Wood Fences

Squirrels are agile climbers and chewers, and they can cause significant damage to your wood fence. Their instinct to chew is one of the reasons they target wood fences. Chewing helps wear down their teeth, which constantly grow. Additionally, squirrels may chew on fences to create openings for seeking food or shelter. Unfortunately, their destructive behavior can weaken the structure of your fence over time.

Carpenter Bees and Their Nesting Habits in Wood Fences

While woodpeckers and squirrels primarily cause surface damage to wood fences, carpenter bees pose a different threat. These bees tunnel into the wood to create nests, causing structural damage. The presence of carpenter bees can weaken the integrity of your fence and lead to costly repairs. It’s important to identify and address carpenter bee infestations promptly to prevent further damage.

Termites and Beetles: Silent Wood Destroyers

Termites and beetles are two common insects that can silently destroy the wood in your fence. These pests feed on the cellulose within the wood, gradually weakening its structure. Signs of termite or beetle infestations include small holes in the wood, visible tunnels, or sawdust-like residue. Regular inspections and treatment for termite and beetle control can help protect your wood fence from extensive damage.

Nuisance Birds: Fence Coating with Acidic Droppings

Other than woodpeckers, several bird species can also cause damage to your wood fence due to their droppings. Bird droppings contain acidic compounds that can corrode and stain wood surfaces over time. Excessive buildup of bird droppings can result in discoloration and deterioration of your fence. Implementing preventive measures such as regular cleaning and using protective coatings can help mitigate this problem.

Dealing with Squirrel Damage on Your Wood Fence

To prevent squirrels from damaging your wood fence, several methods can be employed:

  • Physical barriers: Install metal mesh or wire fencing around the base of the fence to deter squirrels from climbing.
  • Repellents: Apply squirrel repellents to the fence, which emit odors or tastes that squirrels find unpleasant.
  • Trimming branches: Trim tree branches near the fence to prevent easy access for squirrels.
  • Repairing squirrel damage: Promptly repair any areas of the fence damaged by squirrels to prevent further infestation and weakening of the structure.

Other Pests and Animals Damaging Your Wood Fence

In addition to woodpeckers, squirrels, and birds, other pets and animals can cause damage to your wood fence. For example, some pets may excessively gnaw on aluminum fences, causing scratches and dents. Identifying these potential threats and implementing appropriate safeguards can help preserve the durability and aesthetics of your fence.

Solutions to Prevent Squirrel Damage to Your Fence

When it comes to preventing squirrel damage to your wood fence, the following solutions are effective:

  • Use squirrel-proof feeders: Instead of leaving food sources near the fence, install squirrel-proof bird feeders away from the fence to redirect their attention.
  • Apply taste deterrents: Use commercial squirrel repellent sprays or natural deterrents like garlic or hot pepper to make the fence less appealing to squirrels.
  • Install motion-activated devices: Install motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices to scare away squirrels when they approach the fence.

Common Types of Wood Structures Targeted by Squirrels

Squirrels are opportunistic chewers and can damage various wooden structures around your property. Some common structures squirrels target include:

  • Tree bark: Squirrels may chew on tree bark for both nutrition and building material.
  • Outdoor furniture: Wooden benches, chairs, and tables can fall victim to squirrel damage.
  • Decking and fencing: Squirrels may chew on the wood used in decking and fencing.
  • Siding and trim: Areas of your home with wooden siding or trim can become targets for squirrel damage.
  • Wooden garden structures: Arbors, trellises, and garden sheds are susceptible to squirrel chewing.


Pests and wildlife pose a real threat to the integrity and longevity of your wood fence. Woodpeckers, squirrels, carpenter bees, termites, beetles, and nuisance birds can cause cosmetic damage, structural deterioration, or both. By understanding the motivations behind their behaviors and implementing appropriate preventive measures, you can protect your wood fence from these unwanted attackers. Regular inspections, repairs, and deterrents can help preserve the beauty and functionality of your fence, ensuring its longevity for years to come.


Q: Can woodpecker damage be repaired?

A: Yes, woodpecker damage can be repaired. Start by filling any holes or indentations with a wood filler or putty that matches the color of your fence. Once the repair is dry, sand it down until it is smooth, and apply a protective sealant or paint to blend it with the rest of the fence.

Q: How can I deter carpenter bees from nesting in my wood fence?

A: Carpenter bees are attracted to unfinished or weathered wood surfaces. To deter them, apply a protective finish or paint to your wood fence. Additionally, filling any existing carpenter bee nests with an appropriate insecticide will discourage future nesting.

Q: Are there any natural methods to repel squirrels from my wood fence?

A: Yes, several natural methods can help repel squirrels from your wood fence. Sprinkle cayenne pepper or place garlic cloves near the fence to deter squirrels. You can also plant mint, lavender, or other strong-scented plants around the fence as a natural deterrent.

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