though the Yellowbelly Sapsucker is not an insect, but a bird, its
damage is sometimes confused with Zimmerman pine moth or canker
diseases. The sapsucker makes feeding holes in line patterns (one
or more lines of holes, several holes to many holes per line, lines
may be across or up and down or on an angle). The holes are made
on the trunk between the branch whorls and not at the whorls. The
location separates the bird from Zimmerman and the holes separates
it from canker diseases. Pitch often accumulates over these holes
after the bird leaves. The bird is protected.
Place an inflated snake near the affected area in the tree during migration. This can help reduce additional damage.
Written by James Schuster, Extension Educator, Horticulture, and reviewed by Dr.Philip L. Nixon, Extension Specialist-Entomology, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.