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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Observation of woodpecker damage to electrical distribution line poles in Missouri

  • Author(s): Stemmerman, Lyle
  • et al.

Woodpecker damage to electrical distribution poles was monitored in Saline and Pettis Counties, Missouri. Damage increased over the four-year monitoring period. There was an increase in both the number of poles damaged and the amount of damage to individual poles. When woodpecker-damaged poles were replaced, the replacement poles proved highly vulnerable to attack. A pole repair and replacement program in Dekalb and Gentry Counties was monitored. The objective was to determine if plastic mesh would effectively protect poles from woodpecker attack and if efficacy could be reliably determined within one year of installation. Plastic mesh failed to provide an acceptable level of protection. It was not possible to get an accurate evaluation of efficacy at the end of one year. Recommendations are made for protecting distribution line poles from damage by woodpeckers.

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