Woodpeckers are costing homeowners thousands of dollars every year due to the damage they cause. They will hammer on the sides of our houses and other building to attract mates, establish or defend a territory, excavate a nesting or roosting site, and to search for insects. Drumming sites can include wooden shingles, cedar siding, metal or plastic gutters, antennas and light posts.
Woodpeckers Cause Millions in Damage Each Year
Woodpeckers love the loud sounds they produce. They frequently damage cedar, rough pine redwood siding and some synthetic stucco finishes; causing thousands of dollars in damage each year.
Woodpeckers drill holes for a variety of reasons. One of the most obvious is to excavate a cavity for nesting or roosting and another is to search for food. In the spring, woodpeckers also use a rhythmic pecking called “drumming” to establish a territory and attract a mate. Complaints of woodpeckers on houses during this period indicate that the birds are using the house as a “singing” post. Woodpecker damage typically consists of holes drilled into wood siding or trees. A woodpecker will select a tree or home for no particular reason. They will usually choose a few favorite areas and attack them repeatedly over the course of a mating season. It seems they prefer softer woods like cedar and redwood siding.
Woodpeckers are migratory birds and are thus protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treat Act. This makes it difficult to get rid of the birds and keep them from damaging our homes. We must use a humane, non-lethal form of woodpecker control. There are several non-lethal techniques that can be used to control pest woodpeckers, including visual repellents, loud noises, and exclusion. It is very important to take immediate action to reduce the damage, as woodpeckers are not easily driven from their territories or pecking sites once they have become established. There is no “standard” approach to dealing with woodpecker damage. Evaluate each individual situation separately to determine the most effective control measures. Often more than one technique (for example, using both visual and sound repellents) may provide the best control.
Use the following steps to determine what control measures to use:
1) Check for insects. If they are present, ask your local exterminator for assistance.
2) Can I prevent the bird from getting to or using the problem area?
3) Can I repel the bird with visual, sound or chemical repellents?
4) As a last resort, can I remove the offending animals safely?
Methods of Deterring Woodpeckers:
Netting is one of the most effective methods of excluding woodpeckers from damaging wood siding beneath the eaves is to place lightweight plastic bird-type netting over the area. A mesh of 3/4 inch is generally recommended. At least 3 inches of space should be left between the netting and the damaged building so that birds cannot cause damage through the mesh. The netting can also be attached to the overhanging eaves and angled back to the siding below the damaged area and secured taut but not overly tight. Be sure to secure the netting so that the birds have no way to get behind it. If installed properly, the netting is barely visible from a distance and will offer a long-term solution to the damage problem. If the birds move to another area of the dwelling, that too will need to be netted. Netting becomes increasingly popular as a solution to woodpecker problems because it consistently gives desired results. Once the birds have moved to another area, the netting can be taken down. You can find a good U.V. Protected Polypropylene Netting at www.absolutebirdcontrol.com.
Visual Repellents. The best way to keep pesky little woodpeckers from destroying valuable trees and wood sidings is to discourage them from pecking using a visual repellent. You can use Mylar FlashTape, BirdBGone Scare Balloons, or Bird Diverters. There is also a Woodpecker Deterrent Kit available. These devises cause a visual distraction that bothers the birds and they will move on to an area that is more “pleasant” to them.
Noise Repellents. Using loud noises like rock music or bird distress calls are also an effective way to discourage the birds. Absolute Bird Control sells a Bird Chase Supersonic device that plays Woodpecker Distress calls and predator calls that scare the birds from your home. Remember to use these techniques as soon as damage begins and continue them for at least 8 days. Understand that when the birds leave one site they simply move to another one. Just hope that the new site is on something other than the house.
In most cases you can get control quickly and effectively if you use an integrated approach: put up visual repellents, use a chemical repellent and harass the birds with noise.
Homeowners spend thousands of dollars replacing the siding on their homes as well as patching up the holes and damage done by woodpeckers. The Leading distributor in Woodpecker deterrents Absolute Bird Control offers a large variety of products to rid your home of woodpeckers. One Product is the Scare Eye Diverter manufactured by Bird-B-Gone, Inc. It has a Mylar backing with a predator eye on it. When it is hung across the eaves of your home at different lengths the movement of the Scare Eye Diverter and the reflection scare off the Woodpecker.
Lori Kitts of Flora Vista, NM says “The woodpeckers were driving us crazy we would hear them outside pecking away at our home. I did a search online for woodpeckers and how to get rid of them and Absolute Bird Control was on the top of the list. We purchased the Scare Eye Diverters they worked so well and I haven’t seen them since putting them up.” Kitts says the woodpeckers moved on, but they moved next door to her mother-in-laws house! “We purchased diverters for her home as well, and now they are gone from her house”, says Kitts. “All of our neighbors have asked where we got the diverters. Woodpeckers have been a big issue in this neighborhood for years. We are so happy to finally find an effective, economical product to move the birds along and away from our homes!”