There are many species of woodpeckers, but out here in the Pacific Northwest the most common woodpecker is the Northern Flicker. You’ve probably been relaxing at home when suddenly you hear the loud noise of this woodpecker’s pecking on the walls. Unfortunately, woodpecker damage can have a serious impact on your home’s exterior.
Essentially, woodpeckers peck for three reasons: communication, food, and nesting. You can determine what purpose woodpeckers are visiting your home for by examining the size and frequency of the holes they leave, and also by listening to their activity. Determining why woodpeckers are pecking on your home can help you find the best way to keep them away.
The loud noise of woodpecker activity is not just their effort to drive you mad. Drumming or the sound of “the bill being repeatedly struck on a hard surface with great rapidity” is how woodpeckers communicate with one another. (Wikipedia) You’ll notice this is as a very loud noise that happens over and over and over again during the months of April through June. A woodpecker finds a good, sturdy surface to make a ruckus in order to attract a mate, or claim territory. It just so happens that the surface of your home works just as well as a tree trunk. The good news is that if this is why you have a noisy visitor, the drumming should end after mating season.
You can easily give the woodpeckers a fright that will make them avoid your home in the future.
Woodpeckers can be startled by shiny and reflective objects, so you can utilize simple aluminum foil, mirror pieces, or reflective tape. Another scare tactic is placing decoys of predators, like plastic owls, that woodpeckers will spot and avoid.
Noise and motion can have a similar impact. So pinwheels, windsocks, or wind chimes hung around your home that will mimic predator sound and movement will also work.
Place any of these objects in the area woodpeckers appear to be visiting and next time they come by, they’ll get spooked and stay away for good!
If you’re finding small, irregular holes on your home, this indicates that the woodpeckers are searching your home for food. They feed on small insects that may be within your siding material.
If woodpeckers are using your home as a food source, you need to remove the food and provide an alternative.
First, if there’s a particular area of your home that woodpeckers are frequenting, you should check for an insect infestation. It may be necessary to hire a professional exterminator to clear the insects away.
Second, once the insect infestation has been cleared you can provide alternative food sources a good distance from your home’s exterior. Suet cakes are a great humane way to feed woodpeckers and keep them from your home! Set up a few bird feeders around your lawn with suet to keep them fed without sacrificing your home’s exterior.
Woodpeckers may drill roost holes into your siding to create nests. They use their nests to store food and may drill multiple holes as small storage spaces. These holes will be larger than the small holes they create when searching for food.
You can either buy woodpecker houses or choose to diy with a quick building project. This will provide an alternative place for woodpeckers to settle. You can then do a quick temporary patch of their roost holes using putty. Make sure to check that there’s no living creatures in the holes before patching!
It’s important to remember that although woodpeckers pecking on your home is a nuisance, they’re endangered and protected animals that you don’t want to harm. Using these humane methods should be successful in keeping them away, so you can avoid harsher options. It’s best to avoid spikes, bird netting, and any marketed bird repellent that is sticky, as these options can all cause fatal injuries. You can easily buy a suet feeder, hanging mirrors, and more on Amazon.
Once you’ve sorted out a successful woodpecker repellent, you’ll want to repair the damage already done to your home to keep away woodpeckers for good. As you can imagine, the cost of repairing bird damage varies; as with many home repairs, it will depend on the amount of damage you have.
Webfoot Painting helps homeowners repair corner boards, shingles, and siding. You can book a free estimate for us to visit your home and help you determine the extent of the damage and the repairs you need. Our blog Homeowners Beware - Bird Damage: The Signs & Solutions You Need When Dealing With Our Feathered Neighbors goes into detail about the damage birds can cause to your home and the ways Webfoot can help.