Woodpeckers can cause a great deal of property damage and sleepless mornings. But there are ways to control them. Laws Woodpeckers are a federally protected bird under the North American Migratory Bird Act. Do not use lethal control on woodpeckers without contacting your Federal Wildlife Officer. You will need to institute non-lethal control strategies before you will receive permission to implement lethal control. (See below for information on non-lethal woodpecker control). Why Woodpeckers Peck Your Home Woodpeckers damage structures for basically three reasons:
1. Searching for insects;
2. Creating cavities for nesting and shelter; or
3. Marking territory (a common phenomenon called drumming primarily during the months of March/April/May). Don\’t give up hope! In one study, the birds stopped drumming 50 percent of the time within two weeks or so whether the homeowners did anything or not. Non-Lethal Strategies to Control Woodpecker Damage Unfortunately, there is no easy guaranteed solution. So with that being said, try the following strategies:
1. Cover all holes as soon as possible. Place aluminum flashing over the areas where the woodpecker is pecking. The flashing will stop the pecking at that spot because: 1) it is metal, 2) it changes the sound, and 3) woodpeckers don\’t like shiny objects. Just make sure that the woodpecker is not living in your home. 2. Harass and scare the woodpecker causing damage, using one or more of the following techniques:? Mylar tape: You can also try running some Mylar tape (1-inch-wide strips) around the area where he is pecking.
Woodpeckers don\’t like shiny objects. If you don\’t have Mylar, use tinfoil or small mirrors. Remember, no harassment technique works all the time or in every situation. Distress tapes: There are machines that digitally recreate woodpecker distress calls. These are NOT ultrasonic devices, which do not work. When you turn on the device, it spooks the woodpecker. Scary eye balloons: These balloons mimic the look of an owl, which spooks the woodpeckers. Garden hose: One animal damage controller recommends placing a garden hose with a sprinkler set at an angle to reach where the bird is drumming. The woodpeckers leave after a few squirts because they don\’t like hanging on to wet structures. There is an automatic sprinkler on the market called the Scarecrow which may be useful when the temperatures are above freezing. Attack spider: This is a relatively new (2003) technique. It activates using a sound detector to scare woodpeckers through sight and motion. Owl effigies: These are only effective if you are willing to move them around on a daily basis. Understand that at best the effigy will work only in the short term, if at all. Exclusion techniques: If woodpeckers are damaging your siding under an eave, hang some netting from the eave line down to the ground. If the net is extended away from the house wall, the woodpecker can\’t get close enough to damage the wood. Some homes actually leave the hooks up year round and then hang the netting as needed.
Also, as soon as you notice problems, take action quickly before the woodpecker decides your home is a nice place to live. When all else fails, apply for a depredation permit to remove the problem woodpecker. Lethal Control Techniques These techniques require federal and sometimes state permits. Shooting: Make sure you follow all relevant federal, state, and local ordinances. Lethal trapping: Probably the safest and most effective lethal control method. Resources: (online)
Woodpeckers can be quite a nuisance to homeowners living in wooded, suburban or rural areas. Although beautiful and interesting to watch when you re taking a morning hike, you may not like the sound of rapping against your home waking you in the morning. Even more troubling are the holes woodpeckers sometimes leave on a home s exterior. But there are things you can do to deter woodpeckers from damaging your home. Additionally, you can always re-side your home with, a durable steel siding option unlikely to attract woodpeckers, but with a realistic faux log look. Why Do Woodpeckers Peck Holes in Home Siding? Drumming. Woodpeckers mark their territory by drumming during the spring season. This activity can leave small holes in the siding or other housing material. Drumming is also used to attract mates. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, woodpeckers are especially fond of drumming on cedar and redwood siding, wood shingles, gutters and posts.
These things provide the loudest, most hollow sounds, which the woodpeckers like. Most drumming ceases by July, but that doesn t make it any less bothersome to homeowners who awake to the tapping as soon as springtime comes around. Nesting/roosting. These holes are larger than those left by drumming. You may find multiple nesting/roosting holes, as woodpeckers may try one area and then abandon it for another. Woodpeckers begin building their nesting holes in April or May, so that they can hatch eggs and raise their young. In the fall, they build roosting holes in which to stay warm in the winter ahead. Foraging. Woodpeckers may be drilling holes in your siding to get insects buried beneath. Wood-boring insects tend to infest log siding, wood shakes and shingles, and plywood siding. Woodpeckers are a federally protected species under the North American Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In fact, a wide variety of birds have protection under the MBTA. Certain states also have laws against unpermitted lethal control of woodpeckers. The MBTA prohibits taking (killing or using other lethal methods) any bird protected under the Act without a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The MBTA also prohibits selling, exporting, purchasing, possessing or transporting the protected birds. If you feel compelled to take lethal action against the woodpeckers drumming or roosting on your home s siding, you must first apply for the permit discussed above. However, US Fish and Wildlife will most likely require you to first try to control the bird with non-lethal means, such as: Strips of reflective, shiny plastic that blow in the wind These methods are most effective if you can perform them before the woodpeckers have decided your home is a good drumming/roosting/foraging site.
You can find complete lists of non-lethal control methods in the links listed at the bottom of this blog. TruLogв steel log siding is the perfect answer to woodpecker damage. A Cornell Lab study found that aluminum siding in a light color is less likely to be damaged by woodpecker activity. Although the study did not include steel siding, it s fair to assume steel siding would be just as dent-resistant as aluminum, if not more so. is made of heavy gauge steel that is not prone to dents, holes or bending. Because of its dent-free durability, TruLogв is unlikely to attract woodpeckers interested in drumming, nesting or roosting. Additionally, TruLogв is not vulnerable to insect infestation, so woodpeckers won t identify your siding as a food source. To learn more about TruLogв siding and to receive a free estimate, please call our experienced team at (970) 227-3245. We are located in Loveland, CO and ship boxed steel siding directly to you. allaboutbirds. org/can-woodpecker-deterrents-safeguard-my-house/ fws. gov/birds/policies-and-regulations/laws-legislations/migratory-bird-treaty-act. php www. birds. cornell. edu/wp_about cpw. state. co. us/learn/Pages/LivingwithWildlifeWoodpeckers. aspx