Manage Pesky Woodpeckers with Better Deterrents
Woodpecker damage can cause serious problems to wooden buildings. When they are looking for food, woodpeckers can make holes in siding, beams, and posts made of wooden lumber. They might decide that your bedroom wall is an ideal spot to "drumming," a social behavior that does very little but is annoying when you are trying to fall asleep.
They can even nest in holes and cause damage to buildings if they feel that it is more convenient than a nearby trees. Because woodpeckers have been protected, bird exclusion for them should be to convince them to find another home without causing harm. Woodpeckers can cause damage to stucco, Dryvit, or other modern building materials. They can cause damage inside walls to plumbing and electrical lines, as well as allow moisture in the structure.
They can injure and damage ornamental or shade trees. Although native trees can manage woodpecker behavior well, trees that you use in your landscaping may not be as strong.
How can you keep the woodpeckers out of your building, and how can you prevent them from causing damage? Here are nine ways to prevent woodpecker damage.
- Install netting
StealthNet fine mesh netting is the best way to keep woodpeckers away from your home. For large buildings and commercial properties, bird netting may be the best solution. However, homeowners often find it less appealing than other options.
You can use nets to target only the areas woodpeckers are interested in. Hanging nets from the eaves is one option. You can leave your hooks up throughout the year, but you should put the net up only during the woodpeckers' visit.
- Hang Aluminum Flashing
Shiny objects don't appeal to woodpeckers. They will be discouraged from returning to those areas if they are covered with aluminum flashing. Although it won't stop the drumming (some woodpeckers love to drum on metal), it will deter them from returning to that area. They are often scared off by a couple of shaving razors. The enlarging end is pointed outwards.
- Balloons for Eyes
A balloon with large, open eyes resembles an owl. This product will attract woodpeckers as owls are known to eat them. The balloon should be hung near the woodpecker's target. The owl effigies will not work against woodpeckers but can be useful in deterring other small birds. If you do decide to use one, it is essential that you move it around regularly. Woodpeckers know that a stationary or tethered owl may not actually be one. Hanging mobiles with hawk-shaped designs from the eaves works better.
- Set out Optical Gel
Optical Gel is a multisensory general insect repellent. It has a strong smell that repels birds but is pleasant for humans. It also looks like smoke and feels sticky. You can convince woodpeckers to stop by sticking optical gel in their damaged areas. It is also effective for many other species. This deterrent works well and is not harmful to the bird.
- Distress Tapes
These tapes can only be used in very limited situations. These tapes mimic woodpecker distress calls and can be used to scare them into leaving. Similar devices exist that can detect the sound made by a woodpecker drilling, drumming, or drilling. They then scare the bird with sound or an object.
Tapes with predator calls or other loud sounds can be used. Noisemakers are most effective when the birds have not been established.
- Retire Their Food Source
If a woodpecker enters your building to search for insects, it is likely that they are trying to get inside. This is a problem that can be more problematic for commercial buildings. They will give up as soon as they cannot find anything. You need to make sure your siding is not void, that no flat-grained board has separated, and that lap siding nails down securely. Apply the correct pest control techniques if needed.
Woodpeckers will then travel to other places to consume pests. Tin is an option to replace a wood shake or slate roof. Metal roofs provide fire protection and eliminate insects. They are also safe from woodpeckers.
- Create a better nesting location
If you don't want woodpeckers coming back to your property, it might seem counterintuitive. However, if you notice that woodpeckers are nesting and roosting in your building, it might be worth considering putting up a nest box nearby. This will work best when combined with other methods to discourage them from foraging. The woodpeckers will not nest in your building unless there are sufficient trees to provide shelter. Woodpeckers can be territorial so they will try to eat other woodpeckers.
- Use water
Woodpeckers hate being surprised by unexpectedly wet. A garden hose and well-located sprinkler system are good options to deter them. The woodpecker is unlikely to return after the first spray. While this won't cause harm, it will make the woodpecker think twice before returning.
- Paint is better than stain
If you have a woodpecker issue, consider painting your siding. Choose lighter colors that woodpeckers will not like. Painting helps to reduce insect-hosting gaps. One study found that woodpecker damage was present in 79% of the stained houses in wooded areas, and only 29% were painted.
should not use noxious substances on the wood to stop woodpeckers pecking at it. This won't work as woodpeckers cannot eat the wood. They aren’t eating the wood. Instead, they eat the insects that live in the wood. If they are drumming, they only touch the surface with their beaks. Because of the wood dust protection, they don't have to smell anything you put on it. It has been proven to waste money by being tested.
You can use a deterrent to keep woodpeckers away from your home if you suspect they are establishing a nest. Woodpeckers can't be killed or injured, even if it is endangered species. Instead, you should use non-lethal approaches to dealing with them. It is easy to convince woodpeckers not to return to their original location. To learn more, contact us.