Woodpeckers are protected by both federal and state laws and cannot be captured or killed. This means only non-lethal, proactive methods should be used to deter them.
Each year woodpeckers cause hundreds of dollars of damage to homes, structures, buildings and utility poles throughout the country. They will hammer on the sides of our houses and other buildings 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 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.
Why Woodpeckers Drill Holes
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 throughout a mating season. It seems they prefer softer woods like cedar and redwood siding.
How to Keep Woodpeckers Away
It is ideal to install some form of woodpecker deterrent before the woodpeckers become a problem. There are several methods for deterring woodpeckers from your property.
- Woodpecker deterrent netting is one of the most effective ways to keep woodpeckers from attacking the side of your home. Our lightweight plastic woodpecker netting is ideal to block woodpeckers from the side of your home. If you live in an area where the woodpeckers migrate to each year, it is recommended that you install the woodpecker deterrent netting before they arrive. Hang the netting about 3 to 4 inches from the wall so that the woodpeckers cannot get to the siding to drill and make holes. The netting is easily installed by stapling it to the eave and letting it drape down along the side of the house.
- Visual Woodpecker Deterrents cause a visual distraction to the bird when they try to approach an area to drill, hammer and build a home. The bright shiny visual deterrents distract the birds and they will look for a better place the build their nests. Visual woodpecker deterrents include Mylar Flash Tape, Reflective Scare Bird Diverters, the Scare Balloon and the Woodpecker Kit.
- Sound Woodpecker Deterrents use loud distress and predator calls to scare the woodpeckers from the area they are active in. The sound woodpecker deterrents are ideal for open areas such as wooded areas near your home where woodpeckers are a problem.
When the season ends and the woodpeckers migrate away from your area, most of the woodpecker deterrents that you have been installed can be put away and stored for next year. It is a good idea to add woodpecker control to your list of spring activities like opening the pool or boat, putting out the patio furniture and cleaning off the barbecue.