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.
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.
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.
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.