Fall brings a large uptick in all types of pests around the house, but none quite as destructive as the Woodpecker has been this year. These men cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to the siding on homes, and they are especially fond of cedar siding. So what can you do?
Woodpeckers are a part of the Picidae family, and mostly live in forests and woodlands. There are about 200 species worldwide, but in the US we have a major group that causes problems.
Northern Flicker – Found in all of North America, this woodpecker is brown with black bars or spots and a black breast.
Downy Woodpecker – Located in all of North America, this woodpecker is small. It is white with black wings that have white spots on them and a red crown.
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker -Found in eastern North America, they have black, white, and red faces. Like the title suggests it also has yellow coloring beneath its wings and on its belly.
Acorn Woodpecker – Located on the west coast and south central region of the United States and most of Mexico.
Now that we have went over the types you might have, let’s talk about solutions. Woodpeckers drill holes because they’re searching for food. They enjoy soft wood the very best, to look for grubs and small insects, as well as sap, which is why cedar siding is such a favorite of theirs. Woodpeckers have many natural predators, including big cats and mammals, but also birds of prey like falcons and eagles.
There are many devices on the market to scare off woodpeckers, but the get combined results for one main reason; they are smart. Scented or bad tasting repellants do not work much because you can’t spray it on your home and that is where the birds want to go. Noise makers make distress calls and predator sounds, but these are extremely loud and do not work well in residential areas. The best, and often least expensive solution, is metallic moving items. CD’s hung on string, metal tape, and glistening bird diverters all show promising results, but have to be moved every 10 days to two weeks.
Whatever you choose to do, bear in mind that these birds are extremely smart and will get used to whichever deterrent you use after 2-4 weeks. Be sure to change it up and keep them guessing!