Fall brings a large uptick in all types of pests around the home, but none quite as destructive as the Woodpecker has been this season. These men cause tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to the siding on homes, and they’re especially fond of cedar siding. So what can you do?
Woodpeckers are part of the Picidae family, and mostly reside in forests and woodlands. There are about 200 species worldwide, but in the US we have a main group which causes problems.
Northern Flicker – Located in all 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 little. It’s 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 under its wings and on its belly.
Acorn Woodpecker – Located on the west coast and south central area of the USA and most of Mexico.
Now that we’ve went over the types you might have, let us talk about solutions. Woodpeckers drill holes since they are looking 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, such as big cats and mammals, but also birds of prey like falcons and eagles.
There are a number of devices available on the market to scare off woodpeckers, but the get combined results for one primary reason; they are smart. Scented or poor tasting repellants do not work much because you can’t spray it on your house and that is where the birds want to go. Noise manufacturers make distress calls and predator noises, but these are very loud and don’t work well in residential areas. The best, and often cheapest solution, is metallic moving objects. CD’s hung on string, metal tape, and shiny bird diverters all show promising results, but have to be moved every 10 days to two weeks.
Whatever you decide 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 certain to change it up and keep them guessing!