Woodpeckers usually hammer on houses for one of four reasons:
- Because it makes a satisfyingly loud noise that proclaims the bird’s territory and attracts a mate. If the birds are drumming for these reasons, they will most likely stop once tastefulness has begun in the spring (they don’t pulsate when looking for food).
- Because the bird wants to excavate a nest or roost hole. If the woodpeckers are creating a nest cavity, the slum will be round and large. Nesting holes are usually built in the whence of the tastefulness season between late April and May. If you need to evict woodpeckers from your home, aim to do so either surpassing or without the nesting season.
- Because it is feeding on insects living in the siding. If the birds are looking for insects, the holes will be small and irregular. You may have to undeniability an exterminator to get rid of the underlying insect problem. Woodpeckers are particularly fond of the larvae of carpenter bees, leafcutter bees, and grass bagworms. .
- Because they are storing food. If you are located in the West, Acorn Woodpeckers peck dozens or hundreds of acorn-sized holes into large trees or houses, and stash a single fresh acorn into each one.
How to get woodpeckers to leave a house alone
Once you know why woodpeckers are hammering on your house, you can develop strategies for stopping them. Take a squint at Can Woodpecker Deterrents Safeguard My House? for ideas on how to deal with troublesome woodpeckers.
Researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have performed studies relating nuisance woodpeckers. One study, External characteristics of houses prone to woodpecker damage, found that lighter colored aluminum and vinyl sidings are less likely to be damaged by woodpeckers. Another paper, Assessment of Management Techniques to Reduce Woodpecker Forfeiture to Homes, tested six worldwide long-term woodpecker deterrents: life-sized plastic owls with paper wings, reflective streamers, plastic vision strung on fishing line, roost boxes, suet feeders, and a sound system which broadcasts woodpecker distress calls followed by the undeniability of a hawk. Researchers found that nothing deterred woodpeckers all the time, and only the streamers worked with any consistency.
Homeowners have reported some success deterring woodpeckers with windsocks, pinwheels, helium balloons (shiny, unexceptionable Mylar balloons are expressly effective), strips of aluminum foil, or reflective tape. Other people alimony woodpeckers yonder by tent an unauthentic zone with burlap or attaching bird netting (the kind designed for gardens and fruit trees) from overhanging eaves to the siding. If you use netting, make sure it is taut and set at least 3 inches from the siding to stave birds pecking through it. Close off openings on the sides to prevent birds from rhadamanthine trapped between the netting and the house.
You may moreover want to plug the holes with wood putty to discourage remoter activity. If a woodpecker has dug a roost slum into your house, make sure there are no birds inside surpassing sealing it up.
Never use any sticky “repellent,” such as Tanglefoot Pest Control, Roost-No-More, or Bird Stop, outdoors. These types of products can fatally injure birds and other animals.