There’s nothing like a woodpecker drumming against the side of your home to mark the onset of spring and breeding season. You may wonder: why you? Is there something particularly tantalizing about your house to attract the noise and unwanted damage? If you live anywhere with trees, a woodpecker could be nearby.
In addition to marking their territory, woodpeckers hammer away at your siding for storage and roosting. In the winter months, they may be drilling for the insects that are no longer as abundant out of doors. Good news is it’s not very hard to shoo the woodpeckers away.
In fact, a simple squirt of the hose may do the trick. Other measures include the following:
- Bang from inside your home, opposite the area where the woodpecker is drilling.
- Install sheeting over the area being drilled.
- Install chicken wire or wire mesh around the area, 1 to 2 inches from the side of your home.
- Attach Mylar reflective tape around vents or piping, where woodpeckers like to hear themselves tapping.
- Caulk cracks in your siding and repaint the surface to block access to insects. Also, you may want to have your home checked for termites that could be attracting the woodpecker.
- Use shiny objects, such as tin foil or mirrors, to scare the woodpeckers away.
- Use tapes that play distress calls to spook them away with sound.
- Use owl effigies, though these only work temporarily until the woodpecker grows accustomed to the image.
Studies show that even without employing the above precautions, woodpeckers stop drumming on their own half the time. For the other half, act quickly before the woodpecker grows attached. Or, for a totally different approach, keep the woodpecker around! They’re beneficial to the environment and will eat your garden pests, such as flies and wasps. Some varieties are becoming rare and all are federally protected. To nurture a woodpecker of your own, try rerouting it to your backyard. As with your other guests, food often does the trick. Woodpeckers will stick around your nut bearing trees, berry bushes, or feeders with black oil sunflower seed or suet, a store bought combination of animal fat and other ingredients that substitute for the insects they feed on in the winter.