Why do woodpeckers prefer to hammer on homes? And what can I do about it?

A black and white bird with a red cap perches on a log.
Acorn Woodpeckers have been identified to make holes in homes to retailer their acorns. Picture by Maureen Sullivan by way of Birdshare.

Woodpeckers often hammer on homes for one in all 4 causes:

  1. As a result of it makes a satisfyingly loud noise that proclaims the chook’s territory and attracts a mate. If the birds are drumming for these causes, they are going to most certainly cease as soon as breeding has begun within the spring (they don’t drum when in search of meals).
  2. As a result of the chook desires to excavate a nest or roost gap. If the woodpeckers are making a nest cavity, the outlet will probably be spherical and enormous. Nesting holes are often constructed to start with of the breeding season between late April and Could. If you should evict woodpeckers from your house, intention to take action both earlier than or after the nesting season.
  3. As a result of it’s feeding on bugs dwelling within the siding. If the birds are in search of bugs, the holes will probably be small and irregular. You will have to name an exterminator to do away with the underlying insect downside. Woodpeckers are significantly keen on the larvae of carpenter bees, leafcutter bees, and grass bagworms. .
  4. As a result of they’re storing meals. If you’re positioned within the West, Acorn Woodpeckers peck dozens or a whole lot of acorn-sized holes into massive timber or homes, and stash a single recent acorn into each.

How one can get woodpeckers to depart a home alone

An adult carpenter bee and woodpecker damage due to foraging for carpenter bee larva on fascia boards of a house.
An grownup carpenter bee and woodpecker harm on account of foraging for carpenter bee larva on fascia boards of a home.

As soon as you realize why woodpeckers are hammering on your home, you possibly can develop methods for stopping them. Check out Can Woodpecker Deterrents Safeguard My Home? for concepts on learn how to take care of troublesome woodpeckers.

Researchers on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have carried out research relating nuisance woodpeckers. One research, Exterior traits of homes vulnerable to woodpecker harm, discovered that lighter coloured aluminum and vinyl sidings are much less more likely to be broken by woodpeckers. One other paper, Evaluation of Administration Strategies to Scale back Woodpecker Injury to Houses, examined six widespread long-term woodpecker deterrents: life-sized plastic owls with paper wings, reflective streamers, plastic eyes strung on fishing line, roost bins, suet feeders, and a sound system which broadcasts woodpecker misery calls adopted by the decision of a hawk. Researchers discovered that nothing deterred woodpeckers on a regular basis, and solely the streamers labored with any consistency.

Woodpecker damage due to foraging for carpenter bee larva on cedar trim boards of a house
Woodpecker harm on account of foraging for carpenter bee larva on cedar trim boards of a home.

Owners have reported some success deterring woodpeckers with windsocks, pinwheels, helium balloons (shiny, brilliant Mylar balloons are particularly efficient), strips of aluminum foil, or reflective tape. Different individuals preserve woodpeckers away by masking an affected space with burlap or attaching chook netting (the sort designed for gardens and fruit timber) from overhanging eaves to the siding. In case you use netting, be sure that it’s taut and set no less than 3 inches from the siding to keep away from birds pecking via it. Shut off openings on the edges to stop birds from turning into trapped between the netting and the home.

You may additionally need to plug the holes with wooden putty to discourage additional exercise. If a woodpecker has dug a roost gap into your home, be sure that there aren’t any birds inside earlier than sealing it up.

By no means use any sticky “repellent,” corresponding to Tanglefoot Pest Management, Roost-No-Extra, or Chicken Cease, open air. These kind of merchandise can fatally injure birds and different animals.

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