If you have a home with cedar siding, the last thing you want is a woodpecker drilling holes all over. There can be a couple of reasons that woodpeckers are pecking at your siding. One reason is they are looking for bugs to eat. Another reason is that they may be trying to drill out a space for a nest. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to discourage Woody from making Swiss cheese of your siding.
Searching For Food
One great way to deter the neighborhood woodpeckers from pecking at your cedar siding is by feeding them. Woodpeckers love suet, so visit your local pet supply and pick up some suet to hang out and feed them. Be certain to choose the variety that is designed just for woodpeckers. It is made with ingredients that are especially pleasing to a woodpecker’s palate. Check for bird seed formulated for woodpeckers, too. Not only will you be saving your siding, you will also gain the pleasure of watching the birds feeding in your yard.
If the woodpeckers that are pecking at your siding are doing so in the pursuit of homebuilding, you can accommodate them much better by providing them with a woodpecker birdhouse. Build it yourself using plans from a woodworking book, or find them on the Internet. It’s a great hobby project, one that can be shared with a child or grandchild. Hang the birdhouse in a safe location, out of the way so the birds aren’t tempted to peck on your house, and place a suet pack nearby for birdie meals.
When you have done these things, and nothing seems to be working, there are a few other things you can do to shoo away the unwelcome birds. Woodpeckers seem to be afraid of shiny things that move around. There are several things you can buy to hang where the woodpeckers seem to favor for pecking the most. Or you can devise your own shiny scary thing.
Aluminum foil torn in strips at least a couple of inches wide can help. String them together like fringe and tape them to the spot where the woodpeckers seem to come from. When the breeze stirs the strips and they flutter around, the woodpeckers will keep their distance. String old, scratched CDs together to make a mobile and hang it outdoors. This will work for a while until the birds figure out that the CDs don’t actually harm them.
There are some deterrents made for birds you can buy. There is a special, glitzy tape that you can put up around the problem areas. When a breeze moves it and the light catches, it is very bright and startles the birds away. There are also bird repellent disks to hang in strategic places. They also shine very brightly to scare away the woodpeckers. Another bird scare product is a round ball that is painted with large circles that look like eyeballs. When they sway, the birds are frightened away. Windsocks can be used, too, as well as the handheld windmills that kids like to play with.
Any item like the above-mentioned ones that remain stationary may work for a few days, but then the birds will get used to them and no longer fear them. You need something that flutters, bounces, or otherwise moves around for it to remain effective.
You may opt for a device that emits sounds that a woodpecker considers threatening or scary rather than a visual deterrent. One such device will play the distress call of a woodpecker, then alternate it with the call of a hawk or other bird predator. If the sound machine is also movement activated, it will be even more effective. Mount it somewhere close to where the woodpeckers are attacking your siding to frighten them away.
Other Preventive Measures
If the woodpeckers are drilling holes up under the eaves, you can try hanging special bird netting from the outside of the eaves and attaching it to the side of the house or building. Bird spike strips are also available to keep the unwanted guests away from your siding. They aren’t quite as vicious as they sound as they are made of polycarbonate, but they are effective. Use aluminum flashing or wood putty to cover or fill holes already made and paint to match.
One really effective way to get rid of woodpeckers is to make certain that you have no insects living in your cedar siding. If the birds are there pecking for food, the best way to discourage them is to not allow any bugs to inhabit your siding. This includes carpenter bees and leaf-cutter bees along with other insects. Once you eliminate their food source from your siding, the birds will look elsewhere for dinner.
Go back to the Bird Removal home page.