- Bird

Why do woodpeckers wish 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 recognized to make holes in homes to retailer their acorns. Photograph by Maureen Sullivan by way of Birdshare.

Woodpeckers often hammer on homes for one in every of 4 causes:

  1. As a result of it makes a satisfyingly loud noise that proclaims the chicken’s territory and attracts a mate. If the birds are drumming for these causes, they’ll most definitely 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 chicken desires to excavate a nest or roost gap. If the woodpeckers are making a nest cavity, the opening can be spherical and huge. Nesting holes are often constructed to start with of the breeding season between late April and Might. If you might want to evict woodpeckers from your property, goal 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 can be small and irregular. You could have to name an exterminator to eliminate 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 contemporary acorn into each.

How you can get woodpeckers to go away 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 injury because of foraging for carpenter bee larva on fascia boards of a home.

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

Researchers on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have carried out research relating nuisance woodpeckers. One examine, Exterior traits of homes liable to woodpecker injury, discovered that lighter coloured aluminum and vinyl sidings are much less prone 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 containers, 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 injury because 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 folks maintain woodpeckers away by masking an affected space with burlap or attaching chicken netting (the sort designed for gardens and fruit timber) from overhanging eaves to the siding. In case you use netting, ensure that it’s taut and set at the least 3 inches from the siding to keep away from birds pecking by way of 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 own home, ensure that there are not any birds inside earlier than sealing it up.

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

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