Keep Woodpeckers Off Your House
Generally, woodpeckers peck at houses for one of three reasons – to attract a mate or proclaim territory, to seek food (insects in the wood), or to try to create a nest in the side of a building. Try the following options.
- Scaring woodpeckers may be successful if started promptly. Scaring the woodpeckers from the house or area relies upon the bird's response to danger or unpleasant experiences. Spray the woodpecker with water from a garden or high-pressure water hose.
- Light pie plates and metal can lids can be suspended on a string. One end of the string can be near a convenient window or door where the line can be jerked whenever the bird appears.
- Attach string to the ends of aluminum foil strips cut two to three inches in width and two to three feet in length and hang from damaged or tapping sites.
- Pinwheels with reflective vanes may be attached at tapping or damaged sites. These must rotate in order to be a deterrent.
- Models or silhouettes of snakes, owls or hawks may be the least effective unless they are hung to move in the breeze and/or in conjunction with playing recorded calls of birds of prey.
- Cover the site with plastic or nylon netting or hardware cloth. Permanent installation of hardware cloth or other screening may be the best solution when woodpeckers make repeated attempts over several years to make holes or nests.
- Metallic or wooded surfaces used for drumming may be wrapped or covered with cloth or foam. An alternative tapping site or surface such as a wooden box or metal cylinder hung in a less annoying location may be considered.
- Placing a woodpecker house over the area if the bird is interested in nesting may encourage the bird to stop creating another hole.
For more information visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's website on woodpeckers and woodpecker control methods: www.birds.cornell.edu/wp_about/index.html