Woodpeckers vs the house

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread


Anyone have any resonable method of keeping woodpeckers from doing their thing on the house?

I hate to use the 'terminal' solution but this bugger is drilling some nice holes in our house.

Thanks for your suggestions.


-- jd (jw_hsv@yahoo.com), October 23, 2000


Have you tried placing a hollow log nearby? As a short term solution, you might staple a big blue tarp over the affected area. Loosely, so it flops in the wind. Might confuse or stress em out and make em search elsewhere. I've never had problems, but I have plenty of beetle killed pines always available. Hope you find a solution, besides the terminal one, woodpeckers have a hard hole to bore in this world.

I feel so proud of myself...I left a two good size pines trees to rot two years ago...could've cut em and made two hundred bucks, but time got away from me, and then their value dropped--could've used em for bandsawed lumber, but I'm lumber "poor" right now. So, woodpeckers discovered em, and then a pair of pileated woodpeckers took over. This year they raised a pair of younguns, and red-headed and flickers both have moved in to the same two trees. All the other trees have been removed for a hundred or so feet, and it's now a veritable woodpecker hotel. Surrounded by commercial forests, not many old pines get to die natural and support critters.

-- phil briggs (phillipbriggs@thenett.com), October 23, 2000.

There was a very recent thread about this subject..try looking under "miscellaneous"..God bless.

-- Lesley (martchas@gateway.net), October 23, 2000.

Jd! Of course you know the reasons they are "workin" on your house. BUGS! When they started "workin" on my shop siding [rough sawn maple] I kinda sprayed the sides with diesel and a little used oil mixed in. A body could also use insectacide to kill the bugs. No bugs-no birds. I didn't care about'm eatin the bugs but I most certainly didn't want BIG holes for starlings to move in through. Happy huntin! Old hoot gibson---aka: hillbilly bird luv'r. Matt. 24:44

-- old hoot gibson (hoot@pcinetwork.com), October 23, 2000.

jd, when i was little we had woodpeckers pecking big holes in the north side of my granny's house. Granny saved the tops of her coffee cans (the part when you use a can opener on the coffee can...the lid that you cut out) and she had Papa nail these over the holes. Maybe the things nailed up there looked like big shinny eyes or they were too lazy to start new holes. Whatever it was it worked. No more woodpeckers.

-- Amanda S (aseley@townsqr.com), October 24, 2000.

Do you have a clock inside nearby where he is pecking? I had a friend tell me that they had problems with a woodpecker pecking on their house and they had a clock on the wall inside. It apparently hears the vibration of the clock. As soon as they moved the clock, they didn't have any more problems with the woodpecker. Just a thought.

-- Kelly (beerfarm@midtel.net), October 24, 2000.

I heard this discussion on public radio, someone said that they kept peanut butter available all the time (probably suet would work too) and it took care of the problem. They also said to get the bugs out from under the siding by filling holes and cracks with caulk. Good luck, Tami in Wi

-- Tami Bowser (windridg@chorus.net), October 24, 2000.

O.K. know I am going to get bashed for this one..We have a cypress sided house and those woodpeckers will not leave it alone..no matter what is put out for them to eat!! Cypress supposedly repels insects..one reason we bought it..no termites and this area is notorious for termites.. I was wondering if they could be putting their cache of food in those holes..Do not like heights or I would climb up there and check it out myself. I literally beat on the inside walls to make them leave..can't tell you how many times I thought someone was knocking on the door and it was those peckers! Will have to get someone up there to putty those holes in but afraid they will just come back..Must be some kind of repellant out there to help. Would putting a stain on it work?

-- Lynn (mscratch@clnet.net), October 25, 2000.

JD...I have a question for you. Is your house a 'natural' color? Ours was grey with black trim. One day I noticed that a 'piliated woodpecker' was making a hole in our power pole. It was a similar grey to our house. Since I knew we didn't have any bugs, I figured that the color of our house must be something that drew them to our home (I think the woodpeckers were trying to make a home of their own). I bought two lovely shades of blue paint, covered up the grey and haven't had any more problems with woodpeckers. If you do have bugs, I think Old Hoots suggestion sounds very reasonable, give that a try. Good Luck, to you.

-- CC (shortcake@sisna.com), October 26, 2000.

And our story so far...

Our house is in the woods. LOTS of trees in various stages of death or decay. Both hardwoods and softwoods. Standing and fallen. So I think there's enough places for them to 'play'.

Sorry, but no bugs on/in the house. More bugs on the d/d trees, see above.

No clocks a'tickin so I don't think they're hearing things...

But the house is painted a nice shade of gray, so maybe there is some issues there. Not interested in repainting.

I had stuffed some aluminum foil into the hole a few days ago. This morning I went around to check and Mr. WP had worked the foil out and was continuing on with the excavation. He's also played around on a few other places. I had purchased some expanding foam over the weeked so I filled the hole and covered with some tape so the foam wouldn't drip down the house. Should be interesting to see how this 'goes over' .

I suspect 'termination' is the only long term solution. :=(

I will however try making a suet/peanut butter feeder and see if it's a food issue (and not a nesting thing) before using the terminal option.


-- jd (jw_hsv@yahoo.com), October 26, 2000.

My parents had a woodpecker trying to excavate their garage, right next to a window. He was peeking in the window, seeing his reflection, and pecking the house -- maybe trying to establish his territory against the invader. My dad covered the area completely (the window was just for a bit of light in the garage) for several months until he thought the woodpeck would have lost interest. Demolition Bird didn't come back. Don't know if that applies to you at all.

-- Joy Froelich (dragnfly@chorus.net), October 27, 2000.

We have natural colored wood siding. They peck thru the boards and start pulling out the pink insulation as if they are making a nest. They got into the neighbors attic - made a hole the size of a baseball and have set up a little indoor condominium. I have had fairly good luck plugging the hole with foil and painting an area around the hole with tanglefoot (sticky, gooey stuff). Also, keep a loaded "super soaker" giant squirt gun on the front porch and blast them with that. I tried a fake owl and soaking the house with ammonia or pesticide around the hole, but none of these work. By the way, they are protected here so you can't kill them.

-- Lynne (Lynnie70@juno.com), October 29, 2000.

I've had woodpeckers on three different houses now and not a one did an appreciable bit of damage (other than the pileated fighting his reflection). Had a couple of holes, but those were near where the yellowjackets had gotten into the wall. They all get bored with it after a while and leave -- I do feed them suet in bags (raw) and some fancy suet-cakes (they like the raw better anyway), and they usually forsake the house for the bag. They also like a wire cylinder feeder full of sunflower seeds. I watch them pick off bugs on the wing and decide that a couple of measly holes in the wall won't kill me --the only one that got big was a knothole they worked on -- I put in a wooden plug with silicone and that ended that.

-- Julie Froelich (firefly1@nnex.net), October 30, 2000.

We had Woody eating us out of house and home and realized he was going for bugs. We weren't impressed with the long nasty holes all through the shingles, but are grateful for the fact that he alerted us to the bugs living in the wood, which we might not otherwise have noticed for a long time. I feel compelled to think of Woody as a sort of messanger and have hung offerings for him all over the yard (suet and peanut feeders) not to mention hanging shiny tin all around the house to deter him from the juicy treats under the shingles. Anyway, seems to have worked.

-- Erika M. (enj@mts.net), January 16, 2001.

Can't say that I have a solution other than remove the source of acorns around your house 100 ft. or so. That is, if acorns is what the peckers are trying to store in your house. Here in the Sierra foothills of Calif., our peckers are intent on putting away as many acorns as they possibly can. The stored acorns in turn sprout a worm that thy come back for later. I went to this site hoping someone had a solution unique to this problem. We, along with neighbors have a serious problem with these industrious birds. I would like to hear from anyone who has solved this malady. Seems there would be a repellent or something on the maeket.

-- Ron Holcroft (foilemboss@sierratel.com), February 27, 2001.

We have a log home in the woods in cental Minnesota - we had a huge problem with woodpeckers last year, not the pileated but the small downy and related ones. I found out the problem was that I had suet blocks out for the other birds, woodpeckers love 'em and flocked in by the dozens. As soon as I took down the suet blocks the woodpeckers have left my house a

-- tammie (tammie610@aol.com), June 02, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ