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Is a Pesky Wood Pecker Rat-a-tat-tatting on your House and Driving you to D-d-d-distraction?

Is a Pesky Woodpecker Rat-a-tat-tatting on your House and Driving you to D-d-d-distraction?

Join the club. Every spring, we receive calls from homeowners about woodpeckers that are treating their home like a drum-set.

What’s going on? It could be a couple of things. Stained houses that look like trees are more apt to be pecked by woodpeckers than painted houses, but painted houses are not immune from attack.

In the fall, beetles, moths and flies take up residence in wood siding to escape the cold. Come spring, they start moving around, catching the eye of woodpeckers. Some biologists believe young woodpeckers instinctively peck on wood, and if it feels hollow, instinct tells them insects are present — even if they’re not.

They also drum to signal this is their territory and to attract a mate.  This drumming occurs in the spring and usually lasts for a few weeks.

Tips to Deter the Woodpecker:

  1. Tack up a piece of clear plastic, and keep it there for a week to 10 days. They can’t land on plastic. It’s too slippery. For people who opt for the plastic sheet, once the 10 days have passed and the woodpecker is gone, check the wood. If it’s solid, just plug the holes with putty. But replace any rotted wood.
  2. Hanging plastic owls and rubber snakes near the area where the woodpeckers are pecking sometimes works. Using a plastic owl sold at hardware, sporting goods and marine stores, screw a metal eye on the top of the head and hang it over the spot where the woodpecker flies to your house. While a former employee swore by the effectiveness of this method, others have had mixed results.

If the woodpeckers are drumming on a part of your house that’s not wood — such as gutters or a slate roof — they’re just males marking their territory, using your house as a sounding board.

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