Woodpeckers are wild birds that live in woodlands and forests mostly, but some species enjoy treeless areas too. In fact, there are species that live in deserts and rocky hillsides. The bird is part of a family that consists of two hundred species. Woodpeckers peck holes in trees with their sharp bills in the search for food. The problem with these birds is that they can become a nuisance for homeowners if they are not controlled.
How do Woodpeckers Feed?
These wild birds usually eat insects, grubs from trees, beetles, termites, spiders, fruit, nuts and sap from trees. Woodpeckers have a varied diet, as they are omnivores. The foods found in live and dead tree trunks are their primarily source of nutrients. They are known for maintaining the health of the trees just because of their eating habits. Trees are protected in this way from various infestations.
What is the Behavior of Woodpeckers?
These birds can have different types of behaviors, as they can be antisocial and solitary, or aggressive towards other birds from the same species, but also very social and living in groups in some cases. Woodpeckers are diurnal creatures and they sleep during the night in holes. These birds are territorial and they leave their territories when they are in the search for mates. The drumming generated by these birds when they peck their holes in trees can be annoying for humans. Even worse is the fact that woodpeckers can cause damage to your property if your property becomes part of the bird’s territory.
What are first measures to take against a woodpecker infestation?
In order to avoid the frequent drumming sound and any damage to your property that may be caused by woodpeckers, you need to take measures. The birds don’t drum on your house for no reason. You may already have an infestation of insects and you may have to get rid of the insects first as an initial measure to take to rid the birds. Go to the areas in your house and your attic where the birds have been spotted or where it has left traces of its activity and try to eliminate the insects found there.
Planting Bushes and Fruit Trees and Placing Suet in Your Yard
In order to draw the birds away from the house, you should plant bushes and fruit trees at a distance from the building. If you do it too close, the results will be the opposite of what you expect. In addition, you can place suet in the yard. Suet is made from cow fat and you can find it in stores. Woodpeckers like to eat suet and this can help you avoid the drumming. As time passes, you will have to move the feeder as far as you can from the house. You can move it a bit each day. It is not recommended to use suet when the weather is hot, as it can damage the wings of the birds.
Using Sound and Images to Keep the Woodpeckers Away
Woodpeckers have predators and they are scared of anything that sounds like their predators. Things that have a similar appearance to their predators can also keep them away. You can hang shiny materials from the edge of your roof. Good examples can be aluminum pie plates, reflective tape or foil strips. The wind will take care of everything else and the birds will become scared, thinking that they have predators ahead.
Colored materials, flags and figurines bought from stores can also do wonders. If you also use sound, your operation will be even more successful. An ultrasonic recording of a predator or a woodpecker in distress can be placed in your attic. In order to keep away the birds throughout the day, set up the device to function only from time to time. There are more expensive devices in stores that use sensors. They can turn on when a woodpecker gets close to them.
Use Woodpecker Discouragement and Harassment
If you repair the holes that woodpeckers have made in your house, you will eventually discourage them and they will not return. Already pecked holes can draw in more birds and more insects. As soon as you find holes, make sure you fill them with putty. Use polyurethane paints to paint the putty, as this will keep insects away and as a “side effect”, woodpeckers. In order to avoid more damage, try to put plastic netting or bird netting in the previously affected areas. It can be interesting and challenging to do everything on your own. But, in the end, calling for professional help is the best approach.
Trapping and Killing Woodpeckers
Woodpeckers can be trapped with bird netting and a netting drop system. There are also lethal traps, but there is no point in killing these beautiful birds when you can get rid of them in an ecological way. For lethal methods, there is a need for permits anyway because this bird is protected and a permit can only be obtained when extensive damage has been done to a household. Rat snap tracks are used in this case near the holes made by the birds. The bait can be suet or even peanut butter.
Use of Woodpecker Repellents and Woodpecker Control Services
Woodpecker repellents can be hole fillers, but there are also woodpecker repellent sprays. The sprays will have to be applied over the entire area where the birds dwell. Sprays will prevent future drilling, just like protective paint does. The only problem with sprays and paint can be that they can change the color of the wood and stain it, making it to look bad. The use of other chemicals like mothballs can lead to unpleasant effects for the users, so it is not recommended.
The best way to know what the right approach is for your particular situation is to call woodpecker control experts. If you use specialized pest control services to control the woodpecker population in or around your household, you can avoid the stress of trying different methods yourself.
Additional Woodpecker Control Resources:
Wildlife Nuisance and Damage – Wood Pecker Control by PennState
Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management – Woodpeckers