Understanding Real Estate

How To Deal With A Destructive Woodpecker On Your Property

by Lauren Peck

Woodpeckers are pretty birds that are fun to watch when they're in your trees temporarily. When a woodpecker decides to stay in your yard permanently, you could have trouble on your hands since a woodpecker can damage your siding or roof. However, because woodpeckers are protected by federal and state laws, you can't kill, harm, or trap them. Instead, you may need to call a pest control or wildlife control expert to drive the woodpecker away. Here are some things they might try.

Replace Rotted Fascia Boards

It's common for fascia boards to get wet from backed-up gutters or other reasons and then start to rot. When they rot, insects move in and burrow in the wood. This creates an ideal feeding ground for a woodpecker. When the bird pecks at the rotted board to get a meal, they can cause a lot of damage since the wood is weak. By replacing the board with strong, dry material that is free from bugs, the woodpecker may move to better feeding grounds.

Apply Insect Treatments

If your home has an insect problem, the bugs might be attracting the woodpecker. You might need pest control treatments to eliminate bugs around your house, especially bugs that burrow into your siding and roof. The pest control expert might also suggest you remove tree limbs near your house and get rid of mulch around your foundation as these attracts bugs. You might even want to set up a bird feeder for the woodpecker on the far edge of your property to lure the bird away from your house.

Set Up Deterrents

There are several types of deterrents you can place around the house that scare woodpeckers but don't hurt them. This includes light things that blow in the breeze like aluminum pie pans on strings or a windsock. The pest control person might also set up reflective ribbons or mirrors to reflect light that might scare the bird.

They might add a fake owl to your roof or use a sound machine that makes loud noises or that makes sounds like a distress call of a woodpecker. By setting up several deterrents at once or adding to the setup daily, the woodpecker might leave for a more peaceful place to rest and hunt for food.

Once your bothersome woodpecker has left, you'll want to fill in the holes they made so your siding or roof doesn't leak. You might also want to leave a few deterrents up that don't detract from the appearance of your property so the woodpecker doesn't decide to come back.

The wildlife professional or pest control expert can also give you a few woodpecker management pointers concerning things you can do around your property to make it less interesting to woodpeckers.