Woodpecker damaging siding


Staff member
Apr 25, 2015
mybiskitgmail-com submitted a new blog post

Woodpecker damaging siding

If you buy house in Evergreen in wooded area be prepared for a battle. The woodpecker battle!

When we bought our house and I have noticed damage on the siding. Holes in perfectly straight lines. They were already filled with a caulk. At first I thought it was just weathered siding but I was told that a woodpecker did that.
I did not realize that I would be dealing with this issue this early on. Well, a month after we moved in, the woodpecker welcomed us with his/her presence. Loud and clear – attacking our siding from any and all sides of the house.
So why is the woodpecker drilling holes in the siding? There are many reasons and it helps to know them so you can identify the problem.
Woodpeckers hammer to attract mates, to establish or to defend territory and search for insect. Another reason is to excavate nesting site. Drumming is most common in spring and according to CPW it usually ends by July 1st. At least I can do repairs when it's warm outside. Thank you woodpeckers! I love birds but the woodpecker can do a lot of damage. It's recommended to fill the holes and repair the damage as soon as possible because existing holes can attract other woodpeckers. Right, good luck doing that in the middle of the winter with snow and ice on the ground when your house is on really steep rocky mountain side.

Drumming: is designed to make noise to attract a mate or to advertise that territory is already claimed. This is usually least damaging behavior but noise can be very annoying.

Nesting: in this case damage is very obvious and limited to one area. The hole will be large and deep.

Feeding: woodpeckers eat insects, especially wood-boring insects, grubs and ants. So they can be drilling into your siding because they want to find a food source there and that's why woodpecker can be damaging your siding. .

Equipped with this information I have realized that we are in trouble. Our siding panels are made of sections and they have hollow seams covered with thin layer of wood. One thing that woodpeckers are searching for are hollow spaces in the wood. The slight tapping or drumming helps them to find hollow spots in hope that wood-boring insect is present. So our siding is perfect for them. Soft wood, hollow spots all over.. That is the reason why the damage done to our siding is laid in perfectly straight lines.

I am not going to change all of the siding. Not anytime soon anyway. I can't cover the entire house. So I will try to make a home for one mean woodpecker in hopes that he will be guarding his area and chasing other woodpeckers away.

Here are some of the most common woodpeckers in our area:

Northern flicker

Red-headed woodpecker

Red-naped sapsucker

Lewis’ woodpecker

Williamson's sapsucker

Hairy woodpecker

Downy woodpecker
(Downy woodpecker is much smaller than Hairy woodpecker)

There are several ways to drive woodpeckers away or try to prevent future damage:

You can try to scare them - a shiny metallic object can be hung around the damaged area. Aluminum foil helps. Some suggest hanging small mirrors around the damaged areas as woodpeckers are territorial and they will scare themselves thinking another woodpecker invaded their territory.

Wood treatments - basically you want to prevent any insect to make their home in your siding. Seal all openings with caulk. You can use wood preservatives that kill insects. They have a really bad taste and that can deter woodpeckers as well.

Providing roosting habitat and nesting area - You can build a nest box and that can help to reduce roosting behavior. You can also provide an easier food source for them. Suet, mealworms and jelly are all good choices that the birds may prefer.

Sound deterrents - you can go the tech route and purchase one of electronic distress call systems. It's actually pretty neat. It has movement detector and when it detects movement it will play distress call of woodpecker followed by sound or predator. Usually some kind of a hawk. One of the examples is BirdXPeller PRO by BirdX.

Woodpeckers are classified as migratory, nongame birds and are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. A federal permit is required before any lethal control methods can be employed. Penalties and fines are assessed to violators.

How to build nest box for Northern Flicker.

Northern Flicker nest box plan

How to build nest box for Downy and Hairy Woodpecker

Downy and Hairy Woodpecker nest box plan
Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
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