Woodpecker Damage

The woodpecker has a strong beak that can bore into a tree and pull out a grub and stab and eat it. Its feet are equipped with toes that curl into the tree as a strong anchor although the constant tapping into the tree can damage the woodpeckers’ brain, these birds have a shield that protects the brain from banging back and forth and becoming damaged.

These are very resourceful birds and build nests in trees and in the sides of metal or wooden structures they then make a nest that they use throughout the year. Bore a hole in the side of the house or other structures and sometimes going through outer wall and boring through the sheet rock and into your home. Woodpeckers can even bore a hole into stucco siding!  They leave unsightly holes in the wood and can damage young trees to the point they will die. Larger old trees where woodpeckers have foraged look like they were shot with a machine gun. This woodpecker damage to your home or other wooden structures is unsightly and can cause water to build up in the outer sections of your property.

In most cases, when woodpeckers start pecking on the sides of homes, log cabins, trees, fences, eaves or other types of structures or buildings will occur during spring when woodpecker mating season begins.  The pecking that we hear is a woodpeckers’ way of producing a mating call to attract other woodpeckers. 

There are many different woodpecker control methods on the market to solve woodpecker problems around your home, trees or other structures.  It is critical that you contact a woodpecker control and exclusion professional to ensure that the woodpecker problem is solved correctly and does not create additional pest or bird problems.  

Control Options Strategies

  • Installation of ¾” bird netting in affected areas

  • Building modification and alteration

  • Sounds Units (various options)

  • Visual Scare Devices (various options)

  • Taste Deterrents

  • Holes can be filled

  • Holes can be covered with aluminum or Plexiglas

  • Applications of protective spray in and around affected areas

  • Woodpecker Houses for relocation 

Woodpecker control plan requires several factors to consider: 

  • How long has the bird problem been going on for?

  • How severe is the bird problem?

  • How much will it cost to resolve the bird problem?

  • How many birds are acceptable (threshold)?

  • What type of damage are the birds causing?

  • Are the birds creating a health issue?

  • Are there any liability issues due to the bird infestation?

There are special birdhouses you can buy and lure the woodpecker away from your home or property and woodpeckers will use these bird houses as their home. You can lure the woodpecker away from your home by providing a better food source for them. In the areas where you want to lure the woodpeckers to, you can use jelly or meal worms to attract them to the new area where the woodpecker house is established. If you have a fallen tree in your yard you can place the new home near it and bait the tree so that they can nest in the spot you provided and still have an area where they can peck without damaging your property.

Woodpeckers and other animals have to find places to nest and hunt for food, as we cut down trees and build homes or businesses in the areas where they live and nest. We have to find a way to help make sure they can eat and nest but not destroy our homes and businesses. With a little thought and some work you can provide them an area where they can live and not damage your property.

Call Aviaway and have us check the holes to see if you have an insect infestation that is providing the birds a food source. Resolve the infestation and then plug the holes with wood putty or foam. But if it is in the spring time check the nest for eggs and hatch lings if they are there you will have to wait until they leave the nest to close the hole. This goes back to the killing of these birds as being illegal.

Once you have your area ready you can try adding the strips of aluminum, to chase them to the area that you want them to move to. By doing this you can help them by discouraging them from the side of your home and help them find the new space you have created.

If you have tried everything and build them a home and they are still pecking at your home, you may have to call in the wildlife control professional and have them help you with the woodpecker problem. Woodpecker control professionals may advise you on how to relocate the woodpeckers to more desirable places away from your home or structure.  Further, the bird control expert will plan out different control methods to stop the pecking into your home and creating further woodpecker damage.  

Whatever method you choose remember animals and humans have to live in the same areas and we as the more intelligent species have to make sure that these animals survive as we remove their feeding and nesting grounds to build more homes and businesses. By providing the birds with a place to live and making sure that they don't destroy your home. You can still enjoy the site of these creatures and the rhythmic sounds of their pecking, as you sip your morning coffee or relax in your yard.

Please be aware that all species of woodpeckers are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.