If you live in or around a wooded area, chances are you've heard the telltale drumming of woodpeckers against your home. If left to their own devices, these birds can do a lot of damage to homes with wood siding. Therefore, it's important to deter them from your property. Here are some bird friendly ways to keep them from damaging the siding on your home.
Woodpeckers love to eat insects. And since it isn't uncommon for insects to be nesting inside your wood siding, it should come as no surprise that the woodpecker will do what it has to do in order to eat. In fact, this bird will actually tap away on the exterior of trees, listening for the sounds of insects crawling through the wood. Some claim that woodpeckers might even be capable of hearing the sounds of electrical currents, mistaking that for insects inside your walls.
Because the woodpecker will make rows of holes in order to get to their meal of choice, it makes sense to keep the insects away altogether. Consider using an insecticide around your home. Even wood preservatives can prevent the infestation of bugs. Be sure to seal any cracks with caulk. Acrylic latex remains a popular choice for wood siding due to its longevity and the fact that it's paintable.
While it's easy for many people to be distracted by shiny objects, the opposite holds true for the woodpecker. Shiny surfaces tend to scare them away, and there are a few items that work well for this. On the corners of your home—particularly where you've noticed woodpeckers hanging out—attach mirrors, strips of aluminum foil, metallic party streamers, aluminum pie plates, or shiny pinwheels to keep the birds away.
Scarecrows are an awesome way to keep ground animals out of your garden. Since hawks eat woodpeckers, hanging a hawk "scarecrow" from the eave of your home can have essentially the same result. Be sure the hawk is big enough to have the desired effect: 11 inches long with a wingspan of at least 22 inches is a good size.
Plastic netting or mesh can be placed around the area that's attracting the bird, and this will work as a physical barrier. To be effective, it should be hung leaving about three inches of space between your siding and the netting.
New Vinyl Siding
There's no doubt that replacing your home's exterior with vinyl sidings remains an excellent choice for preventing damage from all sorts of animals. Insects can't burrow through it, and woodpeckers certainly can't drill holes through vinyl the way they can wood and stucco. Vinyl also won't dent the way aluminum siding will when drummed by a woodpecker.
Vinyl siding comes in a vast array of colors and styles. Want to maintain that log cabin look? No problem. Some manufacturers have found a way to make this kind of siding from a wooden mold in order to maintain the look and feel of the natural wood grain.
It's also virtually maintenance free and water repellant, so you don't have to worry about using sealants and protectants to keep the critters away.
Woodpeckers tend to establish habitats rather fast, so once they discover a love of your home, it isn't easy to get them to leave. Additionally, woodpeckers in Canada are protected by the Migratory Bird Protection Act, which means they must be handled in ways that are legal. In other words, you can't kill them or trap them without special permission.
Whatever method you choose, act quickly before this bird decides to establish residence on your property. Loud noises can frighten them away, so the simple act of heading outside and banging a couple of pry bars together can work wonders. If you've discovered holes in your siding, repair them quickly or replace the siding altogether so you never have to worry about woodpeckers again.