by Alex A. Kecskes
You invited friends and neighbors over for your annual Super Bowl party, and before the game, everyone went outside to watch the kids play, enjoy the BBQ and relax. The bad news is that your neighborhood woodpeckers also invited all their friends over—to party on your new wood patio and gazebo. And it seems they’ve been doing it for a while, since your wood now looks like Swiss cheese. Which brought out some choice remarks from your partygoers, like, “Hey, Bud, you got a woodpecker problem?”
As luck would have it, all the talk before the big game was about how to get rid of woodpeckers. This included all manner of off-the-wall suggestions like BB guns, propane cannons, firecrackers, and bird poisons. Needless to say, your better half was not a happy camper. And you got an earful after everyone left. In fact, your after-party “honey do” list got a lot longer. The list now includes, “Replace those hole-riddled beams and get some serious woodpecker control!”
So you do what the man of the house must: you consult the bird control experts. And soon, you become somewhat of an expert yourself, learning that there are as many as 22 species of woodpeckers in North America. The most common being the Downey Woodpecker, the Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, and the Northern Flicker. You further expand your knowledge by discovering that most woodpeckers are attracted to earth-tone or natural-colored stains and paints (which describes your patio cover).
You also discover that woodpeckers like to feast on the very insects concealed in your patio beams. It’s no wonder the little peckerheads were drawn to your patio. Finally, you learn that there are two effective ways to deter woodpeckers from your patio, your gazebo and your home (you’re lucky they didn’t attack your nice wood siding). The two woodpecker deterrents include:
Sonic Woodpecker Deterrents
These devices are easy to set up and will scare the pants off woodpeckers. They broadcast bird distress and predator calls that resemble everyday bird sounds, so they won’t annoy pets or your friends and party guests. One bird sonic system currently available can emit distress and predator calls for 22 different species of birds—so no matter which woodpecker species you have, they’ll get the message and leave. The best sonic bird deterrents will have a built-in speaker, come with a volume control and be programmable to turn on or off at night.
Visual Woodpecker Deterrents
For optimum results, and since woodpeckers have already laid claim to your patio cover and property, you should also consider adding some visual bird deterrents. These include banners that snap in the breeze and reflect sunlight, which makes woodpeckers feel very nervous, and bird scare balloons covered with large predator eyes to make woodpeckers feel observed and hunted by large predators. Visual bird deterrents are relatively inexpensive and easily installed just about anywhere. They even add to the party atmosphere.