by Alex A. Kecskes
Woodpeckers will be coming to your home soon—most usually arrive in the spring.
They’ll be in their feeding mode, foraging for food, drilling holes in your beautiful wood and synthetic stucco siding and eaves. They’ll be pecking and drilling in the grooves in board-and-batten siding, digging out insects and trying to attract mates with their incessant pecking. Your home will be at their mercy. If you don’t protect it with woodpecker deterrents, you can say hello to big unsightly holes.
After a while, your wooden shingles, cedar or redwood siding will look like Swiss cheese.
Woodpeckers will also attack your metal or plastic gutters, your chimney caps and TV antennas. The noise they make will drive you crazy--especially in the early morning hours. They’ll also attack your favorite trees, damaging the bark and leaving gaping holes, which can leave your trees vulnerable to predatory insects.
The solution? Forget noisemakers, avicides, BB guns and the like. They’re just temporary measures that can threaten kids, pets and neighbors. Besides, woodpeckers are classified as migratory non-game birds and are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It warns that, “Before any person may take, possess, or transport any migratory bird or its parts, including feathers, eggs, and nest, they must secure a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
All is not lost. There are many effective and humane woodpecker deterrents you can use to protect your property from damage.
For starters, you can invest in a Wood Pecker Deterrent Kit. These offer a low cost solution to most pest bird problems. They include one Bird Repeller Balloon, a 50-foot roll of Flash Tape, and all the hardware you’ll need to hang these deterrents. The deterrents are extremely easy to install, highly effective and very humane.
The Flash Tape Banners can be hung anywhere and will crinkle in the breeze and reflect sunlight to make birds feel too nervous to stick around. Bird Repeller Balloons are big and shiny with a large eye. When these balloons bob and weave in the breeze, woodpeckers will get the feeling they’re being watched by a huge predator. For best results, it’s recommended that you move these visual deterrents around from time to time to keep the birds “on their toes.”
Woodpecker Kits should be used wherever woodpeckers have become a nuisance. You should install the deterrents on the side of your home, under eaves, and in your backyard or front yard to protect your trees. Installation is a snap. Simply install the brackets included in the kit using ordinary screws. Make sure that the brackets are at least 3 feet apart to cover the area where woodpeckers are attacking. Hang the flash tape from the two smaller brackets by tying a knot around the bracket. Cut the flash tape in 3-foot lengths or longer. When installing the Balloon, inflate it, apply the decals, and hang it from the larger bracket.
Another effective woodpecker deterrent is lightweight plastic bird netting. This easy to handle netting works by creating a barrier that physically excludes woodpeckers from specific areas of your home and property. Plastic bird netting comes in several mesh sizes. The most commonly used netting for woodpeckers is a 3/4-inch mesh size. You can also get bird netting in various colors to match your home's exterior. The best place to install bird netting is in overhanging eaves or any other area that offers shelter for birds. When installing the netting, make sure that you secure it tightly to prevent woodpeckers from squeezing their way around the netting’s perimeter.
The secret to keeping woodpeckers away from your home and property is to plan ahead and install woodpecker deterrents early--before the birds show up. Once they decide to make your house their home, it’s a real challenge to get rid of them.