How does one discourage woodpecker from pecking the house?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by omnicat, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    They're cute and all (Downy Woodpeckers), but between them and the squirrels, I think my mom's house going to be eated to the ground by small animals!!
     
  2. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

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    Plant a big dead tree in your yard? We have one and the woodpeckers seem to prefer it overwhelmingly to the house, More bugs there, I guess.
     

  3. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    The house is ON a wooded lot. There are plenty of trees to choose from. How do we discourage them from the "house-tree"? Or, maybe, how to discourage what they're pecking for from trying to live in the wood on the house maybe?
     
  4. suitcase_sally

    suitcase_sally Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I hung aluminum foil on the area they were pecking. Tacked it on with thumb tacks. Worked for me.
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We feed our woodpeckers. They don't bother the buildings. We have downey, red bellied, and a rare red-headed woodpecker at the feeder, plus a couple nut hatches that never leave. Fun to watch them go down the trees headfirst. I hung a cool whip carton with half inch holes cut in the bottom on the tree. Wife makes balls out of cornmeal, peanutbutter, cheap solid shortening, and floor. They can hang on to the tree and eat out of the bottom, but it's very difficult for other birds.

    1 cup cheap peanut butter
    4 cups of yellow corn meal
    1 cup of cheap solid shortening
    1 cup of floor
    Mix and form into balls, then put in freezer until needed
     
  6. mayfair

    mayfair a yard full of chickens

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    My neighbor spreads a cayenne pepper mixture over the spot where they peck his house and that worked for him. This may be cruel, though.

    I found banging back on the inside wall while he is pecking sends the woodpecker away. After a few times he left permanently.
     
  7. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    They have found some bug in your walls that they like. You can spray with a bug killer & repaint. Usually anything else is temporary.
     
  8. Txsteader

    Txsteader Well-Known Member

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    To illustrate how dumb (or persistant) woodpeckers can be.....we have one that sits on the windmill and pecks the metal blades. What a racket when he gets going! For years now, they get on top of the power pole (creosote-soaked!) and rat-a-tat-tat. Can't imagine what they're pecking for up there.

    Good luck with your Mom's house.
     
  9. Clifford

    Clifford Love it, or leave it...

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    If cayene pepper would be considered cruel, then I guess the 12 guage solution out of the question...
     
  10. catahoula

    catahoula Well-Known Member

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    The Washington state fish and game website under the heading of "living with wildlife" has a few suggestions for dealing with woodpeckers. For what it's worth.
     
  11. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I don't think you can. My mother has tried everthing. Rubber snakes, fake owls, aluminum plates, covering holes with metal, EVERYTHING.

    The only thing that worked was a .22 with birdshot bullets. A drastic solution, I grant you, but there doesn't seem to be any other way.

    donsgal
     
  12. TundraGypsy

    TundraGypsy Well-Known Member

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    When you find a sure fire way; let me know. I have several 'flickers' who pound on the upper side of my house and I'm getting so tired of it. I've even considered trying to shoot them; but would leave bigger holes in the house. And I don't think hubby would be very pleased either. :)

    We have a little bungalow below our house and the upper front is full of holes, stuffed with acorns!!
     
  13. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    I tried that, but it hasn't grown an inch.
    Am I doing something wrong? :)
     
  14. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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  15. Wilbursmommy

    Wilbursmommy Well-Known Member

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    We had the same problem when we lived in a subdivision. We only noticed on Saturday mornings because it was on the bedroom corner of the house. Only thing was, the stupid woodpecker wasn't pecking on wood, he would peck repeatedly on the gutter downspouts! My husband used to throw shoes at it. Eventually, it gave up.
     
  16. suitcase_sally

    suitcase_sally Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I love to feed the birds, too. I tried your recipe, but my floors are ceramic so I couldn't get it to mix very well. What kind of floor do you use? Pine or oak? :shrug:

    :) :) :) just kidding.
     
  17. Wildcrofthollow

    Wildcrofthollow Well-Known Member

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    Ok, granted, woodpecker brains aren't that big but they are not stupid. They are most likely not pecking the house for bugs. Woodpeckers find hollow trees (or gutters or aluminum siding) or something that makes a good noise. the noise is a territorial thing. It is called "drumming" and does indeed make quite a racket. They are really saying either "yo baby, very manly woodpecker here" or "hey, man, get outta my space, hear how loud this is? I'm a BIG pecker!"
     
  18. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll pass them on to mom.
     
  19. Salmonberry

    Salmonberry Registered Nut

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    In the Spring they are also hollowing out holes for their nests. Not the best thing for dimensional lumber.

    Salmonberry
     
  20. Sammy

    Sammy Well-Known Member

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    Yup, 12 ga.