Woodpecker Damage

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by tallpines, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    A woods in Wisconsin
    40 acres od woods and they gotta peck at the cabin.
    They (or one of them) is doing lots of damage.
    How do we stop it?
     
  2. Jessikate

    Jessikate Well-Known Member

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    OK so this sounds a bit cruel, but dad would shoot one and thow it on the roof to warn off the other ones, I can't remember if it worked though....
     

  3. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I have a tin roof and steel doors, and every year at this time, a woodpecker decides he/she MUST start pecking on either the steel doors or the tin roof.

    :rolleyes:

    I've never actually seen any of them after they've pecked for a while, but have to admit I get these Looney Toon visions of Woody Woodpecker with a bent beak.

    One started in yesterday on the back door and was really going to town, so I went and opened the door on him, and that finally chased him away.

    :rolleyes:

    IOW, sorry, but I'm of no help whatsoever. Wait for gobug to show up --- he'll know what to do! :D
     
  4. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn't call them woodpeckers...

    Its not nice to make fun of an animals prosthesis.
     
  5. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    Arizona
    I asked the same question in a thread not long ago. Search "Woodpeckers". I received some suggestions but to this day I haven't cured the problem. Sure got them woodpeckers PO'ed for a while though. What I wound up doing was installing screen over the birdblocks between my rafter tails (the birds were knocking out the screens and enlarging the hole so they could nest in my ceilings), hanging coffee can lids and pie tins with wire so they swing and spin in the wind (someone suggested using old CD's but I didn't have any). They are banging against the house in the wind as I write this. I even reverted to my native tongue (profanity) and all to no avail. So if you find something that works I am ready to hear it. I am about ready to get some bids to stucco the house. Meanwhile I have holes in my siding. Since they couldn't get through the birdblocks they found other hollow spots. Actually what I have noticed is that wherever I have a piece of trim like 1 X 4 around a window where they can get their feet to grip, that is where they do their work. So if I take all of the trim off the house I should be OK, right? Maybe a piece of quarter round across the top trim, but they might be able to hang on to that too. I haven't tried it yet. Maybe a sheet metal drip cap? Anyway, I feel for you, but I haven't found the answer.
     
  6. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird Well-Known Member

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    I live on 5 acres of BIG oak trees and the only woodpecker damage to our house is where DH tried to shoot one off the front of the garage with a shotgun! :rolleyes:

    Needless to say, he's never heard the end of THAT one! :haha:

    Seriously, we've had a few try to attack the house, but usually if I catch them in the act and scare the daylights out of them by yelling or throwing something at them, they usually quit after a couple of tries. Smack the side of the house good and loud with a broom and they take off pretty quick! :eek:

    What kinds do you have? We have red-headed, downy, red-bellied, piliated, and some flickers as well.

    H'bird
     
  7. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try buying a rubber snake and hanging it out side the place where the damage is. Or we used an plastic owl that the head rotates on , place it on a post close to the damage . The wind blows the head around... It looks real. It worked for us. Good luck.
     
  8. Grandma's Cabin

    Grandma's Cabin Well-Known Member

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    We used a super soaker (big air pump squirt gun)

    Took a bit of persistance, but after 6 or 8 times, he decided it wasn't worth getting soaked each time.

    Grandma at the cabin
     
  9. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

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    The woodpecker isnt doing the damage. The ants , termites or other insects nesting in the cabin wood is doing the real damage and providing a foodsource that the woodpecker is trying to get to. Instead of cursing the bird, thank it for bringing your attention to the potential decay in your homes structure.
     
  10. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    In addition to real bugs in your walls, I've also heard that wiring sends out vibrations the woodpeckers home in on. When we had one going after our cabin we discovered a HUGE nest of those black wood boring ants (AAAAA!!!!). Had we not, plan B was to cut power to the cabin for a couple of days and see if they left it alone.
     
  11. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You must be South a bit. The pecking usually starts in March in CO and is mostly over by May when they have nested and laid eggs.

    Do you know the kind of woodpecker? A flicker has a red bandana marking on its neck. It is the primary pecker on structures in our area.

    They are not pecking for food.

    They peck because they are marking their territory. Your structure, and the metal mentioned in some of the postings above, make a macho woodpecker sound. Here, it is also part of the mating ritual. I wonder, if it is the same species, whether they are just marking territory or going through another mating routine.

    I'm guessing they have recently migrated to your area. Sometimes in CO they spend the winter and don't migrate. Regardless, they (all woodpeckers) are protected by Federal Law and International treaty. Which means you cannot hunt them. But since they are attacking your home, you can use force to defend it. Which means a pellet gun would be technically legal if you shoot the bird on your house. This is the simplest way to deal with the critter. I prefer not to kill birds, but sometimes the damage is so great you have to take control. I worked on one thin wall stucco (EIFS) here in CO that had 300 holes. The thin wall stucco is like a drum skin stretched tight over the wall. They love it. We added a thick layer of real stucco.

    Rubber and plastic predators don't work very well. Birds are really smarter than that. Ultrasonic repellers don't work either (they are illegal in CO because our AG actually tests them and considers them fraudulent since their claims cannot be substantiated). A customer bought and installed a $3000 system with recordings of different predator birds, complete with speakers and motion detectors. It worked for two weeks. I guess they figured it out.

    Scare eye balloons have about a 50% success rate if placed well. Large mirrors, and mylar streamers have about the same rate of success.

    I have often wondered if one of these motion detector sprinkler devices could be aimed at the area being damaged. I wish I had time to modify one so it could be placed on the side of a structure.

    The most effective method would be to alter the structure so it didn't sound so good, or prevent access. Unfortunately, that is never easy.

    A net from the eves to about head level would work well if it doesn't present access/egress problems. You can find the netting in 4 foot rolls at home deport, but it isn't a convenient size to use for this purpose. Fruit tree netting is not as strong but would work for at least a while.

    good luck
     
  12. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    To kill one here you need a permit.They dont issue permits.Neighbor was told by Fish and game if they kill one,its BIG trouble with the law and they take it real serious.So check your laws carefully first.
    BooBoo
     
  13. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    A woods in Wisconsin
    Its a Downy Woodpecker.
    Its mate stays close by during the pecking session.
    We are north-----in Wisconsin----130 miles east of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

    Laws??? In the middle of OUR woods? Imagine THAT!

    No pecking yet this morning---DH hung out a couple of suet blocks last night in hopes it would go for them instead.

    I was hoping there was some sort of 'bitter spray in a can' specifically for detering woodpeckers.

    We have lots of woodpeckers---red-bellied, Downy, Hairy and Pilated-----but this is the first occurence with damage.

    Thankfully its the cabin and NOT the house (the cabin was built first and we lived in it a couple of years while building the house) but the house has the SAME wood siding, so, it may be next.

    I appreciate all your comments.