Woodpeckers

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by desdawg, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    The wooodpeckers have discovered that there are good nesting places in my attic. They are hammering holes in my siding to get into that space. If anyone has ever had this problem I could sure use some advise as to how to stop them. They are very destructive!
    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I've heard of using flashing and other kinds of metal to wrap certain areas --- there's a guide somewhere on the internet which explains how to use the flashing to get the woodpeckers outta there! I also just read a weed or so ago about using some kind of wire cloth to wrap things.

    It will be later this evening, but I'll see if I can find the info, in case no one else posts it.

    Good luck! I love those woodpeckers :D but sure wouldn't want them in my attic!
     

  3. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Generally, woodpeckers make nests during the spring, lay eggs, and after the young are out they abandon the nest. So, this being late summer makes me wonder about their motives. Since some woodpeckers migrate, it would be helpful to find out exactly what kind of woodpecker is doing the damage. Attic spaces are not preferred nesting areas. Woodpeckers usually make deep pocket-like nests. If the action is nesting for the winter, you may succeed by building them a deep pocket bird house and using it to cover the hole in your wall. Pecking is eithernesting, food foraging action, or territory marking. I have a hard time believing you have enough bugs in your siding to be of interest to a hungry pecker.

    Most visual deterrents are less than 50% effective. This would include plastic snakes, mylar ribbons, rubber owls, mirrors, and so on. The "scare eye balloon" is a little better - maybe 60%. You can usually find these at a garden center.

    Recordings of predators are effective for only a few days.

    Ultrasonic and electronic repellers are not effective at all.

    There is a device designed for the garden that could be adapted to this job. The device is called a "scarecrow," I think. It hooks to the garden hose, has a sprinkler mounted on top, and takes a 9 volt battery to operate a motion detector. When the detector is tripped it turns on the sprinkler. The sprinkler motion can be controlled.

    Good luck, these guys are a real pest when they like your house.
     
  4. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    I am in AZ where it is very hot. So at first I thought maybe they were trying to get next to the A/C ducts that are in the attic. But they are doing the same thing in outbuildings that don't have A/C. The woodpeckers have entered several places. They have hammered into the gable ends and they have discovered the "birdblocks" between the rafter ends. Most homes here don't have soffits, just blocks between the rafters at the wall line with holes in them covered with screen material to provide attic ventilation. The birds have picked out the screen which was stapled from behind and enlarged the holes. I have little pieces of fiberglass insulation scattered all over my 3-1/3 acres and siding that is trashed. So something has to give. I was hoping someone might have a remedy short of the 12 gauge.
    We had a well drilled last December so we now have more water here than ever before and we have food outside for the dogs which the birds really like so I guess we have created a habitat without providing proper housing for the woodpecker population. I suppose they are out right now inviting their friends over!
     
  5. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    desdawg, I was unable to find the great website which explained how to get them to move out ... but I did find one which may be even better (in my opinion).

    The approaches they suggest are actually fairly simple --- mirrors, nesting boxes, etc. -- all very doable. Sounds like you'll need to do a combination of things.

    Good luck. ! I have redheaded and pileated woodpeckers here, depending on the season (redheaded early on, then pileated come August). I absolutely adore them --- the redheaded fellows are just sweet as can be and the pileated are true comedians, just like Woody! :D But they don't bother my buildings. I would be very upset if they did. !!
     
  6. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    They're probably not nesting and they're probably not looking for food. I agree with the above posts that they are hammering as a territorial display. Stop feeding the dogs outside. Remove that food source and they'll have less time to play with your insulation as they'll be looking for real food. Other than killing the bird, which may be illegal, you'll have to put up deterants. Metal flashing or 1/4 inch hardware cloth would be your best choices. Try the blow up snakes or plastic owls. You'd need to move them around every week or so or they'll get used to them. Maybe try building them something else to hammer on. Perhaps an old piece of siding hung off a brace from a tree. Just a thought.
     
  7. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Ooops. I forgot to post the link.

    This is what happens when I miss my afternoon tea time. :D

    Woodpecker link!
     
  8. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    For the garden people use old AOL cd's on strings. The flashing and spinning scares them away
     
  9. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions and thank you countrygrrrl for the link. I guess I better get busy as this may be quite a project. I gots to have trees where I live and trees usually mean birds, even in this hot old desert. But I never expected this problem. I have been here for 14 years and this is new. Been feeding dogs outside for 14 years without a problem too. I hauled water for a long time so there wasn't much wasted. Now with the well (586' deep mind you) things have changed. All of the desert creatures want a drink. I have more quail, rabbits, ground squirrels and yes the reptiles like it too. I can deal with all of that but these peckerwoods got me going for sure. LOL, here we go.