Under Construction

Woodpeckers may single out a house for drumming, or worse, for a nest or dining site. No one knows for sure what attracts a woodpecker to a house.

  • Each spring, when males set up territories and attract their mates, these woodpeckers make their presence known by "drumming." Normally they pick a resonant dead tree trunk. As more homeowners remove dead trees, woodpeckers may turn to metal gutters, house siding and television antennas.
  • Bugs ladybugs, carpenter ants, carpenter bees may be in hollow spots behind your siding and the woodpeckers are going after them for food.
  • They may simply be looking for a good nest site.
Note: None of these were 100% effective for me.
  • Eliminate insect infestations -- carpenter ants, carpenter bees and cluster flies.
  • You can eliminate the drumming noise by deadening the resonant area. Fill the hollow space with caulk.
  • Make a drum somewhere else: Fasten two overlapping boards, the back board firmly secured and the front (covered with metal sheeting) nailed to it at only one end.
  • Leave dead trees: Cutting down dead and decaying trees deprives these birds of nesting, drumming and food sites, and may force them to take a look at your house.
  • Put out fake owls, but you have to keep moving them. The woodpeckers figure out they’re fake if they nave move.
  • Put up a Feeder: If you have a bird feeder that attracts woodpeckers, you might think removing your feeder will cause the bird to leave. Just the opposite may be true. Keeping a feeder full of suet may encourage the birds not to look at your siding for food.
    Woodpeckers like:
    Nutmeats (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios...), sunflour seeds, dried fruits and whole kerneled corn make an ideal woodpecker food.
    Woodpecker cakes containing things like peanuts, almonds, cracked corn, sunflower hearts, peanut butter are available commercially. You put them in wire mesh holders.
  • Use a few wind chimes around your home. Hopefully, the continuous noise will frighten the woodpecker away and keep them from setting up house.
  • Anything that will flash or reflect light will create an unfriendly environment for the woodpecker. One example could be a spinning pinwheel.

    See: Suit Recipes

Bird Control Products at Absolute Bird Control
Backyard Bird Problems at US Fish & Wildlife Service
Woodpeckers – How To Fix and Prevent Damage | Dengarden

last updated 12 Oct 2006