Q:

How do you stop woodpeckers from causing damage?

A:

Quick Answer

The easiest way to prevent woodpecker damage is to redirect the birds to more suitable sites for drumming, feeding and nesting. If redirection does not work, people can try scaring the birds, covering the wood the birds like to peck or using owl and hawk decoys.

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Full Answer

Most woodpecker damage comes from the birds' feeding and nesting. When woodpeckers feed, they pry or drill into wood to extract larvae, beetles and other insects. Feeding holes are usually shallow but can cause extensive damage. Woodpeckers nest in cavities and make deep holes or enlarge existing ones for this purpose. Drumming to attract a mate or warn other woodpeckers from the territory usually causes little damage but may annoy people because of the noise.

Providing feeding stations and nest boxes may lure woodpeckers away from pecking on wooden structures, and pest control services can remove food insects that may be attracting them to a house. If necessary, a homeowner can remove large trees near the house or the birds' pecking sites to reduce available cover and encourage the birds to seek habitat further away. Other tactics include putting reflective or randomly moving objects near the birds' pecking sites or using recorded bird alarm calls to scare woodpeckers away.

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