Prevent Woodpeckers From Ruining Your Home's Siding With These Helpful Tips

Woodpeckers are beautiful birds that can be interesting to listen to and watch, but when they come after your home it's time to redirect them. While many want to attract woodpeckers to their yard, sometimes these birds will peck holes into the exterior wood of your house, causing damage to the siding. Depending on why the woodpeckers are interested in your home, they can be deterred with netting, suet, roosting boxes, and visual stimulants like streamers or reflective objects.

There are several reasons why woodpeckers might be banging on your house and ruining your siding — they might be searching for insects, making an area to nest, or asserting their territory to find a mate. By inspecting the holes and the behavior of the birds, you can determine what methods will work best for repelling them from your home. Quickly fixing the holes with wood putty can also help to keep the birds away. If the damage to your home is already serious, you might want to consider replacing the siding with a vinyl or aluminum option, which are less attractive to woodpeckers.

Identifying why woodpeckers are drilling into your siding

If your feathered friends have started pecking little holes that seem to be randomly placed throughout your siding, they're likely hunting for bugs. This could indicate a pest issue, and it may be a good idea to look into insect control options or contact a professional pest control agency. Meanwhile, bigger, circular holes indicate that the woodpeckers are creating a safe place to nest. Once they've made their nests, you might have to wait until their breeding season is over to start trying to evict them because woodpeckers are federally protected. They will often roost in wood that is rotting, and frequent issues with insects and pecking birds could be signs that your siding is too old.

In some cases, woodpeckers may simply be trying to make a lot of noise to let other birds know they've claimed the space and try to attract a mate. Regardless, once you've figured out why woodpeckers are loudly disturbing your peace, you'll have a better idea of how to drive them away from your home.

Preventing woodpeckers from pecking at your home's siding

If you think your birds are drilling for insects, eliminate the pests. You might also try hanging suet — a food these feathered friends love — in an area away from the side of your house. This will provide an alternate food source and could encourage the birds to leave your siding alone. However, be aware that in summer suet can spoil quickly or melt and get stuck in the birds' feathers. If you suspect the woodpeckers are building a nest, try offering a roosting box for them to lay eggs in instead. While these methods might encourage birds to move away from your siding, they're not foolproof.

With very persistent birds, physical or visual deterrents might be the best option. Try attaching reflective tape, foil, shiny balloons, or other objects that move in the wind to the side of your home. This could scare the birds away. Fruit tree netting can also be used to keep woodpeckers from damaging your home. Install the net so that it is tight and a minimum of 3 inches away from the siding — otherwise the birds will still be able to get through. You must also secure the sides of the net so they don't get caught underneath it. If these solutions don't get rid of the birds and they're causing serious damage, you may need to look into obtaining a federal permit to remove them.