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Wanna keep your house in great shape – watch out for those woodpeckers!

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Wanna keep your house in great shape – watch out for those woodpeckers!

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If you’ve experienced having a rat-a-tat-tat on your house then here’s a few things I’ve learned in my many experiences with woodpeckers that might be helpful.

I have a 2-story house that is brick on the bottom part and siding on the top.  And for some reason (unknown to me), the west side of my house seems to attract woodpeckers.  I have repaired SO many holes on the side of my house that I got mighty tired of traipsing up and down the  ladder with my hole repairing tools!  Every year, during the spring, here they come.  Interestingly enough, the little peckers seemed to prefer one particular location as well as one side of the house.  The other side of the house is constructed in exactly the same way but I never had any problems with that side.

First off, repairing holes (that look good when completed) in the siding of the house is a trick unto itself; I tried many different methods but finally stuck with using a metal mesh plate that covers the hole, then using Sheetrock mud to cover, then paint.   (You can purchase these kits at any hardware store or home improvement store.)  Based on the comment below about the protected status of the bird, be sure that you scare the bird out before covering the hole!  Also, if you do happen to cover the hole with the little pecker still in there (not saying that I would ever do such a thing), the bird will just peck his way back out.  And you sure don’t want him pecking his way the wrong direction and poking a hole in your master bedroom wall!

Although the little peckers can sure be frustrating, keep in mind that they are a protected species.  Yes, wouldn’t it be nice to just shoot them – ah, but the law says you can’t!  (This fact about the protected status was  something that I learned along the journey; I didn’t know this from the start of my woodpecker journey (not saying that I would ever shoot the poor little peckers)).

I tried using the “visual scare device”, commonly called a plastic owl with bobbing head.  This worked for a little while, but I had to keep moving the owl and eventually the peckers came back.  It truly was not a long term solution.

At some point in time I got to thinking – WHY do these birds always land in the same general location and poke holes in my house?  AH, HA…my house is a Tudor style home which means that it has cross beams on the outside.  Those little peckers were perching on my cross beams and then pecking away.  Take away the cross beam, the pecker goes away.  At least that was my theory.

SO, I decided that if I was to construct a strip that I could attach to the cross beam with spikes on it that it would keep the little peckers away from perching and finally my problems solved.  I actually purchased some plastic strips and small nails (for spikes) and attached it to the cross beams of my house.

VOILA – I was right!  No more wood peckers.  No place to perch, no place to peck.  SUCCESS.

That was about 2 years ago and I have not had problems since.  Thinking that I had an original idea I actually thought about patenting my grand idea and manufacturing such spikes.  However, I discovered (to my dismay) that there were already patents and someone else had already come up with such.

BUT, it’s still a great idea and if you want to get rid of your woodpeckers you might just google “woodpecker spikes” or “woodpecker controls”.  These spikes are referred-to as “roosting and landing prevention” devices.  Also, these are not very expensive, especially when you consider the hassle and the maintenance costs of repairing holes all the time.

You might wonder, what about the appearance of my house with these spikes sticking out?  Well, as I mentioned previously, my problems were on the second floor of the house and so the spikes are about 20 feet up.  Too far to get a really good look at what it is on the side of my house, and most people don’t go around looking up into the air.

If I ever decide to sell my house, I assure you that I will tell the prospective Buyers that those little spikes are well worth whatever visual anomaly they may be concerned with.  And, if they insist, I’ll happily remove them, but Buyer beware…

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