OK, so I don't generally like OT subjects...except when they pertain to me I suppose!
Our vacation home has been attacked relentlessly by woodpeckers. Audible repelants don't seem to work. Home is a full log home and they have pecked through the facia before we became aware of them. Anyone faced a similar problem before? Home is unoccupied for long periods, exacerbating the problem.
the problem is that the birds have to hard of a pecker. and probably, they are vacationing wood peckers themselves. its a known fact that the further you get from home, the harder your pecker gets. You need harder wood for your home, or put out some salt peter for the birds. it works just the opisite of viagra. good luck
sorry, but i thought of one more thing that might work. have the woodpeckers travel with their wives, and fly in some real ugly, fat, female woodpeckers to hang around your house. also, give them free food and housing, free cell phones, and more givaways, they will just get fatter and more lazy. hmm, they will become democrats.
Scott; the only reason for a Woodpecker to attack any piece of wood is that the wood is infested with insect or "grub" activity which they associate with food I would have the cabin thoroughly inspected by a reputable entomologist and take his advice on eradicating any pest that may have infested the wood.
G.R. is correct, Woodpeckers 'peck' because there is a food source that they are getting at. Eliminate the source of food and the wood-peckers will go somewhere else.
In a way pecking through the fascia was a good thing...rather than trying to plug the damage, you'll probably be replacing it. Log cabin, eh? Old days it was slather on creosote and call it quits. New way, replace the fascia with borate coated stuff. You buy it at the store it is usually dyed to show it was done...I 'think' if you mix it yourself (and it's body protection stuff when DIY), it comes out clear or near clear.
I have the same problem occasionally up here in the Northwoods. I find a .22 with bird shot works well. There always seems to be one or two birds that do most of the damage. Take those out and the problem isn't nearly as bad. There are insecticides you can mix in with your paint, but I am not sure exactly how effective those really are, or what human side effects they might cause.
Have you looked at the damaged wood closely? Any evidence of insect damage? If so, do as G.R. suggests....if not, there are other reasons:
I haven't been able to find borate to treat lumber. The lumber in my T era house was borate treated, and scrap boards are barely burnable in the gas starter fireplace. There's been no termite damage in those parts, either.
I would have the house tented to kill the termites and other bugs.
Wood peckers also sound as mentioned in the link by Dave. We had one at our camp in New Hampshire that would peck the metal flue pipe for the stove. A rude awakening in the morning.
Scott...Having a log home with all wood exposed whether the log walls, over hang, deck, railings everything is wood of varied species, I too have been under attack by wood peckers of several species. I have been lucky to have shot a few but I have to let them take flight so as not to damage the house. I have tried the hanging owls, spray repellents and all other means offered by many neighbors and pest control experts but to no avail.
21 years later I was at a Car show discussing T's
with a 96 year old farmer and he said why haven't you ever tried putting some rubber imitation snakes at the points that they are pecking at?
I had never had this suggestion but it is worth a try. So in the two most pecked areas which are 48' off the ground I acquired 2 of the most realistic snake from the local Cracker Barrel toy section for kids, and placed them with a small nail at the head and at the tail so they will be in plain view when the visitors come calling.
Well that was 7 months ago and I now have approximately 2 or 3 snakes hidden on each side of the house up high and I have not had a single
woodpecker or any bid for that matter peck even one time since. In the past even when I put a patch wood or metal, the wood peck I off, but no more. Simple, inexpensive but I has worked like a charm. I hope your luck is as good as mine.
An often overlooked woodpecker attractant is vibration that gives the woodpecker the illusion that there are bugs/larvae in the wood. utility wires, fans, wind on loose parts can all cause vibration.
I read an account once where an early telegraph line was built and the operators were immediately descended upon by every woodpecker on the continent, ravaging their poles. The report said they were baffled by the system wide attack, as the birds had no interest in nearby trees or snags. But after careful observation, they realized the wires were carrying a soft humming vibration when even a slight breeze blew, attracting the birds to what they thought was a fluttering vibration of insect wings inside !
The fix was something mechanical (this WAS the 1860's and the chemical industry had yet to bud), but I can't recall the specifics.
to all: thank you
to Larry: I will try the snake routine. The locals here claim that rubber snakes don't work, but I will not argue with your success and will give it a try
regards to all
and to Kevin: it is a trick to eliminate the problem without damaging the house, that's for sure...
Woodpeckers here too. There are no insects that are attracting them but it was just ONE bird (R.I.P.) that did most of the damage. He was drumming on my cedar siding and started a new place every time he landed. He was the only one in 24 years of living here but I live on a forested lot and I did learn to NOT cut down dead trees that cannot hit anything if/when they fall. The WP community seem to like those trees to peck on and leaving them some habitat seems to work for the most part but the term "birdbrain" is well deserved by most of the winged population around here. Had a Robin try all morning to fly through my deck window. When he got tired of flapping his wings fruitlessly in the attempt to fly through the glass he pooped out and rested for a while and then tried again. It went on most of the day. I suspect he is pushing up flowers somewhere but I didn't shoot him but doubt he would last very long if he refuses to fly around the house rather than through it.
I had a dead limb on one of my trees, with several holes,I let them be so the wood peckers would have a place to live. I got my ladder a wood chisel and hammer and made one of the holes square, when my friends came, they all ask about the square hole.I told them that is where two boy woodpeckers live.No body ever questioned me, but said that they had never herd of that.
I had one try for a whole day to peck through my tin chimney cover. I think he was "special".
Here are a couple pictures of what a woodpecker did behind our camp in Alton Bay NH. My dad saw the woodpecker and said it was about a foot tall!
Scott....I failed to mention that they never pecked like they are after bugs to eat but rather they only pecked a 3"-4" hole in the undersides of the overhang in order to get into the area in which to build nests and have their young. They never did do any damage looking for insects. I guess they figured that if we lived there then why couldn't they. Give it a try.
I had the same problem with my home in Northern Michigan. No bugs or infestation of any kind, the woodpeckers just thought something was there and would not give up. Once they started pecking at the board and batten, it sounds hollow, so they keep going.
I hung shiney plastic Christmas ornaments from fishing line (12 to 18 inch lengths) and swivels wherever the woodpeckers were concentrating their efforts. The movement of the ornaments in the wind/breeze and the reflecting light kept them away. The results were almost immediate.
I had done this over 5 years ago and no problems since. The woodpeckers are still in the woods around the house, and you still see them on the trees by the house but they do not bother the house at all. These were/are the BIG pileated woodpeckers.
When lived in west TN, had home with cedar siding, and the woodpecker ( really was a Flicker, in the woodpecker family) made heck with the upper end wall of the 2 story.
Learned that male Flickers make several nests, and let the female pick and choose which one. Dang daddy Flicker even pulled out the Fiberglas insulation from the holes.
Rubber snake trick did the job. Nailed a 3 foot black rubber snake and no more Flicker home holes.