a tree in front of a house

Woodpeckers and the Siding They Love

Woodpeckers are beautiful birds—and they're an amazing example of specialized behavior. When woodpeckers 'peck', they impact their target up to 22 times per second!

If you have woodpeckers hammering on your Georgia home, you know first-hand how much damage these little nature miracles can cause.

Unfortunately, the amount of tools available to deal with this problem is limited (especially in big cities like Atlanta). Woodpeckers are a protected species, so any kind of lethal action is off the table. Instead, your solutions will be restricted to deterrence or distraction. There are many deterrents sold in stores, but most of them are of little to no value. Birds have a limited sense of smell, so products like pepper spray are only mildly effective. Products, which affect the taste of paint or siding, are often useless, as the woodpeckers don't actually eat the material they drill.

If you don't want to deal with the hassle yourself, contact a local pest control service.

However, if you do want to tackle this project on your own— start by determining why the woodpeckers are there in the first place. A number of organizations (such as the Audobon Society) provide in-depth guides to determining why woodpeckers single out certain types of homes.

Looking for Food

Unlike a carpenter ant or termite, woodpeckers do not eat wood pulp. Instead, they are looking for insects hiding on, behind, or inside the siding of your home. Material such as cedar shingles and T-111 are especially prone to this kind of activity, as their distinctive grooves and cracks provide nooks and crannies where insects can huddle or build cocoons.

If the woodpecker is drilling small holes in relatively straight lines along the details of your siding, then they're likely hunting for a snack. By treating the outside of your home to kill any insects nesting along your siding, you can effectively remove the six legged buffet that's drawing the woodpeckers there in the first place.

Looking for Love

If you're seeing a cluster of very small holes or just dents on the surface of the siding, then your pesky bird is likely "drumming" to attract a mate. This activity is meant solely to generate noise. It is especially common in the spring and with materials such as aluminum that create a nice, hollow sound.

Drumming activities are usually extremely short-lived (Think: A week or two). If that's not fast enough for your taste, the best plan is deterrence. Cover the affected part of your home with a plastic tarp or even a garbage bag. The plastic makes it hard for woodpeckers to hold onto the siding. If you leave the bottom of the tarp loose, it will create a loud flapping noise that will scare the woodpeckers off. For areas that are too high to reach safely, use a shiny, helium-filled mylar balloon on a string.

Under Construction

Finally, woodpeckers may be looking to build a nest or roost in the side of your home. This is a common occurrence when it comes to homes that have natural wood siding (especially those with a dark brown stain). Nesting holes most often appear during breeding season—late April or early May—or shortly before winter.

The easiest solution is to mount a woodpecker birdhouse to the side of your home. Woodpeckers would much rather move into a pre-fab home (and spend their time searching for food) than take the time to burrow their own nest on the side of your home.

If for any reason they're hesitant about moving in, use the coverage suggestions mentioned above to help encourage them to relocate.

Whether it be woodpeckers, rodents, or pests like cockroaches, termites, or mosquitoes, Breda's got you covered. Request a consultation today.