You’ll hear them long before you see the damage they make. If you’ve got a home with wood siding—such as cedar—you may have some uninvited guests. Woodpeckers are hunting for bugs, and those bugs can find plenty of places to hide in your wood siding.
Woodpeckers can cause quite a lot of damage to your home’s exterior as they use their strong, sharp beaks to peck through a wood in search of a meal. If that isn’t enough bad news for you, here’s more. Your homeowners’ insurance will not always cover woodpecker damage.
If you hear them, it’s time to do something right away—even if you don’t see them. And, here’s what you can do about the damage woodpeckers have already done to your home’s siding—depending on how bad that damage is.
HAVE THE WOODPECKERS JUST STARTED?
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says that homes with wood or stucco siding often get the most attention—and damage—from woodpeckers. Their advice about what to do mostly deals with deterrents. Why is that?
Woodpeckers are a protected species. They’re classified as migratory, nongame birds. Woodpeckers are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and can only be controlled with a Federal depredation permit. In other words, you can’t harm them in any way. You can only make your home “unappetizing” to them. Here’s what the Minnesota DNR recommends:
- Start with “scare-eye” balloons. They’re quick and inexpensive, and they work by deterring woodpeckers with a design that resembles a large, predatory bird’s eye. Place them in front of the area where you’ve heard the woodpeckers or can see their damage.
- Flash tape is silver on one side and colored on the other. Its reflective nature and the sound it makes when the wind catches it often frightens away woodpeckers.
- Fake owls can be found at most sporting goods or hunting supply stores. Yes, it’s an easy guess. Woodpeckers and owls are not friends. They’re not cheap, but a fake owl with a mechanical rotating head that actually screeches are often the most effective. And the investment is far less than the cost to repair the damage that woodpeckers can do to your siding.
- Seal the siding. Remove the hiding places for insects, and you’ll remove the reason woodpeckers are making holes in your siding. Linseed oil will repel insects, too.
HAS THE DAMAGE ALREADY BEEN DONE?
It may be time to consider removing the wood siding that’s attracting the bugs—and the woodpeckers. Some homeowners report that even the usually effective deterrents suggested by the Minnesota DNR just don’t work.
If that’s the case, siding contractors can help you kill two birds with one stone. And of course, that’s only an idiom. Those woodpeckers are protected. By that, we mean you can upgrade the property value and beauty of your home, and replace the wood siding with durable vinyl siding. Woodpeckers just aren’t interested in it.
Woodpecker damage can be costly. Don’t wait until you can see the damage. Vinyl siding can solve the problem once and for all. Start the process with a free estimate.