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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Woodpeckers probably aren't hurting your house

Red bellied Woodpecker
Woodpeckers peck on houses for two reasons. First, searching for insects, in which case the holes are small. Not much damage is being done. A dead tree, left standing, is much more appealing. If this is happening, the wood of your house is staying damp, attracting insects. This leads to wood rot. Check for water leaks, and thank woodpeckers for alerting you.

Sometimes, woodpeckers will peck hard on a metal part of a house. They've found that their noise is amplified greatly. This happens early in mating season and marks a  territory.

Very rarely, woodpeckers may be creating a nest cavity. Although quite rare, it can cause serious damage. Fake owls or snakes don’t work at all. They don't move, which is what scares birds away. Save your money.

Instead, suggests Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology, try tacking up brightly-colored or shiny ribbons (about 4–5 ft. long) that can blow around with the wind. Their motion should shoo Woodpeckers away, and they can usually be taken down after a few days, allowing you to check for the real problem.



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