Even if you’re not the most avid birdwatcher, you could probably identify a woodpecker—especially if you saw one on or in a tree. If nothing else, you’d recognize their pointy, drill-like beak that they use to make holes of varying sizes in order to find insects to eat, or create a hole big enough to live in.
But aside from being annoying to listen to, all that pecking can do some damage. Here’s what woodpeckers are capable of, and how to (humanely) encourage them to move along to a different area.
What are woodpeckers pecking, and why?
It would be one thing is woodpeckers stuck to pecking trees, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. They can also peck your home, garage, shed, and other structures. This isn’t ideal, because these holes in your home can let in termites, rodents, and other pets, and lead to various types of structural damage.
And sure, they gravitate towards wood, but woodpeckers have also been known to peck gutters, siding, and air conditions. Why peck metal and other non-wood materials? Because woodpeckers also make noise to attract a mate.
But as irritating and destructive as woodpeckers can be, they’re still an important part of your local ecosystem. In other words, you don’t want to do away with them, but you would appreciate if they took their pecking talents elsewhere.
How to get a woodpecker to relocate
Here are a few ways to keep woodpeckers away from your home, without harming them.
Spruce the place up a bit
Woodpeckers love wood that’s rotting, damaged, and/or full of insects, so do what you can to make sure there’s nothing on your home or property that would attract them. This could include replacing any rotting wood on the exterior of your home, filling in holes, and removing any dead and rotting trees or logs on your property.
Scare them away with loud noises
Woodpeckers get startled when they hear loud noises, so if you see one pecking at your house, it can help to go out side (or open a window) and clap or bang on pots or pans to scare it away. They also aren’t fans of wind chimes, so you may want to hang those in areas where you’ve seen woodpeckers in the past.
Scare them away with something bright
If you’ve ever seen a bunch of CDs strung together and draped in someone’s yard, they (probably) were there to ward off some type of animal—possibly woodpeckers. They don’t like colorful, shiny pinwheels either.