Woodpeckers can be quite a nuisance to homeowners living in wooded, suburban or rural areas. Although beautiful and interesting to watch when you’re taking a morning hike, you may not like the sound of rapping against your home waking you in the morning. Even more troubling are the holes woodpeckers sometimes leave on a home’s exterior. But there are things you can do to deter woodpeckers from damaging your home. Additionally, you can always re-side your home with TruLog™, a durable steel siding option unlikely to attract woodpeckers, but with a realistic faux log look.
Why Do Woodpeckers Peck Holes in Home Siding?
The most common types of material affected by woodpeckers are:
There are three main reasons woodpeckers may be tapping away at your home’s siding:
- Drumming. Woodpeckers mark their territory by “drumming” during the spring season. This activity can leave small holes in the siding or other housing material. Drumming is also used to attract mates. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, woodpeckers are especially fond of drumming on cedar and redwood siding, wood shingles, gutters and posts. These things provide the loudest, most hollow sounds, which the woodpeckers like. Most drumming ceases by July, but that doesn’t make it any less bothersome to homeowners who awake to the tapping as soon as springtime comes around.
- Nesting/roosting. These holes are larger than those left by drumming. You may find multiple nesting/roosting holes, as woodpeckers may try one area and then abandon it for another. Woodpeckers begin building their nesting holes in April or May, so that they can hatch eggs and raise their young. In the fall, they build roosting holes in which to stay warm in the winter ahead.
- Foraging. Woodpeckers may be drilling holes in your siding to get insects buried beneath. Wood-boring insects tend to infest log siding, wood shakes and shingles, and plywood siding.
Federal Protection of Woodpeckers
Woodpeckers are a federally protected species under the North American Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In fact, a wide variety of birds have protection under the MBTA. Certain states also have laws against unpermitted lethal control of woodpeckers. The MBTA prohibits “taking” (killing or using other lethal methods) any bird protected under the Act without a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The MBTA also prohibits selling, exporting, purchasing, possessing or transporting the protected birds.
If you feel compelled to take lethal action against the woodpeckers drumming or roosting on your home’s siding, you must first apply for the permit discussed above. However, US Fish and Wildlife will most likely require you to first try to control the bird with non-lethal means, such as:
- Strips of reflective, shiny plastic that blow in the wind
- Aluminum pie pans
- Birdhouses woodpeckers can use as an alternative
- Retractable electronic spiders
- Noise recordings of woodpecker alert calls
These methods are most effective if you can perform them before the woodpeckers have decided your home is a good drumming/roosting/foraging site. You can find complete lists of non-lethal control methods in the links listed at the bottom of this blog.
How You Can Avoid Home Damage While Living in Woodpecker Habitat
TruLog™ steel log siding is the perfect answer to woodpecker damage. A Cornell Lab study found that aluminum siding in a light color is less likely to be damaged by woodpecker activity. Although the study did not include steel siding, it’s fair to assume steel siding would be just as dent-resistant as aluminum, if not more so. Durable TruLog siding is made of heavy gauge steel that is not prone to dents, holes or bending.
Because of its dent-free durability, TruLog™ is unlikely to attract woodpeckers interested in drumming, nesting or roosting. Additionally, TruLog™ is not vulnerable to insect infestation, so woodpeckers won’t identify your siding as a food source.
To learn more about TruLog™ siding and to receive a free estimate, please call our experienced team at 970-646-4490. We are located in Loveland, CO and ship boxed steel siding directly to you.