How to Stop Woodpeckers From Pecking Your Home And Repair the Holes

Hairy woodpeckers like this one like to peck on houses

Woodpeckers pecking on your home’s exterior may be one of the most annoying sounds in the world.

We want to help you stop woodpecker pecking, or at least minimize it!

In this post, you can find out why they peck, how to stop it, and how Tribble Painting Company can replace the wood with our carpentry service.

The Ultimate Guide to Outsmarting Woodpeckers

Ever found yourself wondering why your peaceful home suddenly sounds like a percussion studio?

Or why those mysterious holes are appearing on your beautiful siding?

If you’re nodding in agreement, you’re not alone.

In this post, we’ll dive into the world of woodpeckers and discover effective ways to prevent woodpeckers from damaging your home and repair any existing holes.

Get ready to learn some handy tips and tricks that will save your home from these peckish birds and restore it to its pristine condition!

Understanding Woodpecker Behavior: Why Woodpeckers Peck On Your House

Woodpeckers, though fascinating birds, can be a real headache for homeowners. 

Their pecking, driven by various motives such as attracting mates, finding food, or seeking shelter, often leaves behind unsightly woodpecker damage. 

In Ann Arbor, MI, where natural habitats are abundant, these birds are especially active.

Reasons for Pecking

  • Attracting Mates: Woodpeckers are known to peck to create a loud, rhythmic sound that attracts potential mates.
  • Nesting: In the quest for a cozy nesting spot, woodpeckers often carve out large, round holes in our homes, similar to holes made by carpenter bees.
  • Feeding: Hunting for insects like termites or bees often leads them to peck at your siding.
  • Shelter: Seeking refuge, woodpeckers can create larger holes to roost.

Reasons for Hammering

  • Loud Noise: This is all about marking their territory.
  • Excavating Nests: Similar to nesting, but more about creating the actual living space.
  • Feeding on Insects: Houses can, unfortunately, be a hotspot for dead insects that woodpeckers love.
  • Storing Food: In some regions, woodpeckers store food in the holes they create.

Effective Woodpecker Deterrents: How to Stop Woodpeckers From Pecking Your House

When it comes to deterring these feathered percussionists, a variety of tactics can be employed:

Physical Barriers

  • Chicken Wire or Metal Flashing: These can cover the pecked areas effectively. 
  • Burlap or Bird Netting: A softer option, yet effective.
  • Switch to a More Durable Exterior Material: If possible, try replacing the damaged area with a more resilient material, for example, you can substitute natural wood with a composite material like Hardie Plank

Note: Remember that you may need to replace or rotate through different physical barriers multiple times! 

As noted by Tribble Painting Company president Todd Tribble:
For the 14-plus years I’ve lived in our current house, I’ve replaced the same corner boards three times. I also hear them pecking at the metal chimney cap. They are creatures of habit and very persistent.”

Visual Deterrents

  • Metallic Items and Reflective Tape: Their shine and movement in the wind deter woodpeckers.
  • Windsocks, Pinwheels, and Helium Balloons: Their movement and colors are great for keeping woodpeckers at bay.

Auditory Deterrents

  • Sonic Devices: Emitting sounds unpleasant to woodpeckers can help. This could be something as simple as wind chimes near the area.

Scare Tactics

  • Owl Statues and Streamers: These mimic the natural predators of woodpeckers and scare woodpeckers away. You can find owl statues here.

Environmental Modifications

  • Trimming Trees: Reduces the woodpeckers’ natural habitat near your home.
  • Opt for Light-Colored Sidings: Research shows that lighter-colored sidings attract fewer woodpeckers.

Repairing Woodpecker Damage

While deterrents are essential, repairing existing damage is equally important.

Woodpecker holes that need repairing

How to Fix Woodpecker Holes: A Step-by-Step Guide to DIY Repair

Tools & Materials

  • Cat’s claw or pry bar
  • Tape measure
  • Spackling knife
  • Sanding sponge
  • Pencil
  • Speed square
  • Types of saws you can use:
    • Circular saw
    • Miter saw
    • Cut off saw
    • Sawzall (AKA reciprocating saw)
    • Table saw
    • Jigsaw
  • Utility knife
  • Extension ladder (16-feet to 40-feet depending on the location of the repair)
  • Hammer (or nail gun)
  • Nails and or Screws
  • Screw gun
  • Caulk gun 
  • Paintbrush
  • 4-inch roller handle and cover
  • Wood epoxy
  • Paint or stain (Depending on what is used on the area where the woodpecker damage is found.)
  • Caulk

Steps to Fix Woodpecker Holes

  1. Assess the Damage: Decide whether to repair or replace the damaged boards. If the wood is rotten, follow our guide on how to repair rotting wood
  2. For Replacement: Take measurements of the boards you will need to replace
  3. For Repairing: Determine based on the size of the hole if you will caulk (small holes), patch with wood epoxy (medium holes), or replace (large holes).
  4. Removal: Cut out or remove the damaged boards
  5. Type of Material: Decide if you’re going to use wood or switch to a composite material (e.g., Hardie plank)
  6. Cutting to Size: Cut the replacement boards to fit
  7. Prime the Wood: If the replacement boards are wood, prime the boards on all six sides
  8. Installation: Install the boards using the appropriate nails, screws, or glue
  9. Caulking: Caulk the seams of the new boards
  10. Finishing Touches: Paint or stain the repaired area to match the existing exterior.

How to Keep Woodpeckers From Returning

  • Maintain Deterrents: Even after repairs, keep deterrents in place to prevent future woodpecker damage.
  • Regular Inspection: Stay vigilant and inspect your home regularly for signs of woodpecker activity.

Important Considerations and Precautions

  • Nesting Seasons: Be mindful of woodpecker nesting seasons when attempting to deter them.
  • Avoid Harmful Repellents: Sticky substances can harm woodpeckers or other birds and should never be used. Harming woodpeckers could potentially violate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which includes some species of woodpeckers.
  • Check for Trapped Birds: Ensure no birds are trapped during repair or deterrent installations.

Tribble Painting Can Fix Woodpecker Holes and Paint Your Home

After understanding woodpecker behavior and exploring various deterrents and repair methods, it’s clear that dealing with nuisance woodpeckers can be quite a task. 

But don’t worry, Tribble Painting Company is here to help with all your woodpecker hole repair and carpentry needs in Ann Arbor, MI. 

We provide professional services, including exterior painting, to restore the beauty of your home without the hassle. 

Ready to get started? 

Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call for top-notch service and peace of mind!

You May Also Like To Know

Share the Post:

Related Posts