Woodpeckers are beautiful, fascinating birds with a unique propensity for pecking on wood. Unfortunately, this noisy habit can be annoying and destructive. Here’s what you need to know about why woodpeckers peck, the damage they can cause, and how to get rid of them.
Why Do Woodpeckers Peck?
Woodpeckers are quite resourceful. They evolved to peck on wood for several reasons, including:
- Attracting mates: Woodpeckers use their pounding racket to attract mates and mark their territory during the breeding season. The pecking can be heard from up to half a mile away, telling prospective mates to come hither and warning rivals to stay away.
- Looking for food: Woodpeckers also peck to find insects, larvae, sap, and nuts embedded in the wood. They use their strong beaks and long, sticky tongues to pull tasty snacks out of the holes they create.
- Building nests: Extensive pecking allows some woodpecker species to excavate holes in tree trunks large enough to build nests and lay eggs.
How Can Woodpeckers Damage Your Home?
Woodpeckers that live deep in the woods target dead tree trunks and diseased branches. Unfortunately, they are also known to drum on roof shingles, wood siding, and metal gutters. Consider the types of damage this can cause:
- Roof damage: Woodpeckers can peck holes straight through your roof. These holes allow water to enter every time it rains and may grant the birds and other pests access to your attic, where they can cause further harm.
- Siding damage: Your siding is also at risk. If a woodpecker manages to drill all the way through, you could end up with water damage, mold growth, and pest infestations.
- Gutter damage: While no amount of drumming will cause holes in your gutters, woodpeckers can certainly dent the metal and promote corrosion.
How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers
If you have a woodpecker problem, try these tips to get them off your property:
- Place a feeder far from the house: You can tempt woodpeckers with a bird feeder in the vicinity to divert their attention away from your house.
- Place pinwheels or owl decoys: Woodpeckers are afraid of reflective objects and birds of prey. Placing pinwheels, owl decoys, or a speaker that emits hawk noises should scare them off.
- Take steps to prevent wood rot: Woodpeckers seek out rotten wood that’s easier to peck through and more likely to contain bugs. By cleaning your gutters and installing gutter guards, you help prevent water damage that can lead to wood rot, preserving your home’s exterior and making it less attractive to woodpeckers.
High Point Gutter offers gutter cleaning and gutter guard installation to help ward off woodpeckers, as well as gutter repair to restore your home’s appearance once the pests are gone. We love what we do, and we’re proud of our work! Rest assured that our gutter specialists receive hands-on training before performing fieldwork. To request gutter services in Snohomish or King County, call our gutter company today at (425) 449-6622 or contact us online.