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How to Deter a Woodpecker

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Susan in Pennsylvania is dealing with a woodpecker, except it’s not Woody the Woodpecker giving her the heh-heh-heh-heh-heh.

    Although he might be, as he’s making holes in your house. What’s going on, Susan?

    SUSAN: Well, thank you very much for taking my call. I’ve learned so much from listening to this show. I live with my daughter and son-in-law and there is a woodpecker every morning. He comes and has breakfast, compliments of our home. And my son-in-law has looked and there is damage and of course, he’s going to have that taken care of. But we’re trying to find out how do we deter this woodpecker from coming back or just picking another spot.

    TOM: Does he generally like to pick the same kind of spot?

    SUSAN: Yeah. He seems to be right over top of their bedroom, right in that area on the side of the house.

    TOM: Oh, great. So it can wake them up in the morning.

    Alright. So, let me give you a couple of things that you can try that are really easy. One of which is to get some tin pie plates, like the aluminum pie plates. Hang them from fishing line or sort of a thin cord or something so that they sort of dangle in the area where the woodpecker likes to hang out. Because they really are annoying to the birds and they don’t like to see their reflection; they think there’s other birds around. And sometimes, that’s all it takes to make them go away.

    Another thing that you can do is you could take strips of a plastic Hefty bag, cut it into 3-inch strips so that it kind of blows around in the breeze. That kind of has the freak-out effect. And neither of these, obviously, hurt the birds. You don’t want to leave them on for very long but they do work pretty well at keeping the woodpeckers away from your house. And maybe they’ll just decide that, you know, your neighbor’s house is a better place to be.

    SUSAN: Oh. OK. That’s fantastic. Yes.

    LESLIE: I had a woodpecker put a pretty nice-size hole in the soffit material of my home. And I was re-siding and changing out all of the soffit material for one of those AZEK type of extruded PVC product that looks like wood but obviously, the woodpecker is not going to eat it. So I didn’t bother repairing this pretty nice-size hole that the woodpecker made. And in the process of the work happening, before that soffit and fascia material came off, a whole family of squirrels moved in.

    SUSAN: Oh, aren’t you lucky? Well, thank you very much.

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