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We have lived in our house for 4 years and it seems like every spring, a woodpecker decides the side of our house would make a lovely home. This year, our friend has returned. This time however, our usual covering of his hole did not deter him from starting over in different areas.
This year, the bird seems extremely big and strong. It takes him only a few pecks to dig into our siding. (Our neighbor with the same model of house has a HUGE hole in the same spot as ours.) Here is the story of what we finally did (and what didn’t work) to get him to leave our house alone and stop the woodpecker.
Why Did the Woodpecker Choose Us?
I believe the woodpecker chose our house because there is a little strip of siding going horizontally that acts as a perch for him to rest on as he drills.
The first three years of the woodpecker saga quickly ended when my husband nailed a strip of wood over the hole he was pecking, granted it is not pretty (Especially with years of accumulated strips). This year was different in that the wood strip did not stop him. He just stood atop it and started a new hole.
edit: After writing this, I was told that woodpeckers love old wood, so that could have attracted him as well.
Here is what we tried that did not work:
My husband went to all lengths to get the pecking to stop. First, he tried wood putty. The woodpecker did not return the next day at his usual 7am time. We thought he had done it. The next day, he returned. Wood putty: 0.
Next, my husband covered up the new holes with another wood strip and put Vaseline and WD-40 all over the side of the house. Again, there was a pause from the woodpecker, but after two days, he began pecking.
How to Permanently Stop a Woodpecker and Live to Tell About it:
While my husband was thinking up new ideas, such as buying a fake owl, I forced him to go to the hardware store to get some metal flashing that we could hang in all of the woodpecker’s pecking spots. My rational: woodpeckers won’t peck metal.
We bought some flashing, although I had no idea how we were going to hang it up there. Luckily, my husband figured out how to cut it with shears and nail though the soft material (which is really like meld-able lightweight metal.)
After the flashing was hung, we waited to see what would happen. We are now on day four. He is gone. Let’s hope this is a permanent fix for our yearly woodpecker drama.
How to Stop a Woodpecker for the Season:
This may be a more temporary solution, but on one side of the house, my husband put Tabasco and Cayenne Pepper all over the ledge where the bird stands and where he pecks. He has not returned to this spot either. It will wash off eventually, so it may need to be repeated each year.
Here are some ways to make your flashing look more stylish:
The downside to this solution is that it looks a bit ugly. To combat this, you can paint your flashing the same color as your house, or instead of flashing, you could use some decorative metal that you get from a craft store, or even a metal decoration that covers up the problem area. (Maybe an owl lol)
Anyway, these are the solutions that worked for us. I will be sure to update this on the long-term outcome as the years go by!
Do you have any creative solutions for stopping pests? I would love to hear about it in the comments!
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