So, you’re having a northern flicker woodpecker problem. These birds are pecking at your house, but since they are a protected species under the Migratory Birds Convention Act in Alberta, you must be gentle in your approach when taking care of the problem. In order to combat this nuisance, you must first understand the woodpeckers’ yearly patterns. Springtime means nesting time, and your wood siding is just the place to nest their babies, and to hunt for and store food. Unfortunately, woodpeckers will continue searching for food in your siding throughout the rest of the year, even into the winter.
Let’s find out more about what attracts the woodpecker and what you can do to protect your home’s siding in Calgary from the northern flicker woodpecker.
What draws the woodpecker
Homeowners who new to woodpeckers pecking at the side of their homes may not know that they are pecking to find their favorite source of food: bugs. Bug-infested homes are prime targets, as these structures provide easy access to bugs. While having a woodpecker making holes in your house is annoying, there is a bright side in that noticing a woodpecker taking a liking to your siding can also alert you to a bug problem.
How to protect your home
Here are some tips to help you protect your siding from woodpecker-related damage:
- Eliminate bugs: One of the best ways to avoid woodpeckers and keep your siding intact is to keep your house free of bugs. However, you might not be aware of an insect infestation until a woodpecker starts trying to move in. Call a bug exterminator to inspect for critters before the bird can make a nest. No bugs will likely mean no woodpeckers!
- Prevent nesting: Since the northern flicker woodpecker is a protected species in Calgary, once they nest and lay eggs, you cannot remove them until the babies have left the nest. Sometimes a woodpecker pecks a large hole into siding to live, or builds a nest inside your vents. The way to prevent nesting in these spaces is to cover them up with something like reflective tape, mesh or lightweight netting, or plug the holes with wood putty. Make sure no birds or nests are inside first!
- Scare them away with loud noises: Most woodpeckers don’t like loud noises—other than their own pecking, of course! Consider setting up motion sensor noise machines that make loud, annoying sounds every time one tries to land on your siding, such as a crack or recordings of a woodpecker in distress fleeing a bird of prey.
- Deter them with visuals: Many homeowners have had luck deterring woodpeckers with plastic snakes and plastic molds of predatory birds like owls and hawks. Windsocks, pinwheels, strips of aluminum or reflective tape and shiny Mylar balloons can also work.
While the northern flicker woodpecker is protected, that doesn’t mean you should let them peck away at your siding in Calgary. Even though you have done all that you can to deter woodpeckers from finding a home your property, too many years of bird damage may mean your siding needs to be replaced. For residential wood and vinyl siding installation, call the professionals at Rhino Exteriors!