Repeated tapping noises got your head ringing? It’s not just a headache – it’s a sign you might be dealing with a woodpecker. Woodpeckers are birds – part of the Picidae family – and are most readily identified by their characteristic behavior – pecking and poking away at trees, the sides of buildings or fences to find food, create shelter, communicate with other woodpeckers or display their prowess to find a mate. While they can be a joy for amateur bird watchers to spot, living with woodpeckers near your home or property can lead to property damage and even a loss of sleep or sanity due to repetitive, ceaseless pecking at all hours of the day and night.
Woodpeckers knocking holes in your house?
Are you having woodpecker problems? Call Critter Control today at (574) 825-1079 in South Bend and Elkhart,
or (260) 632-5106 in the Fort Wayne area and our trained staff will be there to help with your woodpecker problems.
Woodpeckers have adapted in such a way that nearly every part of their appearance belies their purpose. Their long, chisel-like beaks are made of three separate layers which help absorb the shock of hammering away at hard surfaces. The sharp end of their bills is kept that way through repeated pecking.
Coloration varies, with muted brown and black tones. Some woodpeckers have white banding or bellies, while others have red stomachs or heads. Woodpecker feathers are typically short to keep them cooler as they hammer away at their intended surface, extending over their nostrils to act as a dust shield against any sawdust that may come at them while they work. Similarly, their third eyelid, or nictitating membrane, closes up before each peck to protect them from any debris that may fly as they bore into wood.
While woodpeckers are found throughout the world, with the exception of the Arctic and Antarctic regions, Australia, New Zealand and Madagascar, some species are native to the United States. They prefer forested and semi-forested areas but have learned to coexist with humans in urban areas, suburban subdivisions and rural homesteads. Simply put, anywhere there’s wood you’re able to find a woodpecker – be it siding, telephone poles or fallen logs.
When woodpeckers descend on your property, you’re as likely to find them drumming away on the side of your home as you are to find them tapping at utility poles or fences. You won’t usually find a woodpecker inside your home, garage or other buildings unless they’ve become lost or trapped. Occasionally a woodpecker will drill a roost hole into the side of your home and break through to an attic or other cavity, but the intent isn’t to invade your space: it’s to create a suitable one for their own nest.
Do I Have a Woodpecker Problem?
It’s not hard to figure out you’ve got a nuisance woodpecker about. The noise of drumming, drilling and pecking will give it away. Woodpeckers work at a fast speed, taking short breaks to allow their beaks to cool down from the activity. The more hollow the wood or facade they peck, the louder it reverberates – a plus for the bird doing the pecking, but not so much for the humans and pets who have to live with the soundtrack.
Woodpeckers aren’t likely to harm people or pets. If they’re hammering at your home or property, it’s likely they’re looking for insects within the wood they’re working on. Because they love to feed on bugs that can cause more damage to your home, it’s advisable to call in an expert if you find a persistent pecker on your property.
Dealing with Woodpeckers
Woodpeckers are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Act Treaty, meaning any DIY attempts to remove them from your property can be met with fines and/or jail time. Some species, like the red cockaded woodpecker or the ivory billed woodpecker are endangered – meaning harsher, stricter penalties if you make the wrong moves in trying to rid your property of them. Anything that harms or kills the birds, even accidentally, carries a harsher penalty, if caught.
So what can you do besides live with the sound of incessant drumming and drilling? A professional can help identify ways to make your property less hospitable to woodpeckers, including getting rid of any insects within your home or outbuildings that may entice these birds to burrow for food.
Other steps include exclusionary measures like covering up bare wood with burlap or foil, painting siding a lighter color and hanging bird deterrents like windsocks and pinwheels – all part of a multifaceted approach to cut down on the noise brought by unwanted woodpeckers on your property.
How We Can Help
The wildlife experts at Critter Control can help you identify and mitigate any insect infestations that may be drawing woodpeckers to your property in search of a tasty meal. They can also help identify ways to make your home, yard or property less desirable to woodpeckers and aid in putting up exclusionary measures that may help keep woodpeckers away.
Trained Critter Control professionals can safely, humanely and legally help you solve your woodpecker problems, making sure the birds move on elsewhere for food, shelter or mating activities. Give us a call today at (574) 825-1079 to get help today.