Woodpeckers may look cute, but they can do a lot of damage to a log home. There are over 120 species of woodpeckers and all of them share one thing in common – they love to drill holes in wood. Thankfully they usually go for trees, but in some cases the logs of your home may seem much more attractive.
When dealing with woodpeckers, it’s important to know that these birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as well as by some state laws too. This means you cannot trap, kill, or use toxic products to remove them unless you have obtained a special permit, which is very hard to get.
The best methods for dealing with woodpeckers that are damaging your log home is to determine why they’ve chosen your home, then use the right deterrents to keep them away.
You might be tempted to install a few fake owls or other scare devices as a quick fix, but we suggest saving your money. They’ll work for a few days, at most, then the woodpeckers will wise up and ignore them. Non-lethal trapping and releasing doesn’t always work either, as woodpeckers are very territorial and will find their way back within a few days.
When log home owners in California, Idaho or the Western United States contact us about removing woodpeckers one of the first things we do is inspect the home. There could be underlying issues that are attracting woodpeckers, such as bug infestations or wood rot.
Why do woodpeckers attack log homes?
Since woodpeckers love to eat wood-boring insects such as termites, carpenter ants or grubs, if you have an infestation it’s like declaring an open buffet for the hungry birds. Woodpeckers are incredibly intelligent birds and can actually hear the movement of insects inside wood. Watch them pecking, if you see them stop and turn their head from time to time, they are listening for movement to pinpoint the bug’s location.
Log damage or log rot is also an issue that can lead to woodpeckers visiting your home. When rot begins to take hold, insects such as carpenter ants, termites and grubs move in.
If you suspect insects or wood rot are damaging your home, check out this article, How to Keep Bugs Out of Your Log Home, or give Prolog Restoration a call for a log home inspection and expert advice.
Birdfeeders set up too close to your log home can be another reason you’ve got woodpeckers. If you love putting out bird feeders, and have ones for woodpeckers that contain suet, don’t hang them close to the home. In fact, if you have a feeder and notice more woodpeckers visiting the area, it’s a good idea to provide the woodpeckers with a home of their own, a woodpecker house, so there’s no reason for them to use yours for food and shelter.
What do I need to scare away woodpeckers?
If you rule out insect damage, wood rot or other underlying causes for woodpeckers and they still keep damaging your home, here’s a few ideas to discourage them.
Metal sheeting covering the damaged areas not only protects the wood but makes a sound that woodpeckers don’t like. Using reflective Mylar or foil strips works well, too. You can also check at your local home improvement stores for non-toxic, non-lethal repellants.
If all else fails, installing bird netting is a great preventative. When set up correctly, you can barely see it, and it’s great for keeping woodpeckers off the house.
If you have questions about repairing woodpecker damage or inspecting a log home give Prolog Restoration a call at 877-477-6564. We work with log home owners throughout California, Idaho, Washington and the Western United States for repair, maintenance and keeping your homes looking and functioning great.