Audubon Society of Ohio
The Cincinnati Chapter of National Audubon Society

Any ideas on getting woodpeckers to stop attacking my house?

We have red bellied and pileated woodpeckers (could have downy or Hairy too, they are around) going after our cedar-sided house. It’s February so I wouldn’t have thought this was for bugs – there was very little action over the summer even though we did have some carpenter bee damage (that damage is not in the same locations the woodpeckers are currently attacking). I have put out suet and have feeders with mixed seed (safflower, sunflower, peanuts, cracked corn) and meal worms. Typically I only see the red bellied feeding and he goes to the traditional feeder, not for the suet. Any ideas what they’re doing or how to stop them. Obviously it’s winter, so getting on the roof for deterrents is not going to happen (we also have a super steep roof, which would be a challenge in the best of times). The back of our house faces woods and the birds do make their way through the trees (just heard one drumming) so they have nest and living areas, I’m just confused as to what they’re doing and how to get them to stop destroying my house. Any thoughts or help would be great!

    comment on February 18, 2018 at 10:29 am by Lee Gruber :

    we have cedar siding.Every 5 yrs or so i restain and waterproof it. Woodpeckers seldom drum it. Maybe rub mothballs on the sides if you can stand the smell, or hot chilli peppers.Good luck.

    comment on February 27, 2018 at 8:23 pm by Pete Cosco :

    I had the same problem on cedar siding.. I attached a number of cheap make-up mirrors to the area the woodpeckers were attacking..Apparently they don’t like like looking at themselves or shiny objects.. This helped reduce the incidence by about 90%.

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