Woodpeckers are a federally protected bird under the North American Migratory Bird Act. Do not use lethal control on woodpeckers without contacting your Federal Wildlife Officer. You will need to institute non-lethal control strategies before you will receive permission to implement lethal control.
Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens), like the one pictured at the right, are a common cause of woodpecker damage to buildings. Just remember that it is illegal to harm them without a federal permit. You may also need state permits as well.
Why Woodpeckers peck your home
Unfortunately, there is no easy guaranteed solution. So with that being said, We would suggest the following approaches:
First. Cover all holes as soon as possible. We recommend placing aluminum flashing over the areas where the woodpecker is pecking. The flashing will stop the pecking at that spot because the metal will change the sound and woodpeckers don't like shiny objects. Just make sure that the woodpecker is not living in your home first.
Second. Harass and scare the woodpecker causing damage using one or more of the following techniques.Remember no harassment technique works all the time or in every situation.
Third. Employ exclusion techniques. If woodpeckers are damaging your siding under an eave, hang some netting from the eave line down to the ground. If the net is extended away from the house wall, the woodpecker can't get close enough to damage the wood. Some homes actually leave the hooks up year round and then hang the netting as needed.
Disclaimer: WDC seeks to provide accurate, effective and responsible information on resolving human/wildlife conflicts. We welcome suggestions, criticisms to help us achieve this goal. The information provided is for informational purposes only and users of the information use it at their own risk. The reader must consult state/federal officials to determine the legality of any technique in the reader's locale. Some techniques are dangerous to the user and to others. WDC encourages readers to obtain appropriate training (see our informational literature at our Store ), and understand that proper animal damage control involves patience, understanding that not every technique/method works for every situation or even 100% of the time. Your use of this information is governed by this understanding. We welcome potential users of the information and photos to simply ask for permission via e-mail. Finally, WDC welcomes e-mail but understand that all e-mails become property of Wildlife Damage Control.