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Why Are Woodpeckers Pecking My House And Trees?

Posted by: Cooper Pest - Friday, April 14, 2017

What are woodpeckers?

Downy Woodpecker

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Woodpeckers are pesky birds found throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the United States. They are more commonly found in areas backed up to woods on the properties of suburban homes. Their specialized beaks are designed for breaking wooden areas on or around your home, making them a notable, damaging pest in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Woodpeckers are especially drawn to wood siding, trees, and decks, making your home an ideal playground.

The Most Common Types Of North American Woodpeckers include:

 

How can I tell if I have woodpeckers?

The first indication of woodpecker activity is the distinct drumming noise they produce which almost sounds like a rapid, loud knocking against their wood surface of choice. Woodpeckers use their strong beaks to create small holes in search of insects and insect larvae, often destroying trees, decks, wood siding, synthetic stucco siding and eaves, gutters, chimney caps, and street lamps. Although some of their pecking locations are not made of wood, woodpeckers also intentionally produce loud noises to attract mates.

The Most Common Types Of North American Woodpeckers include:

  • Downy
  • Hairy
  • Northern Flicker
  • Pileated
  • Red-Headed
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker

To learn more about woodpecker identification, click here.

 

What kind of damage can woodpeckers do?

The biggest concern with woodpecker activity is the potential for serious damage to your property and home. Being primarily attracted to wood, they create holes and then widen them to create nests in the early spring or to search for food. Woodpeckers tap an estimated 8,000-12,000 times per day, making them an unavoidable physically and audible problem.

Woodpecker Damage To Home.jpg

Photo credit: Friends of Santa Teresa Park

If you suspect that you have woodpecker activity at your home, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I see small holes on my wood siding, deck, and trees?
  2. Do I hear a loud, repetitive knocking sound while inside and outside of your home?
  3. Are there woodpeckers on your property beginning in spring?
  4. Have I been experiencing carpenter bee activity?

Woodpecker Home Damage

Photo credit: Colorado State University Extension

If you answered yes to these questions, woodpeckers have most likely taken refuge by your home. There are several DIY and professional remedies that are conducive to repelling woodpeckers, much which can be found here. Unfortunately, Cooper Pest Solutions does not have programs in place for woodpecker removal or prevention.

 

Why are woodpeckers beneficial?

Although woodpeckers can be difficult to coexist with, they can be a natural form of pest control at your home. Woodpeckers feed on acorns, fruit, nuts, and several species of insects. Woodpeckers are equipped with unique attributes that make them experts at insect consumption. Their heavy-duty beaks are used for destroying obstacles to reach the nested source, and their tongues can be up to four inches long, with a glue-like substance at the tip for catching insects.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bee larvae are a prime delicacy, highly sought out when the females burrow into wood such as your shudders, siding, or any unpainted wood on your property and lay their eggs. Carpenter bee activity can be damaging to your home beginning in the early spring and continuing into the summer as the females become active. Controlling the carpenter bee population can be a helpful byproduct, but they two are not mutually exclusive. To learn more about carpenter bees, click here.

Termites

Termites thrive on moist or decaying wood around your property to create their nest and grow their colony. They are active year-round, eating through your deck, siding, swing sets, picnic tables, or roofing. If left untreated, termite damage can be detrimental to the protection of your home. Woodpeckers are natural seekers of insects within the wood, using their specialized beak and tongue to grab termites as a source of nourishment. Although they cause additional damage to your property and home, they can be natural, effective pest control experts. To learn more about termites click here.

 

Wood Boring Beetles

Wood boring beetles cause damage to your home as the larvae find a suitable nesting source such as a doorframe, windowsill, door, or trees. It’s often hard to avoid wood boring beetle infestations because they create visible signs of activity by emerging from the wood after they have nested in and create an exit hole. Once you see an exit point, it’s usually too late. Woodpeckers feed on wood boring beetles around your property and the outside of your home, potentially deterring large colonies from manifesting. To learn more about wood boring beetles click here.

 

If you are seeing or hearing woodepeckers pecking the wood in your home, there is a likelihood that they are seeking insects that may be living inside the wood. For a free pest evaluation of your home, please give us a call at 1-800-949-2667 or fill out the form on our website.

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