Category Archives: Woodpeckers

Anything to do with woodpeckers

The One With the Woodpecker

It was a typical Tuesday afternoon, I had returned to my dorm room after a long day of classes and labs. Okay, I had two classes and one lab, but for a college student, that’s a lot. Anyways, that is most definitely not what this story is about. I had returned home, and all I was looking forward to was taking a nice three-hour nap before I had to go to work. I had it timed out perfectly so that by the time I got home and actually fell asleep I would be able to sleep for three hours and have 45 minutes to get ready for work and get there with ten minutes to spare. As a med student, this hardly ever happened. Unfortunately, my dreams were about to be crushed. I walked into my dorm to see my roommate quietly studying in the other room, headphones in. Peace and quiet, just what I needed. I had just put my bag down and fell onto my bed when all the sudden: RATTATATATATATAT!!! I shot up in my bed, what on earth was that sound?! I walked over and peeked into my roommate’s bedroom, but he was still diligently studying. Deciding it was probably just someone passing by, I went back to my bed to resume my nap. I couldn’t have been asleep for more than a few minutes when again I heard: RATATATATATA. I jumped up out of my bed and marched out into the hallway to see if some passing frat boy was just being dumb, but no one was there. I resumed my spot on the bed, this time staying diligent, with the intent of catching whoever was making the sound. I was only silent for a few moments and again came the sound RATATATATAT. It was coming from outside my window! I ran to the window and threw it open and when I looked down, I identified my attacker. It was a red and black spotted woodpecker. The bird looked up at me, I was sure it felt guilty about drilling into the stucco of my dorm building. Because I knew just how destructive woodpeckers could be, I immediately called our building attendant to take care of the mess. Unfortunately, I never got my nap.

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Hole-y Mother of Problems

I have a SEVERE woodpecker problem.  I don’t know what it is about my red, cedar house but woodpeckers love it.  About 6 years ago is when my problem hit its peak, I had about 40 holes that had to be filled and repaired and I was able to get a special permit to kill the woodpecker that was doing all the damage because nothing else worked.  Since then, I’ve seen woodpeckers in the trees around town and occasionally on a neighbor or friend’s home, but I have been woodpecker free; until now.

Three weeks ago, I left on a vacation for Hawaii with my daughter and her family.  When I got back, I was mortified at what I found.  My (practically) long-forgotten woodpecker problem had started up again.  I could visibly see 4 new holes just on the front face of my house, and one of them obviously held a nest.  Can you imagine the feeling of seeing thousands of dollars you’d invested into your home, the investment crumbling in front of your eyes as the problem resurfaced? I hope you feel just a percentage of my horror and understand why I am in such a rush to get this taken care of.

I cannot, no, I WILL not let this happen again.  I have already hung up reflectors and streamers as close to the holes as I can get alone, and have a Wildlife Technician that specializes in woodpecker problems coming out later this week to start on more deterrents.  If I have to, I’ll get the Department of Wildlife on the phone and get another permit.  I can’t stand by and watch my beautiful home be destroyed again.  Oh, the image of the last woodpecker ruining my house haunts my dreams!  Whatever it takes, I’m going to get this woodpecker problem resolved, and fast.

Down with a Bang

Although woodpecker problems can be serious, it’s not very often that they can be considered dangers; in fact they’ve probably never been considered dangerous.  At least in my 17 years as a wildlife technician, I’ve never been injured in any way because of a woodpecker – or at least I hadn’t been until last week.  You would think after all these years I would have seen, done, and experienced it all, I know I thought I had, but I was dead wrong.  When I got a call from a customer with a woodpecker problem, I never would have pictured it going south in any way.

It was honestly a pretty routine job; the owner came to stay in the home, went to sleep, and he woke up to a horrible pounding outside his bedroom window.  Later that day I received a call from him and a full report on the woodpecker problem: approximately 4 holes that he could see, and only one bird.  I loaded my truck with sight, sound, and taste deterrents, strapped on a couple of ladders, and made a lunch stop before I headed to the job – just like any normal day.  When I got there I set up my ladder and started to check all the open holes for any birds inside and to see what I would have to do to solve the problem.  There were no birds that I could see or hear and all I needed was a vent, some screen, and a few deterrents to set up.

I should tell you that there was one woodpecker hole that was covered by a stainless steel square that had been installed years before when they experienced previous woodpecker problems, and right next to that hole was another recent hole that I was planning to cover and work with.  When I got up the ladder I started like I would have any other time, I stood below the hole and knocked on the wall to be sure nothing was inside before I covered it up.  When nothing flew out I got to work; it was all routine, I was going through the motions like I had at hundreds – maybe even thousands of woodpecker jobs before this.  What I wasn’t expecting was for a woodpecker to fly out from behind the steel that covered the hole from years ago.  It got right into my face and startled me so badly that I fell backwards off of my ladder. Luckily, I was only about 12 feet off the ground so I wasn’t seriously injured, but I definitely had the wind knocked out of me and my ego cut down a few notches.  Over my 17 years trapping there have been quite a few animals that have sent me tumbling, but a woodpecker was a first; I guess you just never know what to expect in this business.


I have always been sensitive to loud and repetitive sounds, my ears aren’t sensitive or anything, they just drive me up the wall.  Pen clicking, slurping, tapping, you name it and I probably can’t stand it.  Now I don’t know what I did to earn this kind of karma, but I have a woodpecker problem. And it doesn’t appear to be just one woodpecker, either, actually it’s a nest of them. If I had known about the problem sooner, it would never have gotten to this point.

I know what you’re thinking, “If sound bothers you that much, how in the world does a woodpecker pecking at your house slip past you?” I went to stay with my parents in Minnesota for two week to both celebrate Christmas and get some skiing in for the year.  Trust me, I found out about the woodpecker the day I got back. I was putting in a load of laundry when I first heard the drumming on the outside wall of my house.  No sound has ever made me as frustrated as that sound did; it pierced my soul and I felt every tap beat along with my pulse.  It was nauseating.  I grabbed my headphones, put on some white noise, and went outside to find the culprit.

There, on the corner of the second story, I could see a hole and a few feet to the right was the woodpecker himself, working on another.  I climbed up on a ladder to stuff the hole with an old shirt but I discovered a nest inside, and inside of the nest were four ugly, pink babies.  I can NOT live my entire life in a house with a woodpecker problem, surviving the next couple of weeks until the baby birds are big enough to leave the nest and I can hire someone to help get the other one to leave.  Wish me luck!

Birds Eye

We have two birds in our attic, I’m not exactly sure how they got in there or what kind of birds they are but they’ve been there for about 5 days.  My husband was hanging up new Christmas lights when he found a large hole left by a woodpecker in the siding of our house.  When he went into the attic to patch it, he was met by a lot of flapping wings and screeching from the birds he startled (and that startled him).  Since then we have only been opening the door and not going inside, we don’t want the birds to hurt themselves from flying erratically and we also don’t want them to attack us.

We went to Amazon and ordered a bird cage to try and trap them, thanks to Prime we were able to get it in just a couple of days and set it up right inside of the doorway baited with some bird seed. The only problem is that it’s been a few days since then and we haven’t had any luck? As far as I can tell they don’t have any access to food or water inside of the attic and we haven’t seen them coming in and out of the woodpecker hole? Either they have a different entrance than the hole that we found or they’re starving up there.

I am really worried about the situation; I don’t want the birds to die up there but I also don’t want them living there!  I’ve read a lot online about bird mites and different contaminants in their poop (depending on the species – which I still don’t know!) and it’s really starting to freak me out.  I’m not sure how long we should keep trying to catch them ourselves before we need to bring in a professional. We already tried calling the local animal control and they told us this wasn’t there kind of job, what does that even mean!  I guess until we figure it out, we’re just stuck with two birds in our attic. Yippee!

Little Drummer Boy

One thing I am sure I didn’t ask for from Santa for Christmas this year, was a woodpecker problem.  I know I wasn’t good all the time, but I didn’t do anything that would put me on the naughty list!  Okay, so maybe I can’t blame it on the big guy but I’ve got a real issue on my hands that I don’t exactly know what to do with! I’ve had mice before, but that’s obviously a very different problem and it had a much simpler solution; I can’t exactly set a trap for a woodpecker now can I!

I don’t know how long it has been happening either, which sounds crazy but my husband and I both work crazy hours so I guess it’s just been making it’s noise while we were gone. That or we’ve just been so distracted by the holiday season that we’ve ignored it which is an entirely plausible scenario.  But actually the seasonal decorating is what brought the woodpecker problem to our attention.  While he was hanging up the Christmas lights, my husband noticed some holes in the side of our home; at first he attributed them to knots in the wood but after seeing more than 5 he decided that that probably wasn’t the case and we started to do a little digging.

Did you know that it’s illegal to kill or trap woodpeckers? Yeah, like I said much different than a mouse problem.  We’ve looked up a couple of DIY home solutions but I’m honestly worried about them working and with Christmas only a couple of weeks away I can’t deal with that.  My parents and in-laws would not be happy if they woke up to the banging of what sounded like a tiny drum outside of their rooms.  All I know is I have to get this woodpecker problem fixed as soon as possible so I can keep my stress levels low and the festivities high!

Wildlife out the Wazzoo

I have so many wildlife problems, I don’t know where to start.  The most recent is the skunk problem, which started around two weeks ago.  Surprisingly that one is the least problematic, I mean yeah it stinks (literally), but it causes less damage than the others.  But, no matter what it still stinks so I need to have it taken care of.  I think they’re burrowing underneath my porch, and I don’t even know how many there actually are whether it’s one or five or more!  It really doesn’t matter how many, because I need them to vacate the premises ASAP.

The next wildlife problem is the raccoons; this one is the second most costly issue.   A mother and her four babies have decided that the overhang of my deck is the best place to shack up.  Not only is it inconvenient and probably hazardous, but it can be scary, too.  When you walk out the backdoor onto the deck, the mother goes crazy above you; she’ll hiss and scratch and the babies will mew, it’s very aggravating.  This is also a more recent issue, the raccoons started just before the skunk, but my biggest problem started WAY before that.

Woodpeckers.  Not that bad? Try again.  Woodpecker holes aren’t just used by woodpeckers.  Apparently smaller birds, rats, squirrels, and even bats will use the woodpecker holes as homes; and I have seen all of the animals I just mentioned inside of at least one woodpecker hole on my house.  This has been happening for months, and no matter what DIY method I find on the internet to get the woodpecker to go away, it just keeps right on pecking.  I am so over it, all of it.  I’m sick of the skunks, the raccoons, the birds – I’m sick of the whole lot of them.  SOMEONE HELP ME!!!

Multi-Million Dollar Mess

I have a MAJOR woodpecker problem.  My family and I recently purchased a multi-million dollar vacation home, or a vacation cabin I guess you would call it, in Colorado; it’s a beautiful home, built from old, reclaimed barn wood.  The thing about this cabin though, is that we never went to see it in person.  It sounds crazy, but we live in Texas so we couldn’t exactly make a day out of it and with my husband and I running our own business, a weekend getaway didn’t look plausible either.  So instead, we sent our realtor out to the site to give the place a once over and send us pictures; I guess he didn’t realize that wood doesn’t come with that many holes in it and the photos he sent were from a far enough distance that we didn’t notice the holes, either, so we bought the place.

Now I’m not saying that we wouldn’t have bought the cabin if we knew that the damage was there because it is an incredible home, but we definitely would have had the repairs estimated and deducted from the price.  Truthfully, we probably could have negotiated something with the seller right after the purchase; that is if it hadn’t taken us three months to find the time to go out to the house.  About two months ago, we were finally able to make the trip to Colorado, and seeing the house in person was amazing! Pictures didn’t do it justice, I was so taken aback by the actual home that I didn’t notice the woodpecker damage at first, but while I was in the upstairs loft, I heard strange squeaks from the ceiling above me.  I went outside to see if there was a bird on the roof or maybe squirrels, and that’s when I started noticing all the holes.  There was definitely a woodpecker problem so I called the realtor and he gave me the number of a Wildlife technician.

The man was able to confirm the ongoing woodpecker problem just with pictures, but when I explained to him the noises I had heard in the ceiling, he insisted on coming out to the property himself, and I’m so glad he did.  Not only did we have a woodpecker problem, but we had a bat problem too.  Apparently, smaller animals will turn woodpecker holes into nests, and these bats had used them as an entrance into both walls and the ceiling of our new home.  Luckily, the technician was equipped and trained to handle both of these wildlife problems, but it wasn’t going to be easy – or cheap.  Now, two months and $20,000 later we are on the last stages of covering and filling the woodpecker holes and getting rid of the bats FOR GOOD.  I don’t have any regrets about buying this house; my husband and I love it, our children love it, and it’s a perfect place for the rest of the family to meet.  What I do regret, is not looking at the place myself the FIRST time.  If we ever buy another house, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be giving it a personal once over.

The Woodpecker Waltz

I most definitely have a woodpecker problem.  I have lived in my home for roughly 20 years now, and living in Park City, Utah I have always been aware of the wildlife around me.  I even knew there was a woodpecker living in the tree near my home when he moved in.  Of course, if the animals don’t bother me, I don’t bother them, so I let the woodpecker be.  He made several holes in the large oak and could be fairly noisy at times, but was never a real problem, until this last year.  I don’t know what part of his appetite changed, or even if it’s a new bird, but he has moved to pecking my home.

It was just like someone flipped a switch, the once distant pecking that I could hear early in the morning was all of a sudden a loud pounding right next to my head!  Instead of doing his work on the old oak, this woodpecker had started a hole right in the wall of my upstairs bedroom.  I couldn’t believe it, but I hoped and prayed that he would move back to the tree.  Boy was I wrong.  Within days he was in full blown construction mode and had made 3 holes on the same outdoor wall.  I went online and searched woodpecker problem solutions, and I tried almost all of the solutions recommended.  I purchased taste deterrents and hung up reflectors, whatever I could to deter this woodpecker from my home!  They always worked, but it was always only for a little while.

We were doing the woodpecker waltz; he would peck and I would deter, he would leave and I would stop.  He would come back and we started again; for months we went back and forth in our twisted dance until I finally had enough.  Obviously I wasn’t going to solve my woodpecker problem on my own, I needed outside help.  I searched online until I found this website, where I was directed to a technician in my area.  He’s coming to my house tomorrow to, say “steal my partner”, and hopefully he can end this dance for good!  All I know is that I’m tired, my house is tired, and this woodpecker is still spry as ever; my woodpecker problem is now in someone else’s hands, and hopefully it ends as quickly as it started.

Woodpeckers in the Attic

I can’t take much more of this.  For two months I’ve shared my home with the woodpeckers in the attic and I’ve just about had my fill.  The only reason they’ve been there this long is that my daughter loves Looney Toons and has become quite fond of the Tweety Bird, and when she overheard her dad and I talking about ‘getting rid’ of them, she had a tantrum.  Now she sits up and listens for them to  peck in the morning, and it’s driving me Looney!  I’m a nurse and since I only recently got out of school, I work from about 4 pm to 4 am (and various times around that), and when I get home and try to get a quick nap in BEFORE Anna wakes up, those birds don’t do me much good.

Not only do they start their morning routine around 5 o’clock, they also like to rustle around and make additions to their nest during the day, the only time I can get any sleep.  Oh, did I mention that the attic is conveniently located right above MY bedroom?  Because it is!  Now for a couple of days I didn’t mind the birds in the attic, then they started to get annoying as they started to peck on various things, and now, I CAN’T STAND THEM.  I love my daughter with all of my heart, but I will die from exhaustion if I don’t get them out of here, and quick.

Truthfully, I don’t know how to get rid of them.  I’d be more likely to perform a successful appendectomy than to remove these woodpeckers on my own, and as wonderful and handy as my husband is, he will only do more harm than good trying to do it.  A few years ago my neighbor had troubles with gophers and called a wonderful trapper, I’m just praying that she still has his card because I’m really losing my mind right now.  It’s not only affecting my sleep and mood, but my job too; it’s not exactly ethical to fall asleep while checking a patient’s temperature now is it?  I’m down to my last straw, and its Wildlife Removal.  If they know what’s good for them they’ll get rid of the woodpeckers in my attic.