Category Archives: Woodpeckers

Anything to do with woodpeckers

World War III

Two weeks ago, World War III began; the battles have been raging for years, but now its war. Living in what most people would call a cabin, I have to deal with many things: the cold, the occasional splinter, and woodpeckers. There are plenty of animals where I live, but none as annoying as the infamous flying checkerboard. Owning a house made almost entirely from wood, you might be able to understand why this particular bird is such a nuisance, but if not I’ll clear it up. Woodpeckers peck holes into wood, my house is wood, and this bird only seems to work in the evening and early morning, when I’m trying to get rest. Can you imagine listening to the sound of a tiny jack hammer on your bedroom wall, all the time?
Now my specific woodpecker, didn’t start off by waking me up almost every day, but instead simply living in a tree in my backyard. I had no problem with that, I love animals! For ten years we’ve lived comfortably as neighbors, but for some reason that all changed this year. About a month or so ago I discovered the first hole drilled right above my patio doors, the next above my wife’s flower boxes, and since then they’ve doubled, maybe even tripled, and everywhere I look I see holes. Soon enough I started hearing him at 5 o’clock in the morning, the TATATATATAT was unmistakable. The rapid fire of beak on wood seemed never ending, so I declared it; World War III.
First things first, I had to build up my stockpile of defense weapons (there weren’t any actual weapons, I didn’t want to kill him); I bought myself a large, fake owl, a new stereo, some tin plates, and set to work. I posted the owl on my roof, its job: scare away all other birds, my plan is to move him every week or so to a different spot on the house. Then I connected my phone to the Bluetooth on the stereo, two can play the loud noise game. Lastly, I placed a tin plate outside my bedroom wall, above the patio, and over the front door just in case. I heard about a guy that put a picture of Obama on one side, and Hilary Clinton on the other; he said it worked great but I’m not looking to pick a fight with anyone but this woodpecker so I left it as it was. When he comes back, I’ll be ready. I will win World War III.

The Woodpecker War

My neighbor has a woodpecker problem, and I’m sorry but I think it’s so funny.  Not the problem itself, but the way he deals with it.  If my memory serves me correct, it’s been going back and forth for about two years now, but it might not have been quite that long. I know we’ve had a woodpecker in the neighborhood for much longer than that, you can almost always hear it drilling away at neighboring trees, he drilled a hole in my siding once but that was the only issue I’ve ever had with him.  But Tom (my neighbor) definitely has a serious problem.

For a little background, Tom is a single dad which in of itself isn’t something that you see every day; but his access to toys and his lack of sleep make him a force to be reckoned with.  His woodpecker problem started, like I said, about two years ago; and at first Tom tried all of the usual steps.  I saw him hang up reflectors, he bought some weird repellant to spray where the woodpecker was drilling, and when he could he patched up the holes.  You could clearly see that he was trying to reasonably get rid of the woodpecker, but after a year he had to install a metal repair trim because there was so much damage, and even after that the woodpecker came back!  I guess after that it was game on.

The yelling was the first thing, the woodpecker will drill at this little tinted window in Tom’s bedroom but when he opens it, it flies away.  So now when he opens it, he’ll yell little obscenities out at the bird.  Another thing (my personal favorite) that I’ve seen him do is shoot at the bird with his son’s Nerf gun; I’ve never seen him hit closer than 6 inches to the woodpecker but you have to appreciate the effort.  Recently I’ve watched him put out some of his kids’ little green army men up in the window seals and set up his daughter’s sound activated Robo-dog on the deck, along with a few other childish ploys.  It is the craziest thing to watch and I’m excited to see what he comes up with next!

Woodpecker in the House

It was after a week of getting no sleep that I realized we had a woodpecker in the house. I didn’t exactly know where or how it got in, but I definitely knew that the constant clanging and pecking was from a woodpecker no doubt about it. When I told my dad what I knew it to be, he was very unhappy, as an avid bird watcher he didn’t want to cause any of the winged creatures harm, but he reluctantly believed me and we set out looking for it. We had to wait for night to fall before we could start our search, the darn thing only seemed to cause ruckus when everyone was trying to get a good night’s rest, but as soon as the sun fell the woodpecker started up.
The odd thing was that the sound it made wasn’t its usual beak-on-wood sound as you would expect it to be, it had a hollow, metal note to it that we couldn’t quite identify, so we split up. I went to the attic and my dad went for the basement, my two year old brother (who insisted on helping us) sat in the kitchen and listened for, or more likely slept through, the bird’s obnoxious sounds. As I crawled around in the dingy, old attic, I struggled to focus on not falling through the ceiling, and locating the bird, until I crawled right past it. I cried out for my dad and went running/speed crawling back down the ladder and into the living room, where we met each other out of breath. Panting and smiling, we both exclaimed that it was in the chimney, which wasn’t exactly something to be excited about but we were both just proud that our detective work paid off.
Finding the woodpecker, as it turns out, was the easy part. Since it had made its home between the chimney stack and the metal piping, there was no easy way to get at it. Having a woodpecker in the house was panning out to be a lot more work than I had expected. My dad suggested we tear down the bricks of the chimney so we could remove it safely, unfortunately for him my mother was not going to let him do that. Instead we called in the pros and let them handle it, we had to move out of our house for about a week, but when we came back we were able to sleep soundly since there were no more woodpeckers in the house.

Woodpeckers In Utah

woodpecker_damage2We are going out of our mind, furious about the woodpeckers destroying our house.  It’s one of those situations that starts out mildly annoying, and then grows into a much bigger problem as we just tried to ignore the issue.  My husband and I built this home in Utah in 2001, and we built it in one of those beautiful Utah towns that’s close enough to Salt Lake City, but far enough away for that country feel.  In fact, we’re close to a bird sanctuary and wet lands, so we’ve loved the variety of wildlife we get to see right in our own yard.  Usually.

A few years ago, we were woken by a knocking on the outside wall.  We looked out and were at first charmed to see a beautiful woodpecker perched on our stucco siding.  Then, we watched it as it drilled a hole right into the stucco.  We chased it off, only to have it return several more times that day.  Since then, it’s been a nightmare.  Every single year, at least two woodpeckers descend on our home.  We spray for bugs, and not one of our neighbors has a woodpecker problem, just us.  Lucky us.

My husband keeps a BB gun around just to scare them off.  We’ve put up the fake owl.  We’ve decorated the back of our house with ugly pie tins and old CDs (thanks for nothing, Pinterest).  Nothing has scared them off.  They just keep coming.  We put off repairing the stucco until we could figure out how to get rid of the woodpeckers for good.  Big mistake.  Now we have water damage on the inside of our walls thanks to those irritating woodpeckers.  I’m scared of going into the attic space, because I’m wondering what bugs or other critters have come in through those woodpecker holes.  And, I still have absolutely no idea what’s attracting those woodpeckers to our house anyway.  Plus, woodpeckers in Utah, like all wild birds with the exception of a few, are protected under federal laws.  So, we can’t kill ‘em, much as we’d like to.

I’m at my wit’s end.  Tired of hearing the bold woodpeckers destroying my house.  Sick of worrying about water damage from woodpecker holes.  And, I hate having to repair the walls just to have the woodpeckers come back and cause more damage.  Time to bring in the professionals, because I’m about ready to actually aim that BB gun right on those birds, laws or no laws, and I’m not paying fines or risking prosecution for woodpeckers!

Woodpecker Noise

No matter what I do, I just can’t stop the woodpecker noise.  I can’t handle it anymore.  I’m losing sleep, and I can’t afford to do that.  I go to school full-time and I work part-time.  Several times a week, I have a two-hour commute to work.  I’m exhausted and I need help.  Can you get rid of the woodpeckers?

woodpecker removal

I rent this top-floor apartment.  It’s not huge, but it’s what I can afford, and I can’t afford to move.  My landlord said he can’t (or won’t) take care of the woodpeckers, because they haven’t come inside the building, so he doesn’t have to do anything. I’m desperate, which is why I’m contacting you, so you can get rid of the woodpeckers and I won’t have to put up with woodpecker noise anymore while I try to sleep, or do homework, or just relax at home.

There are three or four woodpeckers, and they’re bold suckers.  There’s no sign of rotting wood, and the landlord has checked for termites, so I have no idea why they insist on pecking, pecking, pecking on the roof.  I’ve tried to scare them away, believe me.

I tried just banging on the walls and ramming a broom handle up against the ceiling.  At first it scared them away for a little bit, but they always came back.  Now, they’re used to it, and I guess they figured out that noise won’t hurt them, so they don’t even fly away when I bang on the walls and ceiling.

Then, I tried spraying them with water.  That was about as effective as banging on the walls.  I put out foil and reflective tape, and they just ignored it, like it wasn’t even there.  The most effective thing I did was hang a picture of a big owl out on the deck.  They stayed away for about three months after that, but now they’re back.

Finally, I tried, I really tried, ignoring them.  But, that insistent tap tap tap tap tap woodpecker noise wakes me up early in the morning.  I don’t even bother studying at home anymore, because the noise drives me nuts and I can’t focus on what I’m reading.  I’m worried there are insects crawling around on the inside of the wall that they’re trying to get at.  I’m worried they’re making big holes which will let other animals, like mice, get in.  If they make holes all over the roof, I worry that someday I’ll wake up with rain falling through the ceiling onto my stuff.  I’m sick of worrying.  I’m sick to death of the woodpecker noise.  I’m desperate enough to consider moving, even though I really can’t afford getting out of my lease right now and finding another place.  All I want is the woodpecker noise to stop.  Please come and get rid of the woodpeckers, and maybe I’ll stop going insane inside my own apartment.

Woodpecker Damage

Woodpecker damage plus that horrible ruffling, feathery, rustling noise followed by the blasted bird tapping on our roof and walls equals a very angry man in the morning.

My husband is a very even-tempered guy.  His favorite phrase is “go with the flow,” which, of course, drives me crazy sometimes when I’m particularly frustrated at something beyond my control.  But, he’s helped me to learn to be more easy going and find good things about even the most frustrating moments.

He particularly helped me when we were building this home.  We did the general contracting ourselves, which turned out to be one headache after another, since we didn’t really know what we were doing.  In an effort to keep the costs down, we also did a lot of the work ourselves.  We’d work all day, then change into grubby clothes, drive out to our new home site, and put up dry wall, or build railings, or sand walls, lay carpet, or just clean up the site.  We literally poured blood, sweat and tears into this home.

I would get angry at some subcontractor for not showing up when he said he would, or a flooring supply company for overcharging us.  My husband would remind me that there are more important things in life, and he’d take over, calmly renegotiating and eventually getting everyone to follow through on their promises.  I learned to keep calm and let the tension go.

My newfound character improvement came in handy, though, when the woodpecker started attacking our home.  After all the hard work we put into the house, and all the hard earned money we sunk into it, my husband went nuts when he surveyed woodpecker damage up near the eaves.

We woke up one morning to this odd rustling noise just outside our second story bedroom window.  We were confused, because we don’t have mature trees, yet, and so we don’t have a lot of birds or squirrels around our property.  Then, the unmistakable tap tap tapping started, and we knew it had to be a woodpecker.  My husband charged outside, scared off the bird, and came in fuming mad about the woodpecker damage.

He repaired the damage on Saturday, but Sunday morning, we woke up to the awful knocking noise again.  The woodpecker was just perched on the stucco, tapping holes into our brand new home.  My husband went nuts, cursing and throwing things at the bird.  The bird was back not ten minutes after my husband came back inside, and I really thought he was going to lose it.  I reminded him of his “go with the flow” philosophy, but he would have none of it until I got online and found the contact information for Allstate Animal Control.  They assured me they could have someone out to our home soon to get rid of the woodpecker, and repair the woodpecker damage.  I explained it all to my husband, who was finally able to calm down.  I have to admit, it was nice to be the one reminding him not to be tense for a change.

Get Rid of Woodpeckers

I swear, if we don’t get rid of those woodpeckers, I might just go insane.  Not funny insane, like in the old cartoon show, but actual crazy angry.  I’m all for bird watching, going on long hikes in the mountains and looking for deer, and leaving things in their natural habitat.  But, my house is my house.  What’s wrong with the woodpeckers around here?  Why can’t they enjoy the many, many trees on our property?  Or, how about the berries out by the creek that runs through our back yard?  The other birds seem to like it just fine, and find enough bugs to feast on.  So, why can’t they?  Maybe it’s time to just get rid of woodpeckers if they can’t play nice.

A woodpecker drilling holes into the side of a home.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

I’ve got a nice home on a quarter-acre lot, which is perfect for me.  Instead of opting for an expanse of grass that I’d have to mow as I get older, I went for a more natural, forested look.  Every year, I plant tulip bulbs and daffodils out under the mature trees on our property.  In the evening, I sit out on the deck of my small home and listen to the creek burbling and watch the birds flitting, and I sip my drink and think I’ve got a wonderful life.  I even put out a couple of bird baths, a hummingbird feeder, and a few bird houses and feeders to make the wild life feel welcome.

And, if I’m ever going to enjoy watching birds from my deck again, I must get rid of woodpeckers.

They start out early in the morning, when I’m trying to sleep in.  A knock-knock-knock against the roof above my bedroom.  I run outside to try to scare them off, but they just fly into a nearby tree and pretend nothing happened.  As soon as I get back inside, the knocking starts up again.

And, they do help themselves to the berries.  That’s sure.  Wanna know how I know?  There are reddish streaks decorating the side of my home.  Right next to the holes appearing in the stucco.  If it was just the knocking noise that bugged me, I wouldn’t care so much.  But, destroying my house in the process?  Come on.

I don’t want to kill them, don’t get me wrong.  I just want to get rid of the woodpeckers.  But, I can’t figure out how.  And, I’m angry, too.  I’m sure they have access to plenty of bugs in and around the trees.  Why does my home attract them more than their natural habitat?  Is it the warmth?  I can’t figure it out, and I can’t scare them away.

A friend told me that Allstate Animal Control will send an expert out to my house to get rid of the woodpeckers.  Not only that, but they could get someone to fix the damage the woodpeckers caused.  Now that’s service.

So, a quick phone call, an appointment scheduled, and maybe I’ll be able to enjoy my quiet little haven once again.

Woodpecker on the House

woodpecker removal

A woodpecker in our tree is a science lesson, but a woodpecker on the house is a disaster.  My two children love our little science projects.  I’m the kind of mother who’s more worried about the cleanup than the project itself.  If it’s messy and the kids are happy and learning, then it’s completely worth it.  So, we make rain storms in bottles and water splashes on our floor that has to be mopped up.  We make dinosaur tracks and toy car tracks through colored salt dough, that dries up into tiny little specks that have to be vacuumed.  We liberally sprinkle glitter and feathers over art projects covered in glue.  My preschool-aged children adore learning, and are starting to get to the point where they are asking endless questions about the world around them.  I don’t mind cleaning up after my children’s science projects.  I do, however, mind cleaning up after the woodpecker on the house.


We were straightening up the front room, getting ready for a playgroup, when I spotted the woodpecker on our tree in the front yard.  It was beautiful, with spots on its chest and a red crest.  I couldn’t believe my luck, since I had just taught the children about woodpeckers two days earlier.  I excitedly called them over to the window, and we spent fifteen minutes watching the woodpecker listen for bugs in the tree, then confidently tapping away and grabbing the bugs up in its beak.  The front room didn’t get straightened up to my usual standards before the playgroup showed up, but it was worth the chance to watch nature.


Then, when we all went outside to play, I was chatting with one of the other mothers and noticed small black specks on the side of my house, up by one of the second story windows.  Coming down from the black specks were streaks of brown and reddish black.  The woman I was talking with told me they had the same thing.  “You have a woodpecker on your house.”  Now, I was all excited to see the woodpecker in our tree this morning, but thinking of it pecking small holes into the side of my home, and bird feces staining the side of the house, really annoyed me.  Just an hour before, I had thought of the woodpecker as a stately and interesting bird, and shared my love of nature with my children.  Now that I know that woodpecker was on the house, possibly we even had a woodpecker in the house, it became a nuisance that must be taken care of.


Unfortunately, I also knew that most woodpeckers are protected.  I couldn’t just pull out the bee bee gun.  If only it had been content in my tree, I would have been just fine.  But, a woodpecker on my house is an entirely different matter.  Time to call Allstate Animal Control, since they get rid of birds, too.  Science lessons are great, but not when they’re destroying my home.



Woodpecker Control

I own several office buildings in and around this area, and I’ve noticed that one of my buildings needs some woodpecker control.

In my line of work, my office gets calls all the time for various building maintenance needs.  Office managers, company owners or even employees of the companies that rent various office space from me will call about anything from a leaky toilet to a malfunctioning light switch.  I get complaints that their customers don’t like the heaviness of the doors, or employees are too hot in the afternoon, or the sprinkler system for the landscaping isn’t working properly.  Some of these calls are silly nonsense, most of them are minor and easily handled, but some are pretty major.

When three different tenants from one of my buildings called, I paid attention.  One of my top-floor tenants had a few employees complaining about tapping and noises coming from the wall.  Another tenant said he’d noticed a woodpecker clutching the side of the building and “going to town” on the stucco.  Another tenant mentioned the ugly holes that had started appearing on the side of the building.

I went there myself to investigate, and sure enough, we needed woodpecker control.  From the front of the building, I could easily see a few holes in the stucco, and some of them had large red streaks of woodpecker droppings staining the façade.  Around the side of the building, I saw a much larger, gaping hole close to the roof.  I couldn’t believe it.  It was large enough that a medium-sized dog could crawl through it into the building . . . of course, the dog would have to crawl up the side of the three-story building to get there, but you know what I mean.  I heard raccoons can easily get up to the roof of a building, and wondered if we had raccoon problems in addition to the woodpecker.

But, one thing at a time.  I whipped out my cell phone and got my secretary on the line.  I told him he needed to get a really good woodpecker control service out to this office building, and to make sure it was a service that would get rid of the woodpeckers, clean up the mess, repair the holes, and look for signs of raccoons while they were at it.

Within fifteen minutes, I got a call back from my secretary telling me that he got Allstate Animal Control to send someone out and inspect the damage and give us a quote.  I went inside the building and talked with the owners of the companies renting space from me.  I reassured them that the woodpecker control was, well, under control.  Of course, then I had to sit and listen to a laundry-list of other complaints.  I’ll take care of the woodpecker control first, and then I’ll worry about the type of flowers planted out front.  Sheesh.

Get Rid of Woodpeckers

woodpecker removal

How do you get rid of woodpeckers when your home is under attack by a woodpecker with an anger management problem?  Look, these nice people and I have an understanding.  They provide me with a hollow box with an opening just big enough for me to get in and out of, and a protected space inside that is perfect for my nest.  The hole is too small for most predators like larger birds or squirrels to steal my eggs, I’m safe from the wind and rain, and when my babies hatch, they can peep out of the opening and wait for my return with juicy worms.  In return, I give the people a nice nature show, since they like to carefully ooh and aaah over my eggs and watch me jump and leap and fly.  Occasionally, they even sweeten the deal with some delicious bird seed they throw outside.

It’s been absolutely wonderful, until this crazy bird came around.  Now I have to worry about how to get rid of woodpeckers.  For some reason, it thinks that it should live in my bird house, just because it’s bigger or flashier or has a harder beak than me.  Those aren’t good enough reasons!  I was here first.  Plus, these people want me here, not some stupid woodpecker.

But, it’s going absolutely nutso on me.  It’s pounding on the walls and the ceiling, and I have to keep on my toes to keep from getting skewered.  Really!  Won’t these people do anything to get rid of woodpeckers?  If they want me around so much, they need to make sure I stay alive long enough to lay eggs.  It’s just a big bully.

I think it must have overheard me telling someone about my wonderful nesting site.  I didn’t mean to brag about it.  It’s just so exciting to have found a safe and easy place in which to build my nest.  Now, I can just spend my time looking for soft building materials and eating as many grubs and worms as I can find instead of wasting all my energy flitting from one site to the next, hoping to build a home there.

The woodpecker must have followed me back, though, because, no sooner did I get home with some excellent twine to add to my nest than the pounding and pecking and hammering began.  As if the noise isn’t bad enough here inside my hollow box, every time I stick my head up, the woodpecker’s beak nearly skewers me.  And, now I’m trapped inside.  I can’t get out, because there is no let-up in its frenzied attack.  It just keeps going at me and at my box.  Does this woodpecker just want me to die of fright so it can get me out of here and come in?  I doubt she can even fit inside the hole.  At least I hope she can’t.

Why, oh, why won’t these people get rid of this woodpecker?  If it ever leaves, I may have to leave and find a more secret and safer site, and then they won’t have any sweet little baby birds to watch as they hatch and learn how to fly.  Serves them right!