Tag Archives: woodpecker damage

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.

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 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.

Box Elder County Exterminator

We gotta get the Box Elder County Exterminator out to our ranch here pronto, because I am sick to death of replacing fence posts.  I got enough to do around here.  Every day I work myself to exhaustion and every night I go to bed thinking of fifty more things I need to do the next day.  It’s fine, it’s the life I chose.  I’m happy that I’m working for myself and not dependant on anyone else for a paycheck.  But, when I find woodpecker holes in fence post after fence post, I have to spend my days chasing down woodpeckers and replacing those posts.  I have better things to do, and I’m no expert on which woodpeckers are protected by federal or state laws and how to get rid of woodpeckers.  The Box Elder County exterminator is, though, and I’ll let him deal with it.

I’ve been dealing with this woodpecker problem for a few years now.  I guess what finally sent me over the edge was this morning.  The ranch hasn’t been doing so well lately.  We’ve been dealing with sick cattle, a fight over mineral rights in one of our pastures, and the price of feed has skyrocketed.  High cost of feed means my prices have to go up.  High price of oil means it costs more to transport the cattle and the feed, which means I have to raise my prices again.  Now, meat prices are so high that consumers aren’t buying as much of my products as they used to, which leaves me up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle.  What’m I supposed to do?

So, one night I’m up late worrying over it, as usual, and I fall asleep after a rough day of work and worry.  I’d decided to let myself sleep in a bit the next morning, let myself get a little extra rest so I can tackle the problem fresh.  But, real early next morning, I hear the tap tap tap, peck peck peck of the stupid woodpeckers chipping away at the fence posts again.  I just spent last Thursday replacing some of the older posts that looked like swiss cheese, and here was this bird going at it on one of the newer stretches I finished.

I consider myself a reasonable, fair-minded person.  Live and let live.  Let nature do its thing.  But, I just lost it that day.  Got so mad I grabbed the gun.  My wife caught me before I headed out the door, though, and reasoned that the woodpecker is probably protected, and shooting at the bird on the fence post would probably just do more damage to the fence post I was trying to protect.  So, I gave in, grumbling, and tried to enjoy the huge and delicious breakfast my wife had prepared for us.  Every time that tapping started up again, my knuckles would go white and my shoulders would get all hunched.  Finally, my wife just turned on some music so I couldn’t get annoyed at the birds anymore.

Time to call the Box Elder County exterminator. I figure, even though times are tight, it would save me a lot of time and money, not to mention keeping me from getting too angry to see straight, if I just got a professional out here.

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!

Woodpecker Control

I am so very clever to have outwitted a cat, that surely no woodpecker control will work on my superior bird mind.  Here I am, roosting just within the cat’s reach.  I flaunt my amazing abilities directly in the feline face.

It began so innocently, before I was even aware a cat lived here.  Woodpeckers, just like me, were searching for the most ideal place to nest and feast.  Some stuck to the woods, more secure in the tried and true tree trunks.  Some drummed high up off the ground, on building roofs, tentatively tapping on the very top of buildings to find a safe place to open up a hole and nest inside.  But, me, I love adventure.  I love a thrill.  I love to see just how far I can go, and then go a little further.  There is no woodpecker control where I am concerned.  I just am, and everyone else must deal with it.

I flew right under a porch, testing out each support beam until I found one with a pleasing enough hollow sound.  But, oh, so clever little me, I chose the perfect little spot to tear into right at the base of that beam.  With a sharp eye out for any predators, I used my elegant and wonderfully sharp and hard beak to open up a tiny crack.  Then, I peered inside to make sure my instincts were correct.  Oh, yes, it was perfectly safe inside.  With persistent tapping, I created a hole barely large enough to allow my little bird body inside.  And, then, I crawled inside and explored my new home.  Just as I thought, it was absolutely perfect for me.  Dry, warm enough, with a small enough hole to protect me and my young ones from most tenacious predators.  That is, if the predators were daring or even smart enough to pursue us, which I highly doubted.  The genius of it was, I could build my nest up high enough inside to fully protect the little woodpeckers, and if any predator stuck a paw inside, I could just retreat even higher into the hollow beam, and stay completely safe.

That’s when I found out about the cat.  It just makes me want to laugh.  They thought that stupid feline was good at woodpecker control?  Please.  It took a day before it even discovered my presence.  Even then, it was so confused about what to do with a bird that was so daring as to build the opening to its nest so close to the ground.  For another half-day, all it could do was sniff around, and try to put its scent on the beam.  As if that would make me leave.  I felt so daring around this dumb animal that I would even stick my head out of the hole when it was right there, and it didn’t do a darn thing!

No, these humans are going to have to do better than a cat to get rid of me.  Woodpecker control, indeed.

Woodpecker Removal

I would have expected cats to be great at woodpecker removal.  I was wrong.  At least with our cats.  They are no help whatsoever.

We’ve lived in this house for eight years, and for five of those years we’ve had problems with woodpeckers.  I have no idea why they’ve chosen our house to attack.  Our home is pretty much like every other home on our block full of stucco- and brick-faced two-story houses.  The neighborhood is almost a decade old, and you can still tell which houses were built first by looking at the height of the trees in each yard.  We’re a subdivision with young trees and lawns still struggling to establish dominance over weeds.  So, I can’t figure out what would attract woodpeckers out to our little area of the world.  I assume they would be more interested in well-established neighborhoods, with lots of tall trees and foliage.

But, we have struggled with woodpecker removal nearly every year.  For some reason, our house gets attacked every spring.  By the end of the summer, we’ve patched up a lot of woodpecker holes and inspected our attic to make sure nothing else has crawled inside.  Many mornings, we wake up early to the drum-drum-tap-tap of a woodpecker drilling holes into our beloved home.

We’ve tried a lot of things, from the ugly giant plastic owl screwed onto our roof to spraying the birds with water anytime we hear them out there.  They ignore the owl and return once the water has dried.  Don’t tell anyone, but my husband’s gone out there with the air gun and shot pellets up at the birds in an effort to scare them away and let them know we mean business.  They still come back.  It’s like they know they’re protected under the law and my husband isn’t allowed to kill them.

And our cats are worthless at woodpecker removal.  The birds ignore the cats chattering and mewling on the ground.  I would have expected, however, that they would have at least kept the woodpeckers out of our house.

So, you can imagine how surprised we were when we walked in the house to find a woodpecker sitting on the kitchen floor.  It flew up onto a high plant shelf once it saw us, and then eyed us, irritated.  Our two cats were nowhere to be seen.  When we looked for the cats later, we found them sleeping soundly on our forbidden bed, happy as can be.

But, we still had a woodpecker in the house.  How had it gotten inside?  Had it been in here before?  All of a sudden, we were faced with removing a woodpecker from out of the house, not just off of the house.

I called Allstate Animal Control and we had a woodpecker removal technician come out to the house.  He admitted he’d never seen something like this happen before, either, but the woodpecker just sat there, on the plant shelf in my kitchen, watching us, proof that the unexpected does happen.  And, proof that cats are worthless at home protection.