Various species of woodpeckers can be found and heard throughout the forested regions of North America. Known for their habit of drumming on trees in search of food, woodpeckers use their stiff tail feathers for balance and powerful neck muscles to drive the blows. The bird has a thick skull which allows for shock absorption, as well.
Small to medium in size, woodpeckers range from 7 to 15 inches in length. They have distinct plumage that features patterns of black, brown, and white, as well as vivid red markings around their faces. Unlike other birds, woodpeckers have one or two backward pointing claws, called a zygodactyl foot, which allow the pests to easily climb and grasp trees and structures. Woodpeckers also possess sticky, barbed tongues used to dislodge and grasp food.
Woodpeckers nest and roost in cavities of hollow or dead trees. The birds are found in both deciduous and coniferous forests around the country and usually live near streams or other water sources. Forested swamps, orchards, city parks, and wooded lots are also favored woodpecker nesting sites.
Are woodpeckers known to enter homes or yards?
Homes that border wooded areas generally endure heightened woodpecker activity. The pests may move from pecking trees to drumming on the siding, trim, and eaves of buildings. It is believed that woodpeckers do this because the amplification and resonation that buildings produce mimics that of trees. Additionally, the pests may become even more of a nuisance by pecking at downspouts, gutters, siding, and even metal tanks.
Do woodpeckers harm people or property?
Woodpeckers can cause extensive property damage by drilling holes in wood siding. Most damage occurs in the spring and fall when males attempt to attract mates with territorial hammering. Some species of woodpeckers will actually store food supplies, such as acorns and nuts, in drilled-out areas beneath wooden siding and shingles. Sapsucker woodpeckers weaken trees over time with their constant drilling, which leaves the affected trees susceptible to harmful insects and diseases.
Control and Safety
Quick action must be taken once woodpecker activity becomes noticeable. Any holes found on the home should be repaired and painted over immediately. The use of visual deterrents may prove effective, as well. Preventing insects from nesting around the home also helps keep woodpeckers away, as the lack of readily available food sources will force the birds to move on to new locations. Exclusion tactics such as covering damaged areas with screens, netting, or predator decoys can also help limit woodpecker damage.
Trapping and Removal
Woodpeckers return to the same sites with regularity once an established food source has been found. Contacting trained wildlife professionals ensures that the offending woodpeckers will be removed humanely. Critter Control specialists have the tools and experience to carry out woodpecker removal procedures correctly and effectively.
We can help you get rid of woodpecker problems. Call today: (509) 443-6757