Richmond Wildlife and Animal Removal

Why do Woodpeckers Peck on Houses?

What do you call a Richmond woodpecker that has no beak? A headbanger! (I can already hear the collective groan out there.) Woody the Woodpecker was a cartoon character in the 1940’s for Universal Studios. He made many people laugh at his antics. But when are real Virginia woodpecker comes to your house, it isn’t always funny.

There are three reasons Richmond woodpeckers peck: 1. Drumming, which is the process of attracting a mate or marking territory. 2. Feeding, which is looking for insects, such as beetles and larvae. The damage can be extensive, but the holes are usually shallow. 3. Nesting, or building a home for themselves. Woodpeckers are cavity nesters, so these holes are deep enough to raise a family. And to a Virginia woodpecker, wood-sided houses just look like a really weird tree.

So what can you do about Richmond woodpeckers to keep them away from your home? You have to careful here. There are 16 different known species of woodpeckers in North America. All are protected by law and two, the Red-cockeded woodpecker and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, are endangered. In fact, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was considered to be extinct until just a few years ago. To killed Virginia woodpeckers, you need to get government permission, sometimes both state and federal.

Woodpeckers are beautiful Richmond birds and shouldn’t be killed just because they are annoying. There are things you can try. Place aluminum flashing over the holes, making sure you don’t trap the woodpecker inside your house. It may work because woodpeckers don’t like shiny things, it’s metal and it changes the sound of the pecking. This may annoy the Virginia bird enough so that it goes elsewhere. If you are not sure if the woodpecker is inside the siding, use mylar tape around the around the hole and hang mirrors. Again, Virginia woodpeckers don’t like shiny things, so the theory is that when it comes out, it won’t want to come back in. You can also wet down your house with a hose a few times a day. Woodpeckers don’t like hanging on wet things.

Lastly, you can hang netting from the bottom of you eaves and down to the ground. The Richmond bird won’t be able to get close enough to the house to peck. The last resort, is to have a professional take the bird away, but relocating wildlife isn’t as easy as it seems. If you can get the Virginia bird to leave on its own, it may find an actual tree it likes better.

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