Woodpeckers rarely engage in activities that bring them into
conflicts with humans. But when it happens, frequent conflicts involve the drumming and feeding on wood sided houses.
Woodpeckers, although they can be a nuisance, act as an early
indicator of a potentially serious problem. Feeding primarily on insects, they
can pin point insect activity in your home (ants, termites). These insects can
destroy wood siding, and in extreme cases, work their way into the structural
portions of your home.
Drumming, feeding, and nesting are the primary reasons for
damage to your home. Drumming is by far the most common. Male woodpeckers are
territorial, and search out "drums", which are areas that resonate
sound to mark their territories. Wood siding and metal chimney caps are
favorite drumming sites.
Woodpeckers may choose wood sided houses as nesting sites,
but this is rare.
Feeding on an infected area of your home, woodpeckers will
create small cavities. These small cavities are great nesting sites for smaller
bird species, and in turn will attract them.
A simple easy deterrent in the early spring is to tack up a
pie plate on a string near the affected area. The movement and reflection from
the sun should deter them.
INTERESTING FACT. The special anatomical structures
woodpeckers have to prevent brain injury when they "drill wood" have
provided insight into protecting humans from head injuries!