If you’re a siding installer, your customers will look to you to recommend ways to keep their siding damage free. One major source of damage is birds—specifically woodpeckers. And while aluminum and vinyl sidings in lighter colors are less likely to be damaged by woodpeckers, the birds will peck at them to generate sounds that attract mates. While doing so, their sharp little beaks will deface and in some cases permanently mar the siding.
Anticipating this problem and offering your customers a solution will leave you with a grateful customer in the long run—a customer who will recommend you to their neighbors and friends. Large corporate customers will be equally grateful that you spared them the future expense of repainting and repairs.
Here are three effective woodpecker deterrents recommended by today’s bird control professionals:
BeakGuard™ Woodpecker Deterrent
This scientific breakthrough has been shown to keep woodpeckers away from siding and other painted surfaces. Known as BeakGuard, it covers virtually any latex-painted surface—including wood, fiber-cement, stucco, aluminum or vinyl. After it’s applied, the elastomeric acrylic finish communicates a warning signal to woodpeckers that says this surface is unwelcome and not worth the trouble to peck. The specially formulated compound is harmless to woodpeckers or other birds. It’s also durable and long lasting. And it resists dirt pick up. Harsh weather won’t affect it either. BeakGuard establishes a tough, vapor permeable, flexible membrane that is colorfast. Best of all, it's easily applied using a brush, roller, paint pad or conventional spray equipment. One gallon will protect about 180 square feet.
3/4” Mesh Woodpecker Netting
Developed to deny woodpeckers access to siding and other vulnerable wood surfaces, Woodpecker Netting provides a proven effective barrier deterrent that blocks woodpeckers doing any damage. The 3/4-inch mesh netting is made of durable UV-protected polypropylene, which means it will last for season after season of harsh weather. Woodpecker mesh netting is lightweight, easy to handle and install. And something your customers will like is that this netting is practically invisible, so it blends aesthetically with its surroundings. Woodpecker netting comes in 14 x 100-foot rolls and is quickly installed using Poly Clips or staples.
Woodpecker Deterrent Kits
Ideal for discouraging woodpeckers from coming around,Woodpecker Deterrent Kits come with a Bird Repeller Balloon, a 50-foot roll of Flash Tape, and all the hardware you need to easily affix them to virtually any surface. Flash Tape Banners snap and pop in the breeze and reflect sunlight, which will convince woodpeckers to move on to someone else’s house. Bird Repeller Balloons display big “predator eyes.” When the balloons bob and weave in the wind, woodpeckers get the feeling that they are being “eyeballed” for a meal and won’t want to hang around. To ensure woodpeckers don’t get used to these visual woodpecker deterrents, it’s a good idea to move them around frequently.
With bird season right around the corner, the one bird you definitely want to deter is the woodpecker. While it’s interesting to watch them hammer holes in trees, it’s not so interesting when they’re turning your home siding into Swiss cheese. Or when they’re pulling the insulation out of your exterior walls to make room for nests.
by Alex A. Kecskes
By Alex A. Kecskes
Woodpeckers are nice to look at but they can cause a lot of damage. They can hammer you building’s wooden shingles, cedar or redwood siding into “Swiss cheese.” And unless you find ways to get rid of woodpeckers, they’ll pummel your metal or plastic guttering until it leaks like a sieve. They’re also partial to light posts, wooden signs and some synthetic stucco exterior finishing. Plywood and Masonite are less attractive to woodpeckers, but they still will attack these materials, peppering them with unsightly holes.
Without effective measures to get rid of woodpeckers, these birds can hack all around an area, creating a large unsightly hole the size of a baseball. They can damage a roof rafter so severely that it will need to be reinforced with steel to make it structurally sound. Wood shakes or clapboard, synthetic stucco, chimney caps, aluminum flashing and even vinyl over wood are prime targets for woodpeckers. The woodpecker that does the most damage to buildings is the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus). If you spot one in flight, you’ll notice the yellow or salmon tint under the wings and tail feathers. So how do you get rid of woodpeckers? If you’re considering bird poisons or BB guns, forget it. Woodpeckers are a protected species, and the $500 fine you pay for killing them can poke a hole in your wallet faster than any woodpecker can drill into your siding. Fortunately, there are effective ways to deal with these birds that are quite humane. Some strategies:
Bird Scare Devices
These Bird Scare Deterrents are a fairly inexpensive way to get rid of woodpeckers. They’re the bright foils that crackle in the breeze, the reflective tape banners that whip about in the wind, and beach-ball size balloons with intimidating predator eyes that bob and weave to give woodpeckers the “willies.”
Hawk Decoys. Woodpeckers fear hawks, which unlike owls, hunt during the day. So one way to get rid of woodpeckers is to set up a hawk decoy or two. The hawks should be roughly 11 inches long with a 20- to 24-inch wingspan. For best woodpecker deterrent effect, hang the decoy from the eave of your building where your woodpeckers have been active. Use a thin, clear fishing line. To enhance the deterrent effect, attach a mirror that reflects the hawk and make sure your woodpecker(s) can see it from where they regularly perch.
Sonic Systems. You’ve no doubt chased away a woodpecker or two by clapping your hands or banging pots. But do you really want to stand there and bang pots all day? Better to get a Sonic Woodpecker Deterrent. These devices have successfully been used to drive away all manner of pest birds—including woodpeckers. They emit predator and distress calls that convince woodpeckers that yours is a danger zone filled with hawks and other flying predators. These sounds have been specially recorded to alarm woodpeckers, yet they are not unpleasant to humans. The best sonic bird deterrents can be programmed to emit distress and predator calls 24/7. You can also add speaker units to significantly widen the coverage area. Some systems will continually alter the pitch, frequency, timing and intensity of their sounds for maximum deterrent effect.