Ways to Prevent Home Damage From the Acorn Woodpeckers
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Ways to Prevent Home Damage From the Acorn Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers are pretty birds that can be noisy and active. Through their activity, the Acorn woodpecker may cause damage to your home. Steps can be taken to protect your home from these busy birds.

Birds are most often graceful amazing creatures which brings a smile to most of our faces. Woodpeckers can, however, be noisy and destructive birds. The acorn woodpecker is medium in size, about 9 inches long, predominantly black with some white markings on the chest and red on its head. They are dependent upon trees for food and shelter and are commonly found in wooded areas. They most often eat fruits, nuts, berries and insects. The acorn woodpecker makes large holes in trees, however, to hide acorns, which they use for a food source throughout winter months. They infringe upon humans when they make holes into the sides of wooden homes and buildings to hide their acorns, as well as under siding and shingles.

There are ways that you can prevent destruction of your home from the acorn woodpecker. One way is to use bird mesh netting. Place the plastic bird netting over the vulnerable area. The amount of netting needed depends on the length of your building. Most often the woodpecker attacks the areas right below the eaves. Attach the netting from the eaves and stretched to a lower point on the building. Pull the netting taut so that birds can’t get in and cause damage. Additionally, if the netting is not taut it can blow in the wind, look unsightly and result in damage or breakage. Attach the netting to the eaves and siding with tape, staples or rust-free hooks. A special frame made to hold the netting with dowels or wooden lathes can make it easier to place the hooks and attach to your structure.

Aside from the use of the special bird netting, you can use metal sheathing or plastic sheeting to protect vulnerable areas on your home from the acorn woodpecker.

Although it is not as effective, another option is the use of strategically placed replicas of an owl, hawk or snake. Some birds that may be repeat offenders around your home realize that these replicas are of no danger to them.

Sound diversion, such as hand clapping, banging garbage can lids, a toy cap pistol or other startling sound can sometimes work to scare off the woodpeckers.

Be aware that the acorn woodpecker is protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and cannot be destroyed. If the destruction of the woodpeckers is beyond what can be protected by you, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service need to be contacted. A professional may need to be contacted if the damage of the acorn woodpecker is beyond your control. They can safely resolve the problem without hurting or destroying these protected creatures.

http://icwdm.org/handbook/birds/woodpeckers.asp

http://cemariposa.ucdavis.edu/newsletterfiles/Backyard_Horticulture4370.pdf

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74124.html

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