How to Deter Woodpeckers from Cedar Siding?

how to deter woodpeckers from cedar siding

Your home is your safe haven. It is the place you come to relax after a long day at work, and the mere sight of your own home can bring ease to your mind and body.

So, when there is any damage caused to your safe place, you are more than likely to become furious.

Woodpeckers are a common problem faced by houseowners.

Not only do these local birds create noise that can be extremely annoying, but they can also be feasting on your house siding and damaging the aesthetics and the protective exterior of your lovely home.

Woodpeckers are migratory birds that can be extremely common, especially since they are able to survive in a range of natural habitats such as woodlands, savannahs, scrublands and even bamboo forests.

The most concerning part about having woodpeckers around your home is that they cause damage slowly, which can go undetected until the problem becomes fairly serious.

Why Do Woodpeckers Peck Holes in Siding?


If you have ever heard or seen a woodpecker hammer on the siding of your house, you may be wondering why they choose to do so.

There are four common reasons why woodpeckers hammer on homes, including:

1. The Noise:

Hammering on the siding of a house releases a loud noise that helps the bird mark its territory and even attracts a male mate.

If the birds are always on your siding for this reason, they are likely to move away once breeding seasons begins in spring.

2. Forming a Nest:

In case the woodpeckers are looking to form a home inside your house siding, the hole they hammer is likely to be large and round shaped.

Since nesting holes are usually made at the beginning of spring before breeding season, it is recommended for you to evict the woodpeckers from your home before April / May.

3. Finding Food:

Woodpeckers eat different kinds of insects, including leafcutter bees and grass bagworms. Unfortunately, these can be readily found in your house siding.

If these birds are searching for food in your home, the holes they hammer will be irregular and particularly small in size.

However, having insects in your siding is not a great sign, and you will have to hire an exterminator to remove the insects from your house exterior.

4. Storing Food:

Woodpeckers love their food, and especially acorns.

If your house is located in the West where acorns are readily available, chances are that the woodpeckers may be hammering holes in your siding to stash their fresh acorns and save them for later. 


How to Stop Woodpeckers from Damaging the Cedar Siding?


In case you are not willing to spend a large amount on remodeling your house, there are still many ways to prevent woodpecker damage from your cedar siding.

Here are some of the easiest ways to get rid of the woodpeckers:

1. Visual Deterrents

Here is the truth: woodpeckers are absolutely petrified of reflective material, especially if it keeps moving.

To prevent woodpecker damage, you could easily hang CD’s or pie tins on your siding which will keep the birds away for a considerably long time.

For this method to work, you will need to use very shiny items – and luckily for you, some special bird repellent discs are now readily available in the markets.

While these discs are shiny enough to keep woodpeckers away, they also appear to be decorative hangings for your house.

However, this may not be a permanent solution.

Once the woodpeckers discover that there is no imminent threat from these hanging discs, they are likely to return and continue hammering your siding.

2. Electronic Repellent

Since hanging discs can be too overwhelming for some people, electronic woodpecker repellents are the perfect discreet solution to your problems.

These devices are able to radiate distress calls that scare birds away from the area.

Unlike the visual deterrents hack of using CD’s from your home, you will have to invests in a high-quality electronic woodpecker repellent for this method to work.

Depending on which device you choose to buy, there can be limitations as to how long they work effectively for.

3. Distract Them with Food

If the woodpeckers keep hammering your siding in search of insects to eat, giving them some proper food of their own could be a great solution to the problem.

Woodpeckers particularly enjoy suet cakes, which are conveniently placed inside a woodpecker suet feeder where they have space to rest and finish their food with ease.

By setting these away from your house exterior, you can distract the woodpeckers away from your sidings and simultaneously be providing some birds with food.

Depending upon how many woodpeckers you can usually spot around your house, it is recommended to have 1-2 woodpecker suet feeders set up.

4. Give them Shelter

Since woodpeckers may be forming holes in your siding to create homes for themselves, a great solution would be to provide them with a woodpecker birdhouse of their own.

If the birdhouse is appealing enough, the woodpeckers are likely to steer clear of your house exterior and take up residence there instead.

It is recommended to set up a woodpecker birdhouse away from your house and to add a suet feeder along with it.

By ensuring both food and shelter for the birds, they will be satisfied enough to leave your house alone.


What Type of Siding Is Easily Damaged by Woodpeckers? (And What Are Not)


While it is true that all kinds of siding can fall prey to the unavoidable holes made by woodpeckers, there are some types of siding that are particularly easy to damage.

These include:

1. Cedar Shake Siding

This material is commonly targeted for drumming, nesting and even finding insects.

With cedar shingles, this siding is particularly easy to damage for the birds.

2. Tongue and Groove Cedar Siding

Similar to the normal cedar siding, this type is also favourable for the woodpeckers due to the material.

3. Wood Siding

You could call this the woodpecker’s favorite. Wooden material allows the woodpeckers to easily create large, small, or even multiple small holes in the siding.

While this is a dream come true for the woodpeckers, it is definitely a nightmare for the homeowner.

4. Wood Composite Siding

This type is slightly less attractive for woodpeckers, but they may continue to damage it with constant drumming for the purpose of creating noise and attracting a mate.

5. Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is not a popular material amongst woodpeckers.

However, a vinyl siding on a house almost always means that the fascia boards are wood, leading to further woodpecker damage.

Woodpecker Resistant Siding

Although I have listed all the types of siding that are vulnerable to woodpecker damage, it is also important for you to know what kind of siding would be resistant to the damage.

If you are greatly annoyed of the noise and siding destruction made by woodpeckers, here are a few new siding options to consider:

1. Fibre Cement Siding

This material is made of cement, sand, and cellulose – making it tough enough for woodpeckers to stay far away from it.

Since it is awfully hard for the birds to make holes in them, they will be unable to find insects inside the siding or make room to store their food.

Additionally, fibre cement is so strong that woodpeckers would not be able to create a large enough hole for nesting purposes.

Fibre cement siding also prevents the typical woodpecker drumming as it does not create any loud noise when hammered against.

By choosing to opt for this siding, your home exterior is likely to remain woodpecker resistant throughout the year and you can enjoy being inside your home without any unnecessary noise from the outside.

2. Brick Exterior

While it is not a typical remodeling option for homes, a brick exterior is considerable if you are building your own home or looking to relocate permanently.

A brick home is definitely a woodpecker resistant material as the birds will be unable to hammer on any exterior siding – making your life hassle-free and your home damage free.

However, investing into a brick exterior may be extremely costly – especially since these kinds of homes are usually the highest priced.

3. Stone Siding

Since hollow holes cannot be made inside stones, woodpeckers are likely to stay far away from this kind of siding.

While a stone siding may require a hefty amount of money to install, the benefits are significant as you will be free of any yearly repair costs incurred due to woodpecker damage.

However, it is important to remember that while a stone siding will keep woodpeckers away, your fascia, trim and chimney may still be vulnerable to woodpecker damage.

The Final Word

I understand that having woodpeckers around your house can be annoying, but instead of passing your problems onto another houseowner, I recommend giving the birds what they want.

A simple suet feeder and a birdhouse are likely to do the trick – keeping the woodpeckers satisfied and your sidings safe.

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