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NW guys... woodpeckers and cedar siding

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I have a customer with a weekend place, it has weathered knotty cedar siding on it, and in a few spots along one side, a woodpecker has hammered some holes in the boards. This is channel siding, and he has worked on the channels rather than the thicker areas. The holes go through in a couple of places, but they are not large enough to allow access--I have seen that before, fairly large holes into the attic.

Is this a mating ritual? An insect-finding mission? Any other thoughts?

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He is picking up insects, most likely. It could be those little pill bugs that nest in cracks.

I would fill the gaps with brown caulking and move on.

I have heard that woodpeckers will drum on wood to make themselves more attractive to females. That's not much different then strumming a guitar, is it?

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I find woodpecker holes often.

It seems that that even after you repair the holes, the woodpeckers tend to return and make new ones. I suggest that an exterminator be called-in to inspect and treat the house as required because there may be food that they are seeking.

I see fake owls, aluminum foil strips, pinwheels, and other visible devices used as an attempt to scare them away. I am not sure if they really work.

One of my clients has a small speaker that occasionally transmits bird calls of predator birds that scares the woodpeckers. It is really annoying but might be good to use during the time they are away from the house. He said it works.

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