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We just bought this house, and the home inspector noted some woodpecker damage to the fireplace's hardboard siding. I also noticed that the little devil had a field day with the 2 Bradford Pear tress in the backyard. I'm not sure if this is an on-going problem or if he's already moved on. Is there a way to discourage them from using our trees and fireplace as a snack bar? Also, is there a product someone here could recommend to cover these holes? There is quite a lot of damage to the 2 trees in the yard, and I don't want bugs or disease to get into the trees through the damage.

I've included a photo of one of the trees.

Thanks!

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I"m no expert on the subject, but I'm pretty sure that if the peckers are laying into those trees, there's already deadwood and insects there.

The don't peck for fun, to my knowledge (atleast around here). You can lure them away from your trees and house (possibly) by hanging peanut butter or other suet type feeders. They really go for them at my house.

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I don't know anything about trees (we live in a dense forest so I just whack down hurtin' ones that might take out a building), but I do find woodpecker damage on many inspections, so I've done some research.

The #1 reason for peckin' on a house is "drumming". This is behavior for establishing territory and attracting mates.

#2 is going after bugs (usually carpenter bees and carpenter ants).

#3 is excavating for a nest. (wood siding on frame buildings can sound like a hollow tree)

If you fix the trees, they'll probably be more interested in the house.

I'm told that visual repellents (owl or hawk silhouettes), if used before the territory is established, can be an effective deterrent.

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I don't know, but I've been told....that #6 birdshot and or a .177 cal. pellet gun with a muzzle velocity in the 900 fps range will take care of your problem. Depends on where you live and/or how close your neighbors are as to which one you use...I would assume. [:-splat]

I think they're considered song birds or are protected so it's probably against the law to shoot them or to "harass" them.

We had a name for the pileated woodpeckers growing up. "LordyGods". As in "Lordy God those are big woodpeckers".

"This information provided for educational and informational purposes only" [xx(]

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Hmmm,

Who woulda thunk it? Those things are lethal! I remember seeing years ago the air rifles used by pioneer game hunters in this country but I didn't think anyone made anything with that kind of power anymore. When I think of pellet guns I think of Crossman or Daisy and the B-B gun battles we had as a kid and Russ Sharpin's Crossman pellet pistol that would leave a welt on you the size of a fist.

They have problems with flickers around here. I hear that hanging tinsel off the eaves will keep them from coming near the house but who the hell wants christmas tree tinsel hanging off of their house year round?

Have you tried one of those plastic owls you can get at a gun shop?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I haven't tried anything yet because we close on the house today. I thought I'd ask about this now so that I could start off on the right foot. The trees have probably been there since the house was constructed in 1989 so they're quite full and nice to look at. I would hate to have to remove them so maybe I'll try the faux owls and suet feeders. Hopefully the birds don't come back. I live in town where all the houses are practically piled on top of each other. While it may be tempting to pull out a gun and shoot the birds, I'm afraid of accidentally taking out a neighbor unless it's the one who owns the large barking dog directly behind us.

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The don't peck for fun, to my knowledge (atleast around here). You can lure them away from your trees and house (possibly) by hanging peanut butter or other suet type feeders. They really go for them at my house.

I've got one that raps the heck outta my metal chimney cap. Seems like just for the fun of it!!...

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Here is your Home Inspector answer:

Holes on siding appear to be from woodpeckers. Consult animal control expert for further review. Pear trees are not part of a home inspection.

Here is my off duty Home Inspector answer: I have discussed this with animal control on three occasions. They told me that in the Chicago suburbs area the #1 reason for woodpeckers to drill into a house was for nesting. I have had some success with the following:

Fill in the holes on the house with wood filler, as soon as it starts. Then, staple tinfoil over the repair. Staple it at the top so that it moves easily when the bird is near. Tabsco sauce around the holes will discourage them as well. I received more info from: http://www.critterridders.com/birdrepellents.htm

Congratulations and good luck with your new house.

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I'm not sure if it would work, but I've seen machines that imitate the sound of hawks (or owls) being used to rid areas of bird problems.

I can understand you wanting to solve the problem on the house, but those trees have been there for a long time, as have the birds. Is it so bad that you think you are going to lose the trees if you don't do something about it?

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Hey Mike,

RWS and Beeman have been making .177 cal pellet guns with muzzle velocities over 1000 fps for at least 20+ years. I used to drool over them as a teenager.

Yes, they are lethal in the right hands. Very accurate as well.

Actually, within 30 yards, just about any pump-up at Wal-Mart will settle the score.

I sometimes would like to have known how fast my old Crossman shot when I pumped it up 20 times.

Take a look at these shooters.

http://www.compasseco.com/shop/prod_sho ... _no=RWS350

http://www.beeman.com/rx2.htm

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Originally posted by StevenT

I'm not sure if it would work, but I've seen machines that imitate the sound of hawks (or owls) being used to rid areas of bird problems.

I can understand you wanting to solve the problem on the house, but those trees have been there for a long time, as have the birds. Is it so bad that you think you are going to lose the trees if you don't do something about it?

There are several large areas of damage on each tree. Either there is already a ton of bugs inside the trees or they will easily find their way inside through the holes. Goodness knows they have plenty of holes to choose from. The pic I posted is only a portion of the damage on one of the trees. I'm telling you guys, I've seen woodpecker damage before, but I've never seen anything like this.

Oh, and Mel, the home inspector noted damage on the building exterior only. I discovered the damage to the trees a couple days later. The trees need to be pruned pretty badly so the damage to the trees isn't easily noticable unless you lift up the limbs.

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