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Woodpecker damages house siding

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2013-10-21          188161


For the second time woodpeckers have pecked their way into our chimney. The chimney is wood framed and sheathed, sided with hardiplank and has 1x4 corner boards.

A few years ago there was one hole pecked right through the 1x4 corner boards, the 3/4" sheathing, and the 2x4 framing all the way through. This hole was just under the steel chimney cap and it seemed they were standing on the cap and pecking at the corners. I patched the hole, replaced the damaged section of 1x4 corner board, and screwed some galvanized steel on each corner from the cap which extended down about 18".

This time there are four holes pecked all the way in about half way down the chimney, so obviously they are now sitting on the side and pecking. They do not like to peck the hardiplank and seem to avoid that completely except for one or two pecks.

My question is this - is there a best way to "pecker-proof" a wood framed chimney? I am thinking of replacing all the corner boards and wrap them completely with galvanized sheet metal. Then someone told me they will peck through light gauge metal too, like flashing, so maybe something thicker needs to be applied.

That said... the peckers seem to make noise as a mating ritual. If the noise could be eliminated it seems they would completely stop pecking.

So maybe some rubber underneath the steel would help quiet the pecking?

Just thinking out loud here. Does anyone have any proven suggestions or techniques to deal with this problem?

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Woodpecker damages house siding

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2013-10-22          188162


That really is a nuisance !

We have had our issues with birds as well, but none as severe as what you describe.

Do you have any moisture or insects where the birds are pecking? Or are they just at it for the entertainment?

If I were you I would experiment with using Azek rot proof trim instead of wood for the corner boards. Maybe even temporarily nail a piece right on top of their latest handiwork to see if they will peck through the Azek trim.

If the birds are just nuts some bird shot might be the simplest cure, provided you don't have neighbors near by :-)
....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Woodpecker damages house siding

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2013-10-22          188163


I will use composite siding when rebuilding the corners but thanks for the tip on Azek. They make a composite one piece corner board that looks like just the ticket. I am still thinking that wrapping them with steel would be a good idea but maybe the composite wouldn't make a lot of noise and it would work by itself.

I don't think there are insects in the wood, the last boards I replaced were solid except for the pecker hole. Mostly the only insects are wasps in wasp nests. Maybe they peck as a mating ritual because following a peck on our house there is always a corresponding peck from somewhere down the road.

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Woodpecker damages house siding

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2013-10-23          188165


I don't have a solution but only a comment about their pecking. Most of you are familiar with a traditional windmill that was found on 99% of farms and are still used in remote pastures of the west to pump water. They had a wooden platform just below the wheel to stand on to service the "Head" where the shaft of the wheel went into and the pump rod came out the bottom, the head needed periodic service. This wooden platform seemed to be a popular pecking site, they would really make it rattle and soon you could hear an answer from another bird pecking somewhere, I think this pecking may be their mating call, I'm just guessing. Maybe this is where old Samuel got his idea for the Morse Code.

Frank. ....

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Woodpecker damages house siding

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2013-10-25          188181


Woodpecker code? First dating site? LOL

Are they looking to nest there?

How about sound to run them off? If you could set some outdoor speakers there and play politicians speaking it might just work. Seriously if they are doing it to attack other woodpeckers there should be some type of sound that would negatively affect that pecking there.

You also might find running an electric fence system of sorts there may sock them enough to help them find a real tree. If you do remember they will not be on a grounded surface and you must provide both negative and positive wiring where they can touch both at the same time.

They do this in the day time I think only but strobe lights might work if near enough.

As to bird shot, bb gun very little noise or sling shot. kt

One thing that keeps coming to my mind is pepper solution. Not sure if that is just getting old but it is suppose to work with some birds on vegetables. ....

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Woodpecker damages house siding

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2013-10-25          188182


Also water sprinkler set on timer to blast them.

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Woodpecker damages house siding

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2013-10-26          188190


Complicating the problem is that to access the area requires rental of a boom lift every time. I have been trying coercive ways to discourage them but when I am home and they are pecking the pellet gun will make an appearance. I hope to miss the chimney!
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