A. Woodpeckers cause problems when they damage trees or attack aluminum flashing, wood siding, roof vents, stucco, tile or vinyl and even space shuttles (Discovery Flight 21 in 1995). Woodpeckers are noisy as they drill and drum. They create holes in buildings that provide access for other pest birds or animals like starlings, bats, squirrels, rats and raccoons.
Q. Why do woodpeckers build their nests in my walls?
A. Your walls are very similar to the hollow of a tree, but warmer and with few or no predators. Walls are safe and convenient, perfect for raising baby woodpeckers.
Q. Why do woodpeckers drill on my house?
A. There are several reasons woodpeckers drill. They may be looking for food. Insects are their primary food source and they dig into dead wood to get at them. So, the woodpecker may be trying to tell you something: you may have bugs!
Sometimes they drill holes to establish nesting sites and you may be about to have a very noisy nest of woodpecker babies in your walls.
Especially in the spring, woodpeckers drill or drum on the side of a house or anything else that is especially resonant and loud to communicate with one another. “This is my place!” They are establishing territory and showing off their abilities.
It appears that woodpeckers simply like the sound of drilling and sometimes drill for the fun of it. Sometimes it doesn’t necessarily hurt the house but the racket certainly is annoying to anyone who isn’t a woodpecker.
Q. Why should I get rid of woodpeckers?
A. Woodpeckers are a gateway pest that opens your home to further infestation by squirrels, bats or raccoons. Sometimes the holes they make are small but other times as big as your hand, and they will whack away all over your home, either looking for a good place to drill through, or just because they like the sound it makes. Woodpeckers drill or tap with their beaks an estimated 8,000-12,000 times a day—serious noise that disturbs sleep and peace of mind. Sometimes woodpeckers choosing your home may indicate that you have insect problems such as carpenter ants or perhaps termites. That doesn’t mean you should tell them thank you and invite them to move in. You can appreciate woodpeckers in their natural environment but you don’t have to share your home with them.
Q. When is the best time to get rid of woodpeckers?
A. You need to get rid of woodpeckers right away before your home becomes a habit. The damage may seem superficial at first, but the longer the birds are allowed to remain the more difficult it is to get rid of them. Once territories are established, the birds don't want to leave. Early spring when they first arrive and mid to late fall after the babies have fledged are the best times for woodpecker removal.
Q. Where do woodpeckers normally live?
A. Woodpeckers live in the trees of both small wooded areas and full-sized forests. The trees provide shelter for nesting, food as the birds dig out insects from the bark, and a mode of communication. Manmade structures work very well for woodpeckers, too. Homes, barns and businesses have spacious roofs, attics and walls that make great nesting sites. Likewise, utility poles, fence posts and swing sets have attractive wood that make great noises. While some woodpeckers, such as the red-cockaded and ivory-billed, remain in remote areas, many species have adapted well to suburban or even urban living.
Q. How do I know if the birds I see are woodpeckers?
A. The drilling and drumming of woodpeckers is very distinctive and not easily confused with sounds of any other birds. If the birds sing, they are probably not woodpeckers. If they seem to prefer percussion and sound like a machine gun or hammer drill, they probably are. There are many species of woodpecker and each has individual characteristics, but in general woodpeckers are brightly colored birds--black, white and red being most common. They are around 7 to 15 inches tall with short, distinctive legs because of their unusual feet, which have two toes forward and two toes backwards, rather than the three-and-one configuration of most birds. This foot structure allows them to cling to the sides of buildings on stucco or siding in a manner that is similar to bats, but right side up. Flight patterns vary between species, but in general woodpeckers alternate between bursts of wing beats and short glide or coast periods in between. They are quick to fly and very sensitive to sound, making them very difficult to sneak up on.
Q. Where can I get help with my woodpecker problem?
A. Call Allstate Animal Control. We provide professional woodpecker solutions and have trained technicians who can help you get rid of the woodpeckers in responsible, safe, and legal ways.
Q. What are the most common woodpecker complaints you receive?
A. Drilling, drumming, messing on and staining siding and stucco and damage due to insect scavenging are the most common complaints we receive about woodpeckers.
The annoying sound of woodpeckers drumming or drilling can occur any time of the day starting between 5 and 5:30 a.m. It may seem to last all day and go on for months. As long as they are in an area, the woodpeckers will make noise. The noise carries for great distances and echoes throughout structures that are being used for sounding boards. Of course that drumming and drilling also causes damage which might appear superficial at first but which quickly can become quite serious.
As woodpeckers search for food, they drill holes anywhere that they think there might be a tasty ant or grub. Anything made of wood is a target: expensive nut trees, of course, but also houses, barns, fence posts and utility poles, which can be damaged to the point they fail.
Finally, woodpeckers build nests. This wouldn’t be bad if they just put some grass, string and twigs together, but they don’t. They drill holes in surfaces covering space that would make a good nest site, resembling a cozy home in a hollow tree. For this purpose, they don’t care if your home is wood or not. It is amazing what woodpeckers can and do drill through. In their determination to open a hole they sever exterior wires like TV cables and phone lines. Once they make a hole it becomes an open invitation for other animals and suddenly homes are infested by a host of creatures—bats, snakes, or rats.
Woodpeckers don't just eat insects. They also eat berries. Because of the dye in the berries, woodpecker droppings stain anything it comes in contact with-siding, stucco, and concrete. The stain is extremely difficult to remove and very unsightly.
In their search for food woodpeckers will bore into trees, not caring how much they cost or how much you enjoy their shade. This drilling can damage the trees to the point that they die.
Q. What are the health risks of having woodpeckers on my residential or commercial building?
A. Woodpeckers carry a variety of mites, ticks, fleas and other insects, especially woodpecker bugs. Woodpecker bugs are blood-sucking and known to bite humans and pets. The bugs access your home through tiny cracks from nest sites in the walls and end up in your beds or on the kitchen table. Remember, getting rid of woodpeckers must mean also getting rid of their nests and accompanying trash, or you will have in infestation of hungry insects looking for new hosts.
Once a woodpecker opens hole in your building, it is an invitation for bats or starlings. These creatures bring their bugs and disease with them when they move into vacated woodpecker holes or nests. Also, while a typical infestation of woodpeckers involves, perhaps, 4 individuals, their followers, the starlings, quickly multiply to the hundreds.
The noise created by woodpeckers leads to sleep difficulties, headaches, difficulty concentrating, a decrease in worker productivity and reduced morale due to stress. If your home is a target, be prepared to wake up every day around 5 a.m. to a sound that makes a jackhammer seem restful.
Q. Will the woodpeckers attack me?
A. No. Woodpeckers drill holes in wood, not people, even very hard-headed ones. If you threaten their nests they may bluff an attack by flying at you quite fiercely. While this is startling and intimidating, it is unlikely that the birds will actually harm you.
Q. Who is responsible for this woodpecker problem?
A. You, the property owner, are responsible, but that doesn’t mean you have to take care of it yourself. Allstate Animal Control is here to help. Getting rid of woodpeckers requires knowledge of applicable laws and regulations, proper equipment, comfort with heights, and lots of practice. Don’t just hope the birds will go away. Take responsibility for the problem and call us.
Q. Which poisons do you recommend to kill woodpeckers?
A. There are no poisons labeled for woodpeckers. They are federally protected migratory birds and cannot be killed without a special license. In addition, poisons bring the danger of secondary or accidental poisoning of people or pets.
Q. Which woodpecker repellents are the best?
A. We have five-step repellent products that are very effective and deter woodpeckers in multiple ways: by taste, texture, blockage, and visual cues. No products or process are more effective. Please contact us for more information.
Q. Which methods do you use to exterminate woodpeckers?
A. Woodpeckers are covered by the Migratory Bird Act of 1918. It is illegal to kill or even harm migratory birds, their nests or eggs. If you do choose to violate the law and kill the birds, more will come in the future for the same reasons that brought the first ones. It is better to employ control techniques that repel, not kill, the birds. We have very effective techniques to deter birds. When your property is unattractive to them, they will find another home and leave you in peace. If absolutely necessary, we can obtain a federal kill license and shoot or kill-trap the birds. Federal and state agencies and the USDA all must approve a permit and it takes 3-5 months.
Q. Which methods does Allstate Animal Control use to get rid of woodpeckers?
A. We focus on humane removal of woodpeckers. Through the use of repellents and deterrents (taste, texture, blocking and visual cues) as well as modification of structures, we give the woodpeckers many reasons to move and find a new home soon and stay away from your structure in the future. Our methods are humane and effective and will get the woodpeckers out and keep them out. Federal kill permits can also be obtained and used as a last resort.
Q. Who should I call for help?
A. Call Allstate Animal Control. 1 888-488-7720. We have the most effective types of control available. We will solve your woodpecker problem.
Q. Why should I hire a professional to get rid of woodpeckers?
A. Professionals like Allstate Animal Control know what works. Many things must be considered when planning to get rid of woodpeckers. Woodpeckers are persistent and you must get rid of them without harming them. They are federally protected species and many states have additional laws and regulations. Do you know the laws and how they apply to your particular situation? Fines for violations can go as high as $3000.
Getting rid of woodpeckers usually involves high places—roofs, under eaves, tall trees. We have the equipment to safely access heights like man lifts, JLGs, extra-long extension ladders, and such.
Next, we can provide temporary damage repair and recommend products and techniques to prevent future infestations and recover lost property value.
Finally, we perform necessary stain removal, clean up of droppings and removal of nests as typically associated with a bird infestation. Professionals provide complete service and complete relief from the annoyances of woodpeckers.
A. Woodpeckers drill holes. The holes themselves are often only an inch or so in diameter, but after a while there may be dozens or hundreds of them and your trees may be injured or distressed. Then squirrels may find the hole, enlarge it and move in. After that, raccoons find the squirrel hole….you get the picture. Starlings and other filthy birds will move into woodpecker homes and set up a year-round colony, which quickly multiplies.
Woodpecker droppings stain stucco, brick, concrete and siding. It is unsightly, unsanitary and very difficult to remove.
Beyond the physical damage to buildings, the occupants of the building suffer mental stress due to incessant noise. The “drumming” of woodpeckers usually starts before dawn and prevents or interrupts sleep and causes frayed tempers and headaches.
Q. What can a woodpecker infestation do to damage my property value?
A. Woodpecker damage can vary widely, from a few dents in siding to a completely destroyed home. Recently we provided service to a customer who paid $110,000 to repair and replace damaged stucco. All those holes were drilled by two nesting pair, only 4 little woodpeckers. The damage typically involves property value depreciation of 5-10%, but can run much higher if the damage goes untreated for a long period of time.
Q. How can a wildlife removal technician help me get rid of woodpeckers?
A. Allstate Animal Control technicians are professionals experienced in getting rid of woodpeckers. Getting rid of nuisance birds is what we do. We provide materials and labor to bar the woodpeckers from damaged zones. We employ very effective repellents and deterrents to make your home unattractive to them. If it becomes necessary, we will help you obtain a federal kill permit and navigate the system between the federal government, assorted state agencies and the USDA. You must have a complete record tracking attempted removal methods and the results over an extended period to obtain a permit. We will guide you through that process. We can evaluate your unique situation and give suggestions for maintenance and modification of your home to discourage the woodpeckers from returning. We do temporary repairs that will protect your home until long-term changes are completed. We clean up the mess as necessary and make sure your home is safe and quiet once again. Basically, we are here to help you solve the whole problem.
Q. What does it cost for an initial on-site woodpecker inspection?
A. $150-250. For specific information, see our Pricing Page.
Q. What does it cost for an initial over-the-phone woodpecker control consultation?
A. FREE! Send me 5-10 digital pictures via e-mail (use our Contact Us page) and I will review them and call you to recommend a solution and give you an estimate. Pictures should include possible woodpecker drill sites, all four sides of building, porches or similar areas. If trees, utility poles or other items are involved, include pictures of them, too.
Q. Who pays to solve my woodpecker problem?
A. Woodpecker control is the responsibility of the property owner. You can attempt to get rid of them and clean up yourself, but I recommend that you contact us, your woodpecker removal specialists. Typically woodpecker removal starts with an inspection and evaluation which costs $150-250, depending on your location. You may want to contact your property insurance carrier; your policy may include coverage for removal, clean up and repairs associated with nuisance birds.
Q. What FREE bird control services does your company offer to the public?
A. If you find a bird or animal problem on your property, take 5-10 digital pictures and e-mail them to us (use our Contact Us page). We will call you on the phone and discuss your situation for a few minutes and suggest a plan of action, as time allows. Act today. There is no obligation and the sooner you get started the sooner you will be woodpecker-free.
Q. How much will it cost to get rid of the woodpeckers?
A. Prices vary depending on your location, number of birds and severity of the problem. E-mail digital pictures and I will give you a FREE consultation and estimate over the phone. For additional information, see our Pricing Page.