Pests

Published on March 26th, 2014 | by Henri

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Discourage woodpeckers by eliminating bugs

Q.    My house has redwood siding. Woodpeckers drill holes on the south side of the house. What can I do to discourage them from doing so?

A.    The southern and western sides of houses are the sunniest, and thus the favorite of bugs looking for a cozy nest in which to hibernate. You may not see the bugs, but they are probably hiding behind the siding and the woodpeckers hear them and go after them.

Among the insects interested in such places are cluster flies, which congregate on sunny sides of buildings in late summer seeking shelter from the approaching cold weather. The woodpeckers are after all these insects.

To discourage insects from nesting in your walls, you can also have a pest management professional spray the affected siding at the appropriate time in late summer and early fall to keep cluster flies and other insects from seeking shelter behind your siding. The best time to have the walls sprayed is late August or early September, depending on the region you live in.

Also try hanging suet baskets away from the house to give the woodpeckers an attractive alternative to the bugs, but do so only in winter as suet goes bad in warm temperatures and would make the birds sick.

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