- Posted by gordonb
- On August 12, 2022
- 0 Comments
Did you know that there are more than 22 species of woodpecker and North Carolina is home to 8 of them? These unique birds are known for their pointed beaks that drill holes in trees and other wood as they search for food. Some woodpeckers are hunting for insects and spiders while others prefer berries and tree sap. Most of the time, woodpeckers drill holes in trees, but they can cause damage to your home and other structures as well. If you know what to look for, you can identify and stop woodpecker damage in its tracks.
How to Identify a Woodpecker
North Carolina woodpeckers come in many shapes and sizes. You’ll know a woodpecker is around long before you spot it. The characteristic tap, tap, tap as they beat their beaks into the wood is enough to alert you to their presence. Although woodpeckers all share a common trait of having a sharp, strong beak and hard head, they are all unique.
What Kind of Damage Do Woodpeckers Cause?
That depends on what the woodpecker is doing at the time. There are three reasons that you’ll see or hear a woodpecker tapping on the woodwork around your home. They’ll either be looking for a meal, trying to attract a mate, or building a home.
When a woodpecker is on the hunt for a meal, it will drill holes into the wood to get to insects and larvae that are hiding inside. Some species of woodpecker make these holes in fairly straight lines along the wood while others randomly drill holes. Feeding holes are generally small, but that’s no consolation as the bird will likely make many of them.
Attracting a Mate
Male woodpeckers use their hard heads and sharp bills to tap on wood, metal, stone, and any other material that will resonate. This usually happens during the spring mating season, and can result in minor damage to the wood surface.
In addition to holes created to forage, woodpeckers can also drill holes in your home’s woodwork to build a nest. These holes are significantly bigger as they need to be roomy enough for anywhere between 3 and 10 chicks.
The Problem With Woodpecker Holes
When a woodpecker drills holes in your house, it not only detracts from its appearance, it can be a huge structural issue. The open hole exposes the wood to moisture, which can lead to problems with rot and mold. Woodpecker holes are also an attractive home for a number of insect pests, which can easily lead to a difficult to control infestation.
How to Stop Woodpecker Damage
Woodpeckers are beautiful birds and they are important to the ecosystem. Still, the last thing you need is for one to start drilling holes in the side of your house. Not only is the sound maddening, but it can be costly to repair the damage. If you’ve got a woodpecker bothering you, contact us at Critter Control. We offer wildlife services in Guilford, Alamance and Forsyth counties in North Carolina and we can help you get rid of nuisance woodpeckers around your home.