The Log Home Neighborhood

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The Downside to Log Home Living... Woodpeckers!

In my previous post I complained about the bears being back in town and their fascination with my garbage. No sooner had we got the hot wire installed to foil their efforts - before we were again attacked by local wildlife. This time it was like an Alfred Hitchcock tale…

Yesterday afternoon my wife and I were sitting in my office talking about nothing in particular when we both heard this loud knocking…. I mean LOUD. I looked out the window to the left and no one was at the door, but when I turned to the right there was this HUGE woodpecker trying to cut one of our support columns in half!

I just happened to have my little Flip camera on my desk, so I picked it up and recorded "Woody the Woodpecker" as he attempted to destroy my house. It was 'cute' watching him peck around until he decided to really go to work and wood chips started flying. By now he was no longer cute - or welcome on our patio - so I chased him off. But the saga of the woodpecker attack has been recorded for posterity :-)

You can see the video of the woodpecker assult on a log home here, and I'll upload it to the 'hood' in a bit.

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Comment by Tom Heatherington on December 10, 2008 at 9:20am
Bob, that's the best thing I've heard in quite a while. Funny how such things happen. An alarm clock would probably be the last item to be removed from the home in the process of elimination :-)
Comment by ChinkerBob on December 10, 2008 at 4:22am
I once worked on a house that got regular visits from a woodpecker, and he always pecked in exactly the same spot, right outside the master bedroom. The log had no obvious bug infestation, and nobody could figure out what was attracting the bird. Then the owners old wind-up alarm clock died, and the replaced it with an electric model. The woodpecker quit coming. He though there was a really big bug in there someplace, but it was the clock.
Comment by henry on November 25, 2008 at 2:12am
I have had a woodpecker problem. For three mornings my dog and I kept hearing this knocking noise. Well I discovered a woodpecker pecking away on a log. First I got a fake owl ,and that worked for 2 days. Then I hung a foil pie pan, by the area, and the woodpecker hasn't been back since! It really works!
Comment by Art Pepper on November 9, 2008 at 7:03am
We have several Pileated Woodpeckers in our area. I had a pair in an old oak tree behind our cabin this past winter. I was able to get some good pictures and if I'm able to locate where I place them I'll post a few. They are beautiful birds, the largest woodpeckers that live in North America.
Comment by Wisconsin Log Homes, Inc. on October 24, 2008 at 11:04am
Hi Tom,
I couldnt help but laugh at that video! What a beautiful woodpecker... it's definitely not helping your beautiful house though! :) We get customers coming to us with this problem alot - so your definitely not alone. Woodpeckers are a predicatable bird... they seem to use the same flight pattern for food until something changes it, and then (in most cases) they don't return. What's worked for many of our customers is putting something out that they are afraid of - like a fake owl hanging or sitting near the pecking area. There are also some products that you can mix into your stain that will keep wood peckers away. But the fake owl usually seems to do the trick and is less work. :) E-mail me if you have questions. We have an expert on that kind of stuff here at Wisconsin Log Homes. Good luck! -Steph
Comment by Shelley Martinez on October 21, 2008 at 10:04pm
Denise is right on the pileated! What's unusual is they are very shy birds so I'm surprised she got this close to your living quarters. You might want to try a bribe by putting up a few suet cakes (farther from the cabin of course) and give her an alternative meal. This was a neat video to see! (I saw my first pileated this year and I thought it was thrilling! Especially as these birds are on the decline in Michigan due to loss of habitat.)
Comment by Denise on October 21, 2008 at 5:40pm
I forgot to mention - very cool video!
Comment by Tom Heatherington on October 21, 2008 at 4:59pm
Wow, you guys are great! Now I know what species of critter is attacking my home and how to discourage it from turning our deck into toothpicks :-)

Seriously, thansk... this is great info.
Comment by Randy Esposito on October 21, 2008 at 4:26pm
They are also attracted to where overhead power is attached to the house. The vibrations from the power make them think there are insects in the wood. We've had them attack our cedar sided home. Best ways to get rid of them are to get a fake owl and put it near the spot or hang some orange flagging tape or something made out of aluminum near the area. They don't like things moving around them or shiny.
Comment by Denise on October 21, 2008 at 2:05pm
Hi Tom!

That gorgeous woodpecker on your house is a Pileated, and I do believe that she is female (doesn't have a red mustache). This is not the same woodpecker that you show in the last segment of your video. Anyway, she is looking for carpenter ants, her favorite food. Could there be some in that post? At this time of year, she is pecking for one of 2 reasons...either food or territorial. What she is doing there is looking for food, chiseling. Territorial pecking (drumming) is done on hollow trees and is rhythmic and you may find small indents, but no chiseling. You may want to check that post for signs of insects...cause, she'll be back!

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