Woodpecker making holes in my trim

Not the first year that this has happened, but this woodpecker comes and makes big holes in the trim on the corners of my house.
A lot of historical posts suggest that the woodpecker knows that there are insects beneath the wood, yet my inspection of the carnage suggests none. Also, I don't know how the woodpecker would know there were insects under there. Plus, why would he be looking for them up high (way close to the roof) as opposed to near the ground where carpenter ants would likely be - i'm not an insect expert, but at the same time, I don't see ants or anything around the house and I've been here for 8+ years.
I don't like the idea of shooting the bastard, but this is damage that I have to address. Sooner or later i'm going to have to risk my ass to get up on a ladder and repair the damage. People suggest using shiny objects or paint to deter them, although I'm skeptical that this is a fix that needs to be repeated with some frequency.
Is shooting it the best option? Are these some endangered species? I'd imagine they're not like mosquitos where as many as you whack, there's an infinite supply waiting to take it's place...
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Look closer, cuz those posts were right. The woodpecker isn't doing it because he likes you or your house...he's doing it for food.
Inspect the bottom of all of your fascia boards for perfectly round holes, the sign of carpenter bees...that's where my money's at. When you find the holes, spray any good insecticide in there...your bees and your peckers'll be gone in no time.
Pete D
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Or he's doing it for the sound that announces his territory. Or for storing food--we had one that liked to jam berries in many small holes in siding. Or working on a nesting hole.
http://www.audubonportland.org/livingwithwildlife/brochures/Woodpeckers http://www.bird-house-bath.com/wp/archives/11
--
Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota * USA

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definetely after food, really annoying:(
I solved the problem by having alunimum soffit and fascia installed no more rat a tat tat. Wierdly he or she ALWAYS came at the same time each morning, about a hour before I wanted to get up:(
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wrote:

My money is with yours-- but I haven't had that good luck in getting rid of them. [to the OP- check the wall below the damage for a weird dirty spot- my carpenter bees leave some sort of sign on their way in and out]
I kill them when I see them. I've painted with oil-based paint. I've replaced the fascia with cedar. I've killed a cat in a graveyard at midni. . . oh yeah, that was for something else.
I inspect this one window whenever I think of it-- but when Mr. Woodpecker knocks on my wall, I know I've missed one. I thank him for his trouble, and tell him to go get his friends to enjoy the suet I put out for them.
Jim
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I hear ya, but how would he know that there are bugs under the wood? I still can't find any evidence of bugs, nor can I find evidence that he's getting bugs...
When the wife keeps the feeder full, the little bastard leaves us alone. I can see him out there right this second, he's cleaning that thing out in no time.
I have to go to home depot today to get something to fill the holes. Any suggestions?

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Proch wrote:

There may not be...is the service wire for power/telephone/cable attached somewhere near? That or any number of other factors can cause vibration that the little guys mistake for insect signs. Power poles are a favorite target as an example where there isn't necessarily any insect infestation at all, pileated variety can literally "top" a pole.
Personally, I also think they simply pick places to "work" simply for the enjoyment of it on occasion although there probably is something that does attract them. The frat house back in university days had an area that was prime, apparently. Absolutely no infestation of any sort, but nice sunny area, and they regularly came back every year during migration time in the fall and would collect there.
As for what to fill holes with, depends on how much damage is done so far. Small holes simply some painter's caulk and touchup is adequate. Bigger areas, use a paste filler, of a non-water-based variety.
--
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any tree unfortunate enough to have bugs crawlin' in/under the bark. Be lucky you don't have a full-grown Pileated pecker goin' after your house...those things can destroy an entire tree trunk in a matter of hours.

seal it up.
Pete D
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Yep. Carpenter bees are the most likely cause. Insecticide might work. Here we solved it by covering the trim with aluminum.
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wrote:

They often bang on things just to attract peckers of the opposite sex. I have a few that go on the tin roof of one of my old silos and bangs on that tin. It's annoying but harmless on the tin. In your case, they can and will do much damage. I had one pecking on a horse shed and ruined the whole edge of the roof. After replacing the board, I applied several shiny aluminum beer or soda cans and hung from bailing wire. The pecker never came back to that place. I guess the cans work.
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On Oct 27, 4:09 am, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

"...peckers of the opposite sex". Is this some bizarre oxymoron?
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There is one irritating bird that pecks on the metal chimney cap on my roof and wakes my daughter up every morning at 5:30 during the Spring and Summer. It is his favorite spot to sound off. I put a screaming sounder on the chimney with a button in my daughters room. The bird actually started responding to the noise maker. Then I put a colorful and noisey wind decoration up...no good. I put chicken wire up around the cap and he sat on the wire and pecked through it on the cap....quite a feat!
In the parking lot of the place where I work is a 200' tower for Radio and Microwave. A woodpecker sits up there for hours on end and pecks on the steel pipes on the top of the tower. The folks there tell me that sometimes buying one of those big fake owls and mounting it near where the bird likes to peck will scare them off. I think the ones here in Seattle are too smart for that.....good luck!

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Jim L wrote:

shows he is king of all he surveys. (insert obligatory 'biggest strongest pecker on the block' joke here.) If you aren't using the chimney at the moment, maybe a sheet of rubber or something clipped over it for a few weeks would discourage him? No noise, no point in pecking at it. Or replace the thin sheet metal with something more substantial that wouldn't act like a drumhead. (Like plate stainless, or a stone cap.)
(BTW, he responds to the noisemaker because he interprets it as a turf challenge.)
aem sends....
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After doing some removal and inspection, it seems as though there's all kinds of coccoons and crap living underneath this siding. Especially in places where the siding meets the trim. After some more investigation it seems that this "masonite" siding is flawed and there was actually a class action suit against them for damage to the wood underneath - unfortunately i've missed the opportunity to collect on the settlement. For the time being, I'll let the woodpeckers peck away, since when I redo all the siding next year any damage they do will be replaced anyway. Thanks for the input.

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As well as excavating insects, woodpeckers hammer to advertise their territory or call for mates. At my house they hammer on a steel TV antenna tower (and next door on the metal roof of a new shed.) Both structures are so large they permit a big noise, which is what the woodpeckers want (not food.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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