Homeowners in rural Southeastern Minnesota sometimes find that woodpeckers go after their cedar siding-sometimes pecking through to the insulation. Why do they do this, and how can you discourage them?
Woodpeckers are great at reducing the bug population. The problem with these birds is that they peck at wood to find bugs beneath the surface of woos, and sometimes the wood they peck at is your cedar siding. The holes they make and leave behind attract more bug "residents". The birds also peck loudly to define their territory.
Woodpeckers are a protected bird in many areas including cities like Rochester MN, so destroying them is not an option. There are 2 commonly used methods to deter woodpeckers from making holes in your siding.
First, you may try scaring them away with something that moves or makes noise such as a wind sock or aluminum pie tins hung from fishing lines. Strips of thin black plastic, 3 inches wide and 3 feet long may also work.
Second, distract the woodpecker from the problem area by fastening a block of suet (in a wire basket) to the siding. The woodpeckers love it and they stop bothering the siding.