[Arid_gardener] Re: Woodpeckers and oranges

Linda Drew drew_linda@hotmail.com
Sat, 16 Nov 2002 00:59:07 +0000

Two articles that may help you deal with woodpeckers:



Check out our website on woodpecker management:


The most effective control measures for woodpeckers include
exclusion and frightening.

Netting and metal sheeting or hardware cloth are used for
Plastic bird netting with a 3/4-inch mesh can be placed
completely over small trees or used to exclude birds from surfaces. To
protect a surface, netting should be raised at least 3 inches from the
surface to prevent damage through the mesh. Woodpeckers often peck at the
top of walls near the roof eaves. Protect these areas by attaching the
netting to the edge of the eave, angling it back, and attaching it to the
wall below the damaged area.
Metal sheeting or 1/4-inch hardware cloth can be
secured over pecked areas to prevent further damage. The metal barrier
should be painted to resemble the existing surface. Once the offending
birds are gone, the holes should be permanently filled and finished so as
not to attract woodpeckers in the future.

Visual frightening devices, such as brightly colored
plastic or Mylar strips or aluminum foil, have been effective at repelling
woodpeckers. Use strips about 2-3 inches wide and 3 feet long. Tie a 6-inch
string to one end of a strip. Tie the other string end 2-3 feet above the
damaged area so the strips hang freely. The movement of these bright,
reflective strips often frightens the birds away.
Brightly colored, reflective toy windmills can also be
used. Secure the windmills at the pecking site so that the vanes will move
freely with any breeze.
Some success at repelling woodpeckers has been achieved
with life-sized, freely moving hawk silhouettes or the "Scary-Eye" balloons
(balloons painted with large raptor-like eyes), especially if their
positions are moved frequently.
Commercial sound repellents, such as propane cannons,
can be effective, at least for short periods, in agricultural crops, but
are not generally acceptable in residential areas. Repeated loud noises,
such as cap pistols or banging garbage can lids, may cause the
woodpecker(s) to leave for good.

Regardless of the control methods used, it is very important
to implement controls as soon as possible. The longer the pecking or
drumming continues at a particular site, the harder it will be to dissuade
that behavior.

Commercial frightening devices such as plastic snakes and
owls are generally considered ineffective.
Taste, odor and tactile repellents have proven to be
relatively ineffective.
No toxicants are registered for woodpeckers, as they are
protected by federal and state laws.
They can be legally killed only under permits issued by the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the appropriate state agency (in
Arizona, the Arizona Game and Fish Department). However, lethal control of 
woodpeckers is rarely warranted.

Locating a clean water source for woodpeckers
in your yard may prevent damage. Woodpeckers
will also choose to feed from hummingbird
feeders if they are available. They may then
leave your citrus alone, but no guarantees!

Linda Drew
Master Gardener

>From: "Mark Mittelstaedt" <mmittelstaedt@earthlink.net>
>To: <drew_linda@hotmail.com>
>Subject: Woodpeckers and oranges
>Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 17:31:48 -0700
>For some reason, this year I have a veritable plague of flickers ( pileated 
>woodpeckers ) pecking holes in my nascent navel oranges, and they are 
>getting a lot of them. Has anyone out there had any luck with anything that 
>keeps them away. If not, I'll have to start terminating them, and I'm 
>reluctant to do so, but I'm not going to cede my crop to the little 
>*&^%^$%%#^s. Thanks !

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