Published On: 2023-01-24

Woodpecker Control in Alberta, Calgary

What are those holes showing up on my house!?

What’s that banging noise on my roof vent?


Woodpeckers love to cause damage to the exterior of homes, including siding and fascia, and create a lot of noise. This can be especially problematic for homeowners who have an area that is close to their home or even inside their home, where the noise can be heard. While woodpeckers are a part of nature that we don’t want to harm, you may need to take steps to prevent them from causing damage and being a nuisance.

Types of Woodpeckers in Alberta

There are several types of woodpeckers that can be found in Alberta. These include the Pileated Woodpecker, the Hairy Woodpecker, the Downy Woodpecker, and the Northern Flicker. All of these species are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and must not be harmed or killed. The most common nuisance in Calgary is the Northern Flicker, pictured above.

Why Do Woodpeckers Peck On Houses?

Woodpeckers may choose to peck on houses for a variety of reasons. These birds may be looking for food, or they may be using their beaks to create holes in wood to make nests. Additionally, woodpeckers may be attracted to homes because they like the sound that comes from pecking on it. Woodpeckers use these sounds to attract mates, especially in the late winter and spring.

Woodpeckers create three types of holes in structures:

  • Foraging holes, which may appear as small, deep holes in a line,
  • Drumming holes, appearing as many small, shallow holes in a cluster, or
  • Excavation holes, appearing as deep, round holes 3 to 5 cm in diameter. These are usually for nesting.

Will Woodpeckers Go Away on Their Own?

Food availability affects whether woodpeckers will return or not. If there is an abundance of food sources near your home, it is likely that you will continue to have woodpecker problems. Additionally, if there are good nesting sites nearby, it is likely that the birds will continue to come back to your home.

If the woodpecker already has eggs or young in your siding, they will be very determined to stay!

Eco-Friendly Woodpecker Control

One way to deter woodpeckers from coming to your home is by using deterrent devices. There are a variety of different deterrent devices that can be used to keep woodpeckers away. These include scarecrows (i.e. fake owls), reflective tape, sound deterrents, and bird spikes. These devices have varying effectiveness. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t! It depends entirely on how determined the woodpecker is to continue pecking at your house. No pest control company can guarantee the woodpeckers will never come back.

What we recommend for controlling woodpeckers is to annoy them as much as possible. Be careful though! They are a protected species and we don’t want to harm them or harass them so much that we disrupt their natural behaviours such as mating or raising their young. The best way to annoy them is with loud noises whenever they are around. Clap your hands, bang metal together, get as close as you can to them and scare them off. Another method is to use a water gun and shoot at the woodpecker every time you see it. These methods both require a lot of labour and persistence. You have to annoy them enough that they know this is not a safe place for them. Get the whole household involved and take shifts!

If you’d like to install deterrent devices (sometimes that’s all you can do!), give us a call. At Grove, we use the most effective devices that last multiple years, not cheap tape or vinyl balloons. This will help ensure you are doing all that you can to prevent expensive damage to your property.

One Comment

  1. Vola 2024-03-29 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Is there anything you can do to stop a woodpecker from drilling every morning on your heat pipe on top of your roof? It is so loud and annoying and to high for me to get up there? Thanks

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