Birds make 'pecky cedar' of siding on a new house

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Q. Our two-year-old house had woodpecker pecking all sorts of holes in the cedar siding. I have used a bug spray on those spots but obviously cannot spray the entire house. Any suggestions? Marjorie Boardman Ludington, Mich.

A.Woodpecker often peck wood siding in their search for bugs, but some experts also believe that they just like to drum on wood or are curious about certain electrical or mechanical noises behind the siding.

To discourage woodpeckers, one reader strung bell wire back and forth about five inches from the surface every three feet. The wire inhibited landings and interfered with the bird's wings.

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this same reader repaired the holes by filling them with a mixture of waterproof-powdered glue and wood sawdust stained the color of the wood.

The National Pest Control Association, 815 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1100, Vienna, Va. 22180, in a technical release (1-72) recommends cutting aluminum foil into strips 2 to 3 inches wide, 3 feet long. Hang the strips from the eaves or fascia board spaced 2 or 3 feet apart.

The technical paper further suggest applying a 10 percent solution of pentachlorophenol oil to the wood and providing alternate drumming boards nearby.

Flickers are said to be discouraged by a product called Kover-Shield, a plastic paint made by the Catalina Chemical Company, Hollywood, Calif. When mixed with sand it is said to defer flickers and maybe woodpeckers as well.

The National Bird Control Laboratories, PO Box 1, Skokie, Ill. 60076, makes a product called Roost-No-More, a harmless cosmetic nesting deterrent that may also resist woodpecker attacks.

Some species of migratory birds are protected by law, so be sure your determined program is both legal and humane.

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