Q. Woodpeckers are eating the cedar-shake roof on my home in northern Washington. Replacement of the shakes on one slope only already has cost me $ 800. What is the best way to repair the holes which are an inch or less in size? Is there any way to keep the birds away and yet withstand the rain for more than one season? A reader Colfax, Wash.
A. We know of no way to permanently repair wood shakes which have been damaged by flickers without replacing them.
An executive of a pertinent association says he is unaware of any commercial treatment which is specifically designed to discourage woodpeckers. He does say , however, that clear wood preservatives which contain a fungicide have, in some instances, inhibited such attacks.
Fungicides are primarily beneficial in arresting the detrimental growth of such things as moss, fungus, mildew, and the like, on the shakes. These fungicides are toxic, however, and therefore are harmful to plants.
If you do use a fungicide, follow the labeled directions.
Of course, you might try a product such as Roost-No-More, made by the National Bird Control Laboratories, PO Box 1, Skokie, Ill. 60076, or equal. This product is a harmless cosmetic nesting deterrent and might also resist woodpecker pecking.
Other sources for ways and means of legally deterring undesirable bird encroachments are:
* National Pest Control Association, 8150 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1100, Vienna, Va. 22180.
* US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Assistance, PO Box 67, Elkins, W. Va. 26241; and
* National Audubon Society, 1130 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10028.
Caution: Be sure your eviction progra m is both legal and humane since some species of migratory birds are protected by law.