Q: Last summer birds made about a 3-inch hole in my home’s wood siding. I found someone to plug the hole, but this spring the birds made another hole in a different place for their babies. Is there any remedy that you know of to stop this destruction?
— Laurel Lyn, Niles, Mich.
A: Once the young birds have left the nest, plug the hole with wood putty. Then you can try one or a combination of deterrents to keep the birds from returning.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology devotes a section of its website to woodpeckers and suggests a number of control methods. You can find the information at www.birds.cornell.edu/wp_about.
Among the suggestions are attaching items to the house that blow in the breeze and scare birds, such as strips of foil, windsocks and whirligigs. You can also purchase an electronic device that frightens the birds by broadcasting the sound of a woodpecker’s distress call, followed by the sound of a predator.
If the damage is under overhanging eaves, you can stretch bird netting from the eaves to the siding.
The laboratory recommends against using sticky repellents, because the products can get on the birds’ plumage and affect their ability to fly and stay warm. The products can also darken or stain siding and attract dirt, it says.
Have a question about home maintenance, decorating or gardening? Akron Beacon Journal home writer Mary Beth Breckenridge will find answers for the queries that are chosen to appear in the paper. To submit a question, call her at 330-996-3756, or send email to email@example.com. Be sure to include your full name, your town and your phone number or email address.