Woodpecker damage to your EIFS can compromise your home’s all-important water resistant barrier. When customers call us to repair woodpecker damage they ask, “how do we stop the woodpeckers from coming back?” Although we are not aware of any woodpecker defense strategy which has proven 100% effective, the following points may be helpful for homeowners who experience EIFS damage from woodpeckers.
The Woodpecker Problem
Woodpeckers are very territorial. They may return year after year to the same general spot. Woodpeckers damage EIFS and other types of home exteriors such as cedar windows, fascia or siding, and softer cladding materials. Damage most often appears during the breeding season, March through May. The birds peck at the EIFS for the sound, which is similar to that of a hollow tree. They do not nest in the holes they make–unfortunately, smaller birds will nest in woodpecker holes.
Strategies to Prevent Woodpecker Damage
1) Woodpecker Repellent
There are many websites that offer bird and woodpecker repellent. Click here for a Google search listing.
2) Visual Scare Defense
Other possible woodpecker defenses include the use of owl an owl or hawk statue (natural predators of the woodpeckers). The statues need to be displayed high up on the home. Some homeowners attach strips of shiny mylar tape on the soffits in an attempt to prevent woodpecker damage. The mylar tape is looped loosely from the roof soffit under the gutters or is strung vertically over the damaged area. In the latter case, use several parallel strands for best results.¹
3) Repellent Paint and EIFS FInishes
The use of repellent in paint or EIFS finishes is intended to minimize and even prevent woodpecker damage.
We’ve seen deterrents 1 and 2 used, but woodpecker damage still occurred. We’ve also used repellents in our paints and finishes at the request of our customers, which seems to work for a year or so.
4) Exclusion Defense
Woodpeckers cannot peck or drum if they can’t hang on to the surface of the structure. Woodpeckers can be prevented from damaging the EIFS by mounting fine mesh netting or screening from the outside edge of the eave down the side of the structure. Affected areas may alternatively be covered with with heavy (3+mil) plastic sheeting. The plastic should be stretched tightly over the damaged facade of the structure and attached with tacks, staples, or tape.¹ Always check with us or another EIFS expert before puncturing the exterior.
5) Woodpecker Removal / Lethal Control
In case you were wondering, woodpeckers are a federally protected species in Illinois and other states. The Migratory Bird Treaty and Endangered Species acts prohibit the trapping, possession, or killing of most birds, their eggs and nests, without a permit.² If you are forced to consider trapping and/or extermination to stop woodpecker damage, please contact a humane wildlife removal and control service.
This information is provided for educational purposes only. Advanced EIFS Repair, Inc. does not endorse any particular manufacturer, product, service, or other measures listed above.
¹ Perdue University
² Illinois Dept. of Public Health
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