I got 99 problems and yes, a woodpecker is one. I moved into our new home in Hunterdon County just before Christmas with great optimism. Then it happened. A strange, rhythmic thud on the side of the house. I went out to investigate and didn't see any bird that day. What I did see was disheartening. Two holes the size of golf balls drilled into fascia boards over two windows. And smaller surrounding holes.

Yep. I have a woodpecker. How Deminski of a problem is that? The next day I saw the actual bird. I ineffectually tossed a few pebbles at it to get it to stop destroying the house but obviously that buys you the time it takes to walk back inside. So researching this I find you aren't supposed to harm a woodpecker with poisons or anything that would make sense. Then what DO you do? I read everything from put up a shimmery object like a mirror, to adorn the side of your house with ridiculously bright colored objects. Both are supposed to confuse and startle the woodpecker away. I even saw a machine that is supposed to emit sounds woodpeckers don't like. I'm thinking the neighbors probably wouldn't either. And the cost? Nearly $300. Forget that.

I talked to my FIL who once had a woodpecker, and his solution was a plastic owl. Natural predator. Scares away the woodpecker. Will this work? I have no idea but here's the bad boy I just bought.

Fake owl
Jeff Deminski photo / Townsquare Media

This one even has a motion sensor that triggers movement in its eyes to convince prey it is real. I hope this works. I have my doubts, especially since our house backs up against woods and there's a busy ecosystem so close by. Plus I'm reading these woodpeckers get even crazier on people's houses starting in February with their mating season and it's only early January.

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