Keeping Wildlife Outdoors in Winter
December 14, 2017
Moles in Your Yard - Do Moles Hibernate in Winter?
Moles in your Yard – Do Moles Hibernate in Winter?
February 7, 2018

Amazingly, there are over 200 species of woodpeckers in the world. Woodpeckers reside in almost every place on earth that has trees, except Australia. Everywhere woodpeckers and humans reside in close proximity, they can potentially cause damage to wooden structures by their very nature and feeding habits. Woodpeckers can do a hefty amount of unacceptable damage to your Lake of the Ozarks home or business that can cost you a lot of money in repairs. Without a viable prevention plan, costs can incur year after year, quickly adding up. One option, which we will discuss in more detail, is setting up feeding stations to direct woodpeckers away from homes and businesses. You can trust the professionals at Adair’s Animal Nuisance Trapping to help come up with a strategy custom made for your property, to help prevent damage from woodpeckers.

downy woodpecker

downy woodpecker


Woodpeckers in Missouri

Missouri is home to up to seven species of woodpeckers, depending on the time of year. Four species reside here year-round: the hairy, downy, pileated, and red-bellied woodpeckers. The other three species, northern flickers, red-headed woodpeckers, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers, migrate to Missouri for the winter months.


red headed woodpecker

red headed woodpecker

Signs of Woodpeckers

  • smooth, round holes in wood siding and trees rough,
  • vertical gashes in wood siding and trees
  • “drumming” sounds in wooded areas
  • woodpecker calls (varies by species)


Physical Features and Diet of Woodpeckers

The woodpeckers that live in Missouri range in length from 6-17 inches. They have a variety of features, dependent on species. The one thing they have in common, however, is the tendency to drum – or peck – on trees and other wood structures. Though drumming is useful in establishing territories and locating mates, woodpeckers are not just drumming to make themselves heard. When woodpeckers drum, they are using the sound to locate grubs and other insects inside the wood, just like using a hammer to help find a wall stud. Woodpeckers are important to the health of forested areas, as they mostly eat insects, some of which are timber pests. In order to live in harmony with these beautiful birds, we must adapt our properties to provide acceptable habitats for the woodpeckers that help keep our trees healthy. The professionals at Adair’s Animal Nuisance Trapping can assist with evaluating your specific needs and adapting a plan to protect your property from woodpecker damage.




Setting Up Feeding Stations

During the winter time, feeding stations can be set up containing beef suet. If properly located, these feeding stations may help prevent woodpecker damage to certain structures by encouraging woodpeckers to feed away from these structures. It is important to note that this is only for winter, as offering suet year round may make the birds dependent of handouts and prevent them from effectively controlling timber pests.


Other Options for Woodpecker Control

When safe to do so away from power lines and walking paths, consider leaving some dead branches on trees in wooded areas to provide nesting areas for woodpeckers. Alternatively, nesting boxes can be set up. It is important to have a professional evaluate your property to determine the species of woodpeckers present, as each species has specific nesting requirements which need to be addressed. Another option is to set up alternative drumming sites, which may be useful in redirecting drumming activity related to territory marking. If woodpeckers are already drilling into siding because of insect activity, tunnels in the siding can be caulked to drive insects out and prevent re-infestation. The professionals at Adair’s Animal Nuisance Trapping can help with all of these needs and more to prevent and repair damage that woodpeckers cause.


flicker woodpecker

flicker woodpecker

Fun Facts about Woodpeckers

  • Woodpeckers have extra thick skulls, chisel-like beaks, and muscles that act as shock absorbers.
  • Woodpeckers climb tree trunks and use their beaks like jack hammers.
  • The most common woodpecker plumage colors across species are black, white, red, and yellow.
  • A woodpecker’s tongue is up to 4 inches long!
  • Woodpeckers can peck up to 20 times per second, or 8,000-12,000 times per day.
  • Some woodpeckers can live 20-30 years under ideal conditions, though the average is 4-12 years.
  • The most well-known woodpecker is Woody Woodpecker, created by Ben “Bugs” Hardaway in 1940.
yellow-bellied sapsuckers

yellow-bellied sapsuckers


For all of your prevention, management, and repair needs, trust the professionals at Adair’s Animal Nuisance Trapping. Our experienced team does much more than trapping, and can help formulate a custom plan to protect your Lake of the Ozarks property. At Adair’s Animal Nuisance Trapping, we put the Wild back where it belongs! – in the Wild.

1 Comment

  1. My house is under attack by woodpeckers, and your article had some great tips for how to ward them off. I liked how you said to consider setting up nesting boxes and leaving loose twigs and branches around to encourage them away from the home. Thanks; I’ll keep this in ind when warding my home from wood peckers.

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