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Return of the Menace

So much for peace and quiet.

It was barely light as I woke up one morning to a methodic banging somewhere above my head. I thought, was it someone knocking at the front door? Who could it be this early?

Feeling groggy after a late night of reading and writing into the wee hours, I buried my head under my pillow, but to no avail. The sound pierced my skull cap! I dragged myself to my feet and headed to the back deck to see what all the commotion was.

A flash from the corner of my eye and I saw it. I thought I was rid of the rascal last spring. But no, he had returned...with a vengeance.

If you are a homeowner, particularly one of a wood or cedar-sided home as I, you know the sound. It begins as an innocent tapping, a mild annoyance. But with each strike, it starts to break down your patience. Before long, the tapping is fraying the edges of your nerves and cracking your resolve right down the middle. 

Woodpeckers.  Beautiful to behold, dreadful to deal with as they hammer away at your precious cedar siding looking for insects at unholy hours.  Myself, I prefer the quiet and stillness. My street is normally quiet most of the day...but not anymore.

About 5 years ago when I bought my home, I decided after the first run in with a woodpecker that I had to arm myself with more information before I got too crazy. This is what I found out. According to the Connecticut DEP, there are 7 species of Woodpeckers in Connecticut they are as follows:  Downey Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Yellow Bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker and the Red Headed Woodpecker. The Red Headed Woodpecker is endangered in Connecticut and is considered one of the rarest breeding birds in the State. My woodpecker is a Downey Woodpecker. Which is actually a good thing, as I may have gone a bit far in my scare tactics over the years.

This time, it was a different story. I was going to play it cool. I went outside and just walked the perimeter in my pajamas and the bird flew away. Ahhhhh, I could go back to my comfy bed.  A soon as my head hit the pillow, my eyes were closed. But it didn’t last long. The tapping started up and I jumped out of bed this time and raced for the door. He froze as I caught him in action drilling a hole over my bedroom window under the eave of the house. At this point, I knew I had to resort to more drastic measures.

I took the stepladder from the pantry and marched back to the deck. Still in my pajamas, I was feeling confident I would get this bird one way or another and still be able to go back to bed. I said to myself, it is either him or me. I was bound and determined to get rid of this rascal so I could get a little sleep.

According to the website www.pest.getridofthings.com, there are only a few ways to actually deter woodpeckers from damaging a house. That in mind, I climbed to the lower part of the roof from the deck and hung up some aluminum foil strips that I had cut in long strands. Apparently, the reflecting and movement of the aluminum strips was supposed to scare the woodpecker away.

As I was climbing back down the roof, my slipper got caught on the gutter and I lost my footing. I caught myself just in time before landing on the top step of the stepladder. Now, not only was the bird testing my patience, he was making me sleepily risk my life! Also, I was ashamed to think if the neighbors caught a glimpse of me hanging off the ladder, they would think I had gone utterly mad let alone the fact I was in pajamas!

Back in the house, I was hoping to get some shut eye at last.  As I drifted off finally into dreamland, the silence was broken yet again. The pesty woodpecker was back!

Are there any other readers out there with this same problem? If so send me your ideas!

lighthouse November 24, 2011 at 01:26 AM
ALUMINUM SIDING SOUNDS GOOD (EXPENSIVE) YES THE WOODPECKERS ARE VERY PRETTY UNTILL THEY HIT YOUR HOUSE, THEN... I TOO HAVE BEEN TRYING TO FIND A SENSIABLE ANSWER. BUT I FIND SOME OF THESE COMMENTS DISTURBING, AND HOW IN THE WORLD DID THIS ISSUE TURN POLITICAL?
Steven DeVaux November 27, 2011 at 05:38 PM
Vera, No more ghastly than the deer hunting and at least you won't come across the innards of a field dressed deer while walking Fido to the picturesque windmill that has been restored. What a mess when Fido scents it and begins to feed. Worst up with the woodpeckers is some ruffled feathers.
Steven DeVaux November 27, 2011 at 05:40 PM
Yes but now the other birds have to compete for the same amount of food leading to a die off of the non-destructive species. Thinning the herd is a much more ecological approach allowing for proliferation of a multitude of species.
Steven DeVaux November 27, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Pialated woodpeckers. A good species. Only dead trees.
Steven DeVaux November 27, 2011 at 05:43 PM
You always did like the sounds of a rapid fire carbine emptying John.

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