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Have you ever had a clip from a childhood cartoon stuck in your head? The kind where you can almost make out the context of why this odd little clip of some kind of person (animal?) shouting “It’s WAAAARRRR!” repeatedly is forever burned into your long-term memory, but then you go looking for it on the internet, and realize you have too little information to locate the clip to include in your blog post?
I digress. But anyway, as the title implies: it’s freaking war, folks. Meet the latest little guy in a series of assholes to decide that my house is their new BFF and food source:
What’s happening here: apparently the fixes I paid for last year on my chimney didn’t get fixed enough… or perhaps some was fixed, but other parts were not, leaving the stuff that wasn’t to still end up with wood rot over the winter. I’m guessing on all of this, because this area is literally over my head and I have to make my best educated guess before I devise a plan of attack.
Well, not actual attack. Because that would be illegal.
Woodpeckers are a federally protected species as a migratory bird (and endangered, though you wouldn’t guess such a thing when they’re waking you up). Last I checked though, chucking a pine cone in their vicinity to get them off my house isn’t lethal (especially since the wind resistance of a pine cone makes them difficult to target accurately), so I’m good there.
Annoyed — because they come back after a little while to start chowing down again — but good.
The most annoying part? The chimney area runs directly behind the wall in my master bedroom… the wall that I put the bed and my headboard against. Meaning that a series of irritated, persistent tap-tap-tapping is how I have been waking up for the last week. Which then makes Charlie bolt upright from her dog bed, and then sometimes start barking thinking it’s the front door, and a general mix of chaos and rage ensues.
It would be funny if I weren’t so tired.
I think it’s a wood rot/insect situation mainly because of the areas they’re going after. It doesn’t seem like a territory thing, and there are plenty of pine trees around for shelter (which are other possible reasons why woodpeckers & nuthatches make all that noise; sometimes, it’s not for food, but I think it is in my case). Every year, I have issues with carpenter bees because the house has wood siding, and you also remember that freaking squirrel, so this is just the latest in a long, long list of dealing with pests and my home.
This is basically the price one pays for having a cedar home. It’s charming, but pests are abundant, and winter isn’t always kind… especially if the previous fix wasn’t done correctly or completely. If I could afford to replace the siding entirely, I would, but I don’t think that’s in the cards anytime soon. So, I keep fixing smaller stuff.
As you can probably guess, this means that this spring, I’m going to embark on a new series of how to deal with woodpeckers*. Some folks on my personal Facebook have already advised I try aluminum tape, Mylar balloons stapled to the house (house bling! score! not tacky at all!), a sticky goo that’s said to make it really gross for them to attach themselves to (which also sounds gross for me to clean up after), give them suet in a different spot in the back yard to keep them from the house, and of course, figuring out if it really is a bug thing that I have to solve first, and then hope the WP’s go away after the area is treated.
It’s going to be an interesting learning experience to see what works and what doesn’t, but I think I can handle it. I’ve got my war paint ready.
* Correction: as many of you guys have pointed out, I can’t identify birds worth a damn! This particular bird I photographed appears to be a nuthatch, not a woodpecker…
… which still makes it a GRADE A BUTTHEAD for waking me up, but just so we’re clear on which kind of BUTTHEAD.