Thursday, June 18, 2009

PET PEEVE THURSDAY: Those Wretched Woodpeckers

Today's guest is J.B.Stanley, author of the Supper Club Mysteries.

Woodpecker Last year, a pair of woodpeckers chipped away pieces of our wood siding in the front and back of the house. Not satisfied with that destruction, they pecked a hole all the way through the siding into the attic and made themselves a lovely little nest.

I tried many, many humane methods to get rid of them. After all, I’m an animal lover and I also read on Wikipedia that ALL woodpeckers are federally protected and that one needs a federal permit (and sometimes a state permit as well) in order to “implement lethal control.” Therefore, I knew I couldn’t blast the feathered siding assassins into the next life.Drats. (Honestly, I don’t think I’d have the guts to pull the trigger!)

What did I do? First, I hung several rubber snakes from the window. The snakes blew in the breeze and looked altogether ridiculous, but they seemed to work. For about a day. The woodpeckers simply relocated to the back of the house. Thus, more snakes out that window. Even the mailman asked us what was going on…

Next, I hung Mylar balloons and silver streamers from the windows and the nearby birch tree. Unsuccessful. The woodpeckers relocate to the attic area.

I called an exterminator. “We don’t deal with woodpeckers,” heinforms me. “Forget the birds!” I shout. “Kill the bugs they’re eating!” Hepromises to smear the walls with ant-annihilation paste. The paste washes off with the next rain.

Three months later the woodpeckers have mysteriouslyvanished. I call a carpenter. He replaces the boards. I call a painter. I callthe exterminator. The cost of all this? $1200!

Sponge Bob So when the woodpeckers returned this year, with two redheaded children in their wake, I acted early. I went on the offensive. I took charge. (I’m a liar. I got lucky). It so happened that I’d bought my son a giant Spongebob balloon (with wiggly limbs) as a treat. When I heard the first, mind-rattling peck, peck, I hung Mr. SB from the window. Eureka! Not only does he scare off grandparents, but he
terrifies woodpeckers.

Three days later when my brother called from Connecticut with his own woodpecker woes. Woody is waking their household up at 5 a.m. every morning. “What should I do?” he asked wearily. I sat back in my chair and smugly said, “Go buy a Spongebob balloon. It’ll cost $9.99 but it will be worth every cotton-pickin’ cent.”

And what's bugging YOU today?
The battered body J.B. Stanley is the author of the Supper Club Mysteries. Her latest release is The Battered Body. Check out J.B.'s website, and you can also find her blogging on Thursdays with the Cozy Chicks.