Woodpecker’s, which have been notorious in their destructive of utility pole’s, are a protected migratory bird. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) protects all woodpeckers and their nests. This being said, numerous attempts have been made to “repel” woodpecker’s from their damaging effects on utility poles.
Because woodpeckers cause extensive damage in a short period of time, poles can become structurally unsound between inspections which poses a danger to lineman.
Many solutions have been tried and discarded; including but not limited to decoys, objects that move, shine, create noise, smells & odd colors. None of these work for very long because the woodpecker soon realizes that these things do not pose a threat. Barriers such as wire mesh proved to have just as many woodpecker holes as poles without the mesh. The mesh also increases pole conductivity which made it potentially more dangerous for workers. And these are only a few of the many many attempts to stop the damage from woodpeckers.
Woodpeckers will continue to damage poles resulting in millions of dollars of maintenance costs for utilities. Research leading to the development of an effective woodpecker deterrent would result in annual savings of millions of maintenance dollars for utilities.
One solution we know of that is currently successful in thwarting woodpeckers is an item called a Woodpecker Wrap. According to a lineman in the state of Oklahoma, they have woodpeckers in their area that he refers to as “Woodpeckers on Steroids”. The Woodpecker Wrap is the only successful solution they have found.