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Q.We recently completed a house that features vertical T&G cedar siding, but now my clients are complaining about woodpeckers making holes in the siding. Are there any simple techniques for dealing with this problem?

A.Bert Snyder of Palmetto Exterminators in Charleston, S.C., responds: If woodpeckers are boring holes in the siding, then either the siding is harboring some type of wood-boring insect that the woodpeckers are hunting for food, or the woodpeckers are drumming on it to establish territory or find a mate (this typically happens in the spring).

To eliminate the food source, treat the siding with an insecticide; you'll find several kinds at your local hardware store or home-and-garden center that should be effective against the kinds of insects found in your area.

You should also be able to find woodpecker repellents. Some formulations are sprayed on; others are designed to be mixed in with paints or stains, for longer-lasting protection.

In addition, a good sealer or coat of paint will make the siding less attractive to both insects and woodpeckers.

But whatever approach you choose, remember that woodpeckers are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; any control methods must not harm the birds.