How to get rid of woodpeckers?

Woodpeckers are beneficial birds in the context of getting rid of pest insects. However, their rapid pecking causes damage to trees and the structure of your building.

It would be hard for one to consider birds as pests.

However, some birds can become very problematic. One of such birds is a woodpecker.

Woodpeckers can be such a pain in the butt for a homeowner in two ways.

First of all, woodpeckers peck loudly when they are looking for food around your home.

Secondly, they can damage your home’s exterior wooden structures. And this will cost you a lot of money during the home repair.

If you’re having a woodpecker problem and you don’t know how to get rid of them, then you should keep reading.

In this article, we’ll be giving you some useful tips on how to get rid of woodpeckers.

Table of Contents


What to Know About Woodpeckers

The first step to knowing how to get rid of woodpeckers is understanding their habits.

Woodpeckers are mainly carnivorous birds who prefer to eat insects. Their diet includes worms, ants, termites, carpenter bees, and other small bugs. However, they can also feed on sap, nuts, and birdseed.

They have a keen sense of perception and can tell if insects are hiding inside wooden structures or trees.

To collect their food, they peck hard and fast into the wood, picking out insects while they’re at it.


Can I Kill Woodpeckers?

While there are many ways to get rid of woodpeckers, killing is not one of them.

It is only illegal to kill woodpeckers in the United States, keep in mind that they are a protected bird species, and harming them is punishable by United States law.

They can indeed be problematic to your home structure, but they are also an important part of the ecosystem. 

Let’s not forget that their feeding habits help rid our vegetation of destructive pest insects.


What Smells Can Repel A Woodpecker?

  • Woodpeckers don’t like the smell of garlic and peppermint oil, which is why they can be used as a woodpecker deterrent.

    You can make a garlic or peppermint solution and spray it around the areas they are likely to visit.


How To Get Rid Of Woodpeckers From Your Roof?

Woodpeckers land on the roof of your home for many reasons. These include nesting, feeding, and sending out mating calls.

Whatever the reasons are, the damage they cause from all the pecking will leave the framework of your roof in a less desirable state. If you don’t act, they will get used to your home and keep visiting.

Getting rid of them isn’t difficult, as there are several woodpecker deterrents you can use. Follow the tips below to deter woodpeckers from your roof.

1.Use A Motion Activated Sprinkler

Most small birds don’t like surprises, especially those that seem like threats, which is why a motion-activated water sprinkler will work well as a woodpecker deterrent.

This device works by picking up movements from birds within its range and spraying blasts of water. The sudden blast will scare the birds away, and they will be discouraged from returning if they feel your roof isn’t safe.

A motion-activated sprinkler is one of the most common woodpecker deterrents you can find in home improvement stores.

2. Motion Activated Alarm

Just like the sprinkler, a motion-activated alarm picks up movements within range. But instead of spraying water, it triggers a loud alarm.

Any intruding woodpecker will take off once it hears the unexpected sound. The effect is pretty much the same as when a gun is fired close to a flock of birds.

They are afraid of loud and unexpected noises. They see them as threats, and their first reaction would be to fly away.

3. Scare Dummy Deterrents

Woodpeckers aren’t large birds, and they aren’t the bravest either. There are larger bird species that they are afraid of.

You can use this knowledge to your advantage and place some scare dummies on your roof. These dummies have to be in the form of natural predators like snakes, hawks, and falcons.

You can buy balloon dummies from a home improvement store near you. Make sure the ones you buy look menacing enough to scare the woodpeckers.

If you’re going for a dummy prey bird, ensure that it is life-sized. Buy the ones that will have their wings spread out and their mouths open when inflated. To the woodpecker, it would seem like the prey bird is ready to attack.

They wouldn’t come close to your roof if they believe they’ll be eaten. String up one or two scare balloons and let the woodpecker’s fear of being killed do the rest. The wind will also help you sell this scare tactic, as it will keep the dummies moving at all times.

This is one of the most effective methods you can use to drive them away.

4. Reflective Deterrents

Birds get uneasy when they find other birds in areas they plan to perch, even if it’s their own reflection.

Looking at their own reflections will make them feel another woodpecker has already claimed the territory, and they will leave.

You can install aluminum pans or aluminum foil to scare them off. You can also install small mirrors or reflective wind chimes to keep them away.

Reflective tape is another option. The sunlight bounces off the reflective tape to create flashes that scare woodpeckers away.

Reflective tape can also make noise when the wind is blowing it. The noise can help keep woodpeckers off your roof.

5. Bird Netting

You can use bird netting to stop woodpeckers from landing on certain parts of your roof. Be sure to install the net in the areas where they are most likely to explore. These include areas they would like to nest or perform their mating calls.

You have to be careful when installing bird netting. The idea is to keep the birds from accessing a certain area and not to trap them. If the netting is not properly installed, then the latter might be the case.

If you have never tried bird netting, you should call someone who has more experience to help you install it.

6. Remove The Food Source

If your roof is infested with insects, then woodpeckers may keep visiting. To keep them uninterested, you need to get rid of the insects on your top.

It is a fact that woodpeckers help homeowners get rid of problematic insects, but the peckers themselves cause significant damage.

Calling a pest control company would be the best way to do this. After inspecting your property, they would come up with an extermination plan.

Once the pest insects are gone, the woodpeckers would have one less reason to visit your property.

7. Install Bird Spikes

The first choice of landing areas for most birds will be a place high above the ground, which is why your roof is a common target. The only reason birds land on your roof is because it is convenient. But what if it’s not?

You can cause woodpeckers a lot of inconvenience by installing bird spikes along your roof.

Bird spikes are pointed, needle-like clusters of upward-facing prongs that make it impossible for birds to perch.

If the woodpecker tries to land, the spikes will prick its feet base, and it will take off immediately.

You can use this to keep woodpeckers away from your roof.

How To Keep Woodpeckers From Pecking Your Trees?

  • Woodpeckers may invade your garden in search of food. Your fruit trees will be their preferred spot. This is because fruit trees are a prime destination for insects that the woodpeckers feed on.

    If left alone, woodpeckers will drill holes in your trees. Remember, holes can leave them vulnerable to infections and diseases.

    Luckily, there are different woodpecker deterrents you can use to solve this problem.

    Follow the tips below to keep woodpeckers away from your garden.

    1. Install A Woodpecker Feeder

    If you’re bothered about woodpeckers doing damage to your trees, you can easily divert their attention by providing an easier source of food.

    Suet is an effective decoy!

    For those who don’t know, suet cakes are specially made as a distraction for pest birds. It contains vegetables, seeds, fruits, animal fat, and insects.

    Suet cakes are placed into metal cages called suet feeders, which you can hang along your tree branches to give the woodpeckers an easier feeding option.

    The good thing about suet feeders is that they allow the woodpeckers to eat in their natural position, gripping the feeder grill with their feet and pecking away with their beak.

    The trick here is simple. If the peckers have a more comfortable feeding option, they will take it and leave your trees alone. After a round of suet cakes, they’d be too full to peck on your trees.

    Even though this may not completely stop them from pecking on your trees, it will significantly reduce their interest.

    Before you pay for a suet feeder, ask the attendant at the pest control or home improvement store if the feeder is specifically made to deal with woodpeckers.

    Also, buy one that has a tail prop. This will keep the birds more comfortable as they feed.

    2. Use Predator Sounds

    Sound is one of the things that can scare woodpeckers away. Something as simple as a hand-clap can scare them off. But what if you go the extra mile and give the pest birds something they are terrified of.

    Try natural predator sounds!

    Of course, we don’t expect you to hiss like a snake or make hawk sounds. There are electronic devices that can do that for you.

    These devices come in different shapes and sizes. Some look like basic audio recorders, while some are actually made to look like a real hawk or owl.

    Regardless of design, they are built to produce natural predator sounds and distress calls, which the woodpeckers would recognize as a warning to stay clear.

    These sounds have been pre-recorded and installed in the devices. Some of them work with motion and will play the sound once a pecker perches on your tree.

    You can buy one from a home improvement store in your area and install it in your garden to keep the invading birds at bay.

    3. Use A Decoy Predator

    Let’s face it. It would be hard to train a fox or hawk specifically for the task of repelling woodpeckers. But you don’t have to.

    All you need to do is buy a decoy predator and place it in your garden to scare the birds away.

    There are plastic owls and hawks available in home improvement stores. There are also balloon dummies that look exactly like the predators.

    Please place them in strategic positions around your garden and let nature do the rest. Remember to buy decoys that look terrifying. The idea is to scare the woodpeckers away.

    Combine this tactic with natural predator sounds, and the woodpecker will feel the area is not safe.

    4. Buy A Woodpecker Net

    The idea behind a bird or woodpecker net is to keep the pests away from certain areas around your home. In this case, your trees.

    Be sure to buy a net that is designed for garden use and not for buildings.

    A good woodpecker net should be hard enough to barricade birds from your trees and too soft and unstable for them to land on firmly.

    Do not buy netting that is made with poor materials; otherwise, it wouldn’t last. Buy a net that is UV proof, waterproof, and rot proof.

    It would be best if you didn’t buy poorly made bird netting because it can give in to consistent pressure from the woodpeckers. The more they attempt to perch and get a good grip on it, the weaker it becomes.

    Bird nets made with strong polyethylene material is your best choice.

    5. Install Wind Chimes

    We have spoken about how a bird is scared of certain sounds, especially those that seem threatening. This is why installing wind chimes is a great way to keep a woodpecker off your trees.

    Wind chimes are small, crystal-like rods that are held loosely together. They make clashing sounds when they are under wind pressure.

    These clashing sounds aren’t pleasant to a bird, and it would assume the sound represents danger.

    You can buy some wind chimes and place them in strategic areas of your garden to discourage woodpeckers from staying.


  • Woodpeckers are beneficial birds in the context of getting rid of pest insects. However, their rapid pecking causes damage to trees and the structure of your building.

    You can use the DIY methods listed here to solve the problem. You can also call an exterminator to help you remove their food source.

    One of the best ways is to use Thanos Motion Activated Alarm


Hopefully, this article on how to get rid of woodpeckers has been helpful.

Take care.