How Do You Get Rid of Woodpeckers?

If any of the readers have ever suffered from the constant annoyance of woodpeckers in their home’s front or backyard, then you will know for sure that although woodpeckers may seem to be cute and funny in animation, they are not at all anything to laugh about in real life. Homeowners who have had to manage woodpecker damage to their home will be well aware of the actual destruction of which they are truly capable. It can be breathtaking to behold.

Since it is their mating season, woodpeckers typically pick out their homes and pecking areas in the months between February and June. In doing this, they are establishing their own territory. The annoying and seemingly constant pecking sounds are their means of getting to food. They typically pick out a place that is rich in wood boring types of insects. We certainly sympathize with those who are awakened in ungodly hours at night or in the early morning, but the real annoyance from the woodpeckers is definitely the horrific amounts of damage that they can affect on your home, if they are left unmolested. This can be both frustrating and very expensive to remedy. This article goes through the step by step directions for ridding yourself of these annoying, and potentially very costly, pests.

Materials and Items Necessary for the Project:

– Helium Filled Balloons
– A Plastic Owl

Background Information on Getting Rid of Woodpeckers

The good news is that this is actually a surprisingly easy task to accomplish. The quickest effective means of temporarily, but instantly, getting the woodpecker to stop his incessant and damaging pecking on your house, is to produce a very loud noise. This will certainly drive him off, but only for a brief period of time. Since the woodpecker has established his home territory, he will assuredly return. It is never a good idea to try to kill the pesky woodpecker, although you may want nothing more than to accomplish this very thing. The problem lies with the fact that a number of woodpecker species actually turn out to be threatened and protected by the U.S. government. You should never attempt to hurl things at them, to shoot them down, or to employ poisons or other pesticides against them.

The Plastic Owl Method

Make a trip on down to your area sporting good retailer. Buy a real life sized owl made form plastic. Assuming that they do not have any for sale, they will certainly be able to tell you where to acquire one. Because owls are the natural predators for woodpeckers, and woodpeckers are not really too smart, they will not be capable of differentiating between a real owl and the plastic imitation that you provide for their amusement.

Hang up this plastic owl in the locale which the pesky woodpecker has marked off as his own territory. This will scare the bird horribly. He will begin looking for a new territory as soon as he sees it, since he believes that his ensured survival is really more important than the present food source.

The Helium Balloon Method

Do not panic if no one in your town or city sell plastic models of owls. You can approximate one by purchasing a number of helium balloons. Look for those with metallic or silver colors, which will effectively reflect the light of the sun, making them far scarier looking. You might attach the balloons on to the bushes underneath the area where the woodpeckers are haunting. Be sure that the balloons have long enough strings to allow them to rise to the necessary area in order to properly work. Every few days, you will have to replace such balloons, over a two week long period, in order to make sure that the woodpecker does not get the better of your scheme and return to his old stomping grounds.


Author: Kelly

Kelly Hurston has been a professional writer for 10 years. She joined TheHousingForum Team in May, 2010. Kelly enjoys cooking, doing DIY projects, and is an avid reader.

4 thoughts on “How Do You Get Rid of Woodpeckers?”

  1. If I don’t want to accidently kill a woodpecker that is feasting on the columns of my portico, what poisons should I specifically avoid using? This is really annoying as I live in a city nicknamed the Forest City and I have 13 trees on my property, yet it insists on pecking on my columns. My insurance deductible is $500 and killing the bird could fine me $500, so that’s a wash. I’ve covered one pillar with metal sheathing and repainted. Now the little winged bugger is on the second of the four. This has been going on for years now. So, what is really lethal for the poor little thing that I might make sure never to ever, ever use it? And it there a paste form that I might apply with a trowel? Should I avoid mixing bird seed with rat poison? If so, is there some kind of base like honey that would hold it together that is really attractive to woodpeckers; I should know this so I avoid accidently mixing these things together. By the way, it’s not just my house, but three houses in a row so this is a really nasty little peckerhead than none of us want to see in any way dead.

    1. Morey, I sympathize with you and your neighbors. Woodpeckers can be quite destructive and annoying. I live in a national forest area of SE Oklahoma, where we have several protected woodpecker species. You definitely don’t want to accidentally or purposely kill a woodpecker unless you obtain a state and federal permit to kill one. It can take 3-5 months to get a permit, and you pretty much have to prove you’ve tried all the methods of repelling woodpeckers before a permit is issued.

      Basically, most granular types of pesticide is illegal to use when it may endanger wildlife and birds. The more environmentally unsafe pesticides can only be obtained by a certified exterminator. So to avoid accidentally harming the woodpeckers merely requires you to carefully read the label before use of any products.

      The U.S. Wildlife and Game Services and various state conservation agencies suggest that people use a combination of visual, audio and taste repelling methods, as well as removing the source of food that attracts the woodpeckers. They suggest hanging wind chimes around the area, especially near the place the woodpeckers are most attracted to. They also suggest hanging brightly-colored reflective Mylar streamers in the area. It is also suggested that the wood be sprayed down with some type of pepper oil spray or some other type of taste the woodpeckers dislike. But most of all, it’s recommended that the wood be treated for insect infestations first so that the food supply that is attracting the woodpeckers is removed. Then the wood should be painted with a type of coating that repels insects. It’s also suggested that you simply attract the woodpeckers to another area by placing feeders and nesting boxes in a more desirable area, away from the house and other buildings.

  2. It’s War !!! There will be a winner and a looser. I fight to win. How something so beautiful can be so destructive. It’s destroying my cedar structure. It’s been a two year battle and is coming to a boiling point.
    I’ll try all efforts suggested but I have a taxidermist on call… I will have a trophy for my efforts

    1. War. To say the least. I fear these may be my last words as I am about to enter a final conflict. So far it is: Woodpecker 19 v Homeowner 0. The only option left to me is the Yosemite Sam strategy. One of us… Woodpecker… Homeowner… will destroy this home. If that is the only way I can ‘win’… so be it. At least HE won’t get the house. I’ll show him!
      On the off chance I DO survive to face another battle, I will check back at this site to see if anyone is getting results. I have tried everything (short of Yosemite Sam himself) and I am still on the ladder weekly patching and painting holes in our siding. I have offered him the keys to the house, but he laughs at me. ANY suggestions are appreciated.

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