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How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers causing a nuisance and you need to get rid of them? Use some of these ways and lead a stress-free life.
Gardenerdy Staff
If you've ever been in a house that is being attacked by a woodpecker, you'll witness an insane amount of irritation, which, trust me, will ensue. If you haven't been in a house such as this, then let me just fill you in on some of the details. If a woodpecker has found a part of your house that is made of wood and finds it appealing for whatever reasons, it'll start pecking at it, making holes through it. Why? For nesting, in search of food or for a simple marking of its territory. At first you'll find the whole thing very amusing because of the novelty of having a real live woodpecker doing what it does best in your house, but then when you see the destruction to the wood and the constant pecking sounds, your 'aww' factor will soon turn to anything but. Then the question of how to get rid of woodpeckers will naturally follow.

It is generally considered a difficult ordeal to get rid of woodpeckers because once these birds make your house their ground, they can get territorial and will not give in to simple threats. Luckily though, there are varied ways of getting rid of woodpeckers. Here are some ways of doing that so that you can ensure peace in your house or yard.

Pest Control
The first thing that you need to do is take away the source of food for the woodpeckers. This means ensuring that there are no insects and worms thriving in the woodwork. If your house is exposed to external elements, there are chances that there will be an infestation of these insects. And the more food there is, the woodpeckers are most likely to use the house for habitation. Get rid of these insects by using the required pest control.

Reflective Tapes
One of the best bird control methods is to use aluminum reflective tape. Reflective tapes are shiny strips of light metal that are at least 2 inches wide and long. When exposed to wind, these tapes make a very unpleasant noise that scares the woodpeckers away. What one needs to do is find the wooden paneling around the house that is most likely to be attacked and then protect it. Cut as many strips as you need for covering the length of the house. Then stick them onto a long string by puncturing a hole through them or by simply using a strong tape or glue. Once the strip has been formed, attach it to the highest portion of the house. These tapes are rather light, so a small gust of wind is enough to make them move and create a metallic sound. This sound is something that will frighten the woodpeckers and they'll stay away. It also works in a dual way to scare the birds. Since the tape is of the reflective kind, it'll reflect the sun and scare away the birds.

Owl and Hawk Effigies
Have a fake predator or a larger bird placed on the roof of the house and you'll find that it is possible to deter the woodpeckers. Owl and hawk effigies have been known to scare woodpeckers and you'll find them avoiding nesting there with the presence of the owls and hawks. There are varieties of these figures available, where some are simple plastic stuffed pieces and others are more sophisticated with sounds and motion detection abilities. Depending on your budget, you can purchase one that is best for you. You have to remember a few points though―place the bird as high as you can so that the woodpeckers can see it. Also, make sure that you keep changing its position so that the shock value does not become obsolete.

Other Methods
  • There are several machines available that mimic the sounds of predatory birds. These work well in scaring the birds away.
  • Using meshes and nets around the areas that are attacked can help keep the birds away.
  • Build a bird feeder and have it stored with food so that the birds get diverted to this source and leave your home alone. But there is the risk of attracting different types of birds as well.
  • If all else fails, capture them and then set them free. You need a special permit to do that and you cannot cause them any harm cause they are protected under the law.
  • There are several woodpecker deterrents that are available as well, like sticky glue, sprays, and ultrasonic pest control devices that you can look into as well.
Getting rid of woodpeckers becomes easier if you have some methods backing you up.