Gone Outdoors

How to Repel Woodpeckers

by M.W. Sand

Woodpeckers are one of the most recognizable birds in the United States and at the start of each spring they can be spotted and heard drumming on trees to not only to attract a mate but also build a nest. This is all fine until the woodpecker decides to start drumming on your house. Woodpeckers are a federally protected bird but that doesn't mean there aren't options to keep them away from your house.

If you have a woodpecker drumming on the side of your house there is a chance you have insects inside your wood or vinyl siding. If this is the case getting rid of the woodpecker is as simple as treating your insect problem. You can also attempt to lure the woodpecker to an alternative food source away from your house. Woodpeckers love to eat suet, so set up a feeder away from you house and see if it draws the problem woodpecker.

If the woodpecker is drumming to attract a mate or make a nest inside of your siding the solution can be a bit more complicated. You can try to deter the bird by hanging reflective aluminum strips or tin pie pans from the eaves of your house. If you'd rather not have tin pie pans as a home decoration you can also hang a windsock, wind chime or other object in hopes of scaring the woodpecker away.

If you still haven't solved your woodpecker problems you need to invest in a more sophisticated system. Movement and sound are the best ways to deter a woodpecker. You can buy motion sensor devises that attach to your house then emit a sound anytime a woodpecker or other birds lands. You could also purchase an audio CD with bird distress calls in hopes of scaring off the woodpecker. Attaching a small windmill that has turning arms can also deter a woodpecker.

Items you will need
  • Tin pie pans
  • Windsock or windmills
  • Aluminum strips

Warning

  • Because woodpeckers are a federally protected species you would need a permit to attempt to capture and move the bird.