How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers Fast

5 useful ways of dealing with woodpeckers with methods to prevent their presence.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
Reviewed By
Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 15, 2023
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If you have never had to share your property with a woodpecker, consider yourself lucky! These birds can do a lot of damage to your home or other structures on your property, and they can also be quite noisy. The sound of them drumming their beak on surfaces can wake homeowners up at all hours of the day and night.

If you have a woodpecker issue, you might be wondering what are the techniques that you can use to help you to get rid of woodpeckers on your house. Getting woodpeckers to move out and find somewhere else to live is often essential unless you want to have to pay for major damage to your home. In some cases, getting rid of woodpeckers in trees in your yard might also be necessary to keep them from moving into your home.

What Brings Woodpeckers to Your Property?

Like all animals, woodpeckers have to forage for food. Their main food source are insects that they remove from trees and other wood sources with their drumming beaks. Many homes have insects that are living in the walls or the roof and woodpeckers will move in when they can tell that there is a viable food source to be had. They might also be creating a nest or storing food. The season can impact the reason for your woodpecker invasion, but the removal process will still be the same.

Some areas of the US are more prone to woodpecker problems than others, and any home that is located in a wooded location will be much more likely to deal with these unwelcome visitors. Many woodpeckers will feed on insects living in trees near a home, and then move to the home’s siding when they have depleted the food source in the trees on the property. Woodpeckers are not commonly seen in urban areas.

Coincidentally, removing woodpeckers is similar to the process that is used to get rid of chipmunks and squirrels, who can also cause a lot of damage to your home. You might be able to take care of the removal of a variety of pests at the same time when you learn how to get rid of woodpeckers on your property. Some of the best woodpecker repellents are the best squirrel repellents as well.

Signs of Damage

How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers Fast
Drumming holes in different areas is the peculiar sign of woodpecker damage.

Woodpeckers create very specific kinds of damage that is immediately recognizable. When trying to find food, they create drumming holes, which are small and shallow holes that might appear in a cluster. Some varieties of woodpeckers will drill holes in rows that are spaced out more like a cone. This is most common at the corners of the roof and along the fascia and trim boards on a house.

The damage that is done by woodpeckers looks the same when they are feeding on or nesting in trees in your yard. New construction is often most vulnerable to woodpecker attack since insects are often drawn to fresh sources of wood to feed on. In places that have a high incidence of insects that like to attack new construction, pest prevention is often recommended as soon as new construction starts to be done. This can help keep insects out of various parts of the structure of the home from the start.

How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers Pecking Your House

There are some key strategies that you can use to help discourage woodpeckers from sticking around. You might have more luck with some of these strategies than others. Most homeowners end up using a combination of various tips and tricks to chase woodpeckers off their property. Remember that woodpeckers living in the trees near your home will be more than happy to use your house as a place to find food as well. You cannot view woodpeckers in the trees as low risk just because they are not yet causing damage to your home.

Motion-activated sprinkler or alarm

Motion-activated alarms or sprinklers can be a great way to keep woodpeckers from setting up shop in a variety of different locations. You can easily set up this kind of solution in the main part of your yard or at the corners of your roof if you want to keep woodpeckers away from your property as a whole. The main shortcoming of this tactic is that homes with very tall rooflines might allow woodpeckers a place to perch that is not affected by the alarm or sprinkler.

Some people also are not thrilled with the sprinkler or alarm method due to the disruption caused by noisemaking and the potential for the walls of your home and your yard to be wet all the time due to the sprinkler running. The number of woodpeckers in your yard or their persistence can make this solution tedious for you as well as the woodpeckers. There’s an alternative of purchasing the best ultrasonic bird repeller that doesn’t bother a human ear while getting the job done.

Scare dummy

Just like the scarecrow in a farmer’s crops, having a scare dummy set up where your woodpecker friends like to visit can be enough to keep them away from your home or trees. Make sure that the scare dummy has some streamers or something else attached to it that creates movement to help make it really effective. While it might seem like this would not be a useful solution, many birds are actually quite scared of this kind of device. This is much less effective against rodent invaders, but it works really well for most birds.

Reflective deterrents

Woodpeckers really don’t like reflective devices, and these can be a big help when you are trying to keep woodpeckers off your roof. If you can convince the woodpeckers that landing on your home in the first place is a really bad idea, they will go somewhere else to look for insects to eat or a place to nest. Reflective devices can also discourage squirrels and chipmunks, so you will get some additional benefits from this solution that other woodpecker deterrents will not offer.

Some reflective deterrents are quite beautiful as well, so you will not be harming the appearance of your home or yard when you add this method of removing woodpeckers from your home.

Bird netting

How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers Fast

While much less attractive to implement than some of the other deterrents in this guide, bird netting can be useful for smaller trees or areas of your home that you can easily reach to cover up with this device. This is just what it sounds like, and it is a netting that you can spread over an area that you want to keep birds out of. This is a solution that has to be used with care because most woodpeckers are protected species, and bird netting can cause birds harm when used incorrectly.

Bird spikes

Bird spikes are an excellent repellent for all kinds of birds, as well as rodents like squirrels and chipmunks. These small metal spikes can be placed along fences, rooflines, and any area where a woodpecker might like to perch. You might have seen these items on fencing and building rooves in public areas before, and you can use them at your home for the same purpose. Bird spikes are easy to install, and you will be able to keep a variety of pests away from your home with ease with this deterrent item.

Prevention Measures

There are also some ways that you can prevent woodpeckers from moving into your yard or your home in the first place. These prevention measures will need to be used for homes that are new construction, and they can also be a good addendum to your deterrent items if you are already dealing with woodpeckers that you want to discourage. While scaring the woodpeckers away from your home is the first line of defense when you have an established woodpecker problem, you will need to deal with the underlying reason for their presence if you want your woodpecker problem to go away for good.

Remove the food source

Woodpeckers will be most interested in living where they can have easy access to food. You can discourage them from ever moving into your yard or your home in the first place by making sure that they are not able to forage for food where you live. If you have insects in the trim or the siding of your home, this will provide a consistent, attractive element that you will want to get rid of. Make sure that you also attend to insects that might be living in trees in your yard.

You can easily remove all of the insects that woodpeckers might want to eat by calling out a pest company to fumigate your home and property. When you remove the food supply, you will make your home a place that woodpeckers are not interested in.

Woodpecker feeder

You can also encourage woodpeckers to feed in another location on your property if you do not want to hire a pest company to remove the insects from your home. The best attractant to encourage woodpeckers to use your feeder will be suet, which is made from cow fat. This will not ensure that woodpeckers will not continue to peck at your home from time to time, but they will be less likely to roost on your house and make noise if they have another food source to enjoy that is readily available.

Predator sounds

Some homeowners have really good luck with devices that play recordings of woodpecker predators. The best predator soundtracks will also include calls from woodpeckers that are in danger. Your woodpecker guest or guests will not want to visit a location that sounds this dangerous and will be likely to find a new place to hunt for food. The downside to this solution is that you will have to listen to the predator sounds recording all the time for a while until the woodpecker has moved on to a new feeding ground.

Wind chimes

How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers Fast

Wind chimes are one of the most pleasant deterrents that you can use to keep woodpeckers away from your home and property. The tone of the wind chimes is unpleasant to the woodpecker but pleasant to humans, making this noisemaking solution a good balance for this need. You can easily hang wind chimes near all the locations where your woodpecker visitors like to hunt for food, making all of these spots uncomfortable for them. The only downside to this solution is that you will need consistent daily wind to make the wind chimes effective for this need.


Can I kill woodpeckers?

While it is legal to kill woodpeckers of some varieties and in some states, you should be cautious about doing so. Besides the inherent unkindness of killing an animal that is just doing what it was made to do, many woodpeckers are endangered or protected species. Killing species that are earmarked for possible extinction is against the law and is punishable in a variety of different ways. It is always better to discourage or deter woodpeckers rather than killing them.

How to get rid of woodpeckers?

Woodpeckers of different varieties might require different tactics to remove from your home. You might have to try different combinations of the tactics in this guide to remove your woodpecker invaders for good. A combination of removing their food source and making sure that your yard is noisy and unpleasant to them can make it much more likely that woodpeckers will move out. There are also pest removal companies that can handle your woodpecker problem.

Do they carry disease?

Woodpeckers, like many bird populations, can carry a variety of different diseases and pests with them into your yard. From bird lice to salmonella, there is a wide array of bird diseases and pests that can be problematic for homeowners. You will be unlikely to be impacted by disease due to a couple of woodpeckers moving into your yard, but it is something that is worth thinking about if they are trying to move into your home to nest. Birds are one of the only animals that easily transmit an array of illnesses to humans.

Final Thoughts

Woodpeckers are one of the noisiest bird varieties, and they can also cause a lot of damage to your home or property. While they are objectively cute little birds, their drumming on your roof every day can be quite annoying, and they can cause a lot of damage to your home or the trees in your yard. You will surely find how to get rid of woodpeckers if you use the tips and tricks in this guide. Woodpeckers often require a combination of different tactics to repel, but you should be able to encourage them to stay away from your yard with the right blend of these tactics.

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