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How do I get Rid of Woodpeckers?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 16, 2024
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Woodpeckers can be irritating and destructive creatures to have around the yard. Unfortunately, it's not easy to get rid of woodpeckers once they've decided to hang around. Moreover, they're often protected by law, and so one can't usually do anything that would harm them. When trying to get rid of woodpeckers, it is important to understand why woodpeckers peck wood in order to get rid of them. They may have found insects in the wood, or they may simply be marking their territory. If the problem is insects, and the insects are in the siding of one's house, then the insect problem needs to be resolved in order to get rid of woodpeckers permanently. If the birds are pecking to mark their territory, then a different deterrent must be used.

One way to get rid of woodpeckers is to simply distract them with a better, easier food source. This can be done by hanging a suet feeder in a place the woodpeckers frequent. Most birds are smart enough to go for easy food rather than hunt it down, and this may keep the woodpecker from damaging trees and houses. The best way to make sure the birds stay away is to first place the suet feeder close to the location the birds are damaging, then move it a few feet farther away once every few days, effectively drawing the birds away from the undesirable location.

If this does not work, another way to get rid of woodpeckers involves visual deterrents designed to frighten the birds. Visual deterrents are inexpensive, as any shiny or fluttering item will work to deter woodpeckers. One can use aluminum foil, wind chimes, or special stickers designed precisely for this purpose. Many stores sell silhouettes of predatory birds designed to scare off woodpeckers, but because these do not move, they may not work for long.

Auditory deterrents are a more expensive option, but there are specialized machines designed just for this purpose. These machines usually work by detecting motion and playing sounds to which the birds are sensitive, such as the calls of predatory species, in order to trick the woodpeckers. While this system is expensive, it is also much less invasive than the maximally effective strategy, which involves blocking the birds from ever reaching the house.

This is usually accomplished by hanging materials through which the birds cannot pass, which can be unsightly and labor-intensive to set up. Stubborn birds can be a major problem for some homeowners, and if all else fails, there are usually professional bird removal services available in areas where woodpeckers live which may apply a number of tactics including physical relocation of the bird.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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