How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers

How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers can cause major damage to your property. Their powerful beaks can kill trees, poke holes in homes, and even dent metal. They are drawn to dead wood housing insects and, to make things more difficult, are protected under the law as migratory birds. Violating this law can lead to a $500 fine, meaning violent measures should be avoided at all costs. The fact that you aren’t allowed to shoot them or disturb their nests makes scaring away these pests a challenging task. So: how to get rid of woodpeckers without harming them? There are several natural methods and professional products that can steer woodpeckers clear of your home without bringing the wrath of the law down upon your head.


First, you will want to check your home for the bugs that draw these birds. Infestations in a house’s siding are the most common reasons for woodpecker problems. An exterminator can help clear up the invaders, or you can deal with them on your own. Once they stop finding food in the walls of your home, the woodpeckers should move on to more fruitful locations.


If removing the bugs doesn’t solve your problem, you will need to find other ways to get rid of woodpeckers. Suet left out in a feeder can be very tempting to woodpeckers, but can also melt and adhere to their wings. You can also buy a bitter spray or grind hot peppers into their ‘drilling’ sites. Obviously, this causes discomfort to the bird and may violate unintentionally the law. They are, however, some of the more effective ways to scare the birds off.


More humane methods include leaving strips of sparkling ribbon hanging around problem spots, or owl and hawk figures in sight of the area. You can also buy a system, triggered by motion, which broadcasts the sound of predatory birds across the property. These objects frighten the woodpeckers without causing them any pain, but the birds may become accustomed to these decoys and eventually ignore them. Generally, though, they will simply move on and leave your home in peace.


If you have particularly tenacious

woodpeckers, you will then need to resort to physically blocking off the problem areas. Using a fine net, cloth, or even aluminum siding, is the best way to protect your home from woodpeckers, as it is both efficient and safe. However, they can be rather ugly and tarnish the aesthetics of a home. You can buy or paint these obstructions to match the color of your house to lessen the effect, and the good news is that these measures are temporary. As migratory birds, woodpeckers do not become attached to any one area and will leave once they run out of food.


Following these easy methods, you should now know how to get rid of woodpeckers plaguing your home. As a protected species they present unique challenges, but with some perseverance and creativity, your home can once again be the impenetrable fortress it was prior to their feathery onslaught.

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