How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers





Introduction: How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers

In this instructable I'm going to show you how to get rid of woodpeckers without harming them.

Four Points to Deter Woodpeckers:
# Woodpeckers should be denied any contact with the damage zones.
# Insect controls, particularly wood-boring pests, must be managed immediately.
# Installation of visual deterrents must be completed.
# Proper installation of suet feeders should be done. Many put up suet feeders away from their homes in an effort to divert the birds' attention and, sometimes, it's effective in encouraging the birds to feed away from your home.

Before you blow your top off and decide to storm out on your front door with a shotgun in hand, you must know that these creatures are protected by federal law. The woodpeckers are one of the species covered by the Migratory Bird Act of 1918.

The statute states that it's illegal to hunt, pursue, kill, capture or sell migratory birds. This law also grants protection against any harm done on migratory bird parts such as eggs, feathers and nests, which means getting rid of these creatures is not as simple as hitting them with a broomstick and bringing them to a taxidermist.

If caught violating the act, you may be fined as much as $500. This means it would be yours and Mother Nature's best interest to employ woodpecker control techniques that would only shoo away and not endanger the survival of the species.

Step 1: Damage Control

Applying damage control and repair is a must because your house is an important part of your life. Immediate correction measures to any damage caused by these birds would prevent the exacerbation of more damage by pests and even other birds.

Look at the trees killed by woodpeckers and insects; this should be enough to help you realize that ignoring them yields not-so-superficial damage.

Here are the materials you should buy to control any damage caused by these birds:

Step 2: Aluminum Flashing

This is a quick fix for multiple woodpecker holes found on wood siding. Just tack some aluminum flashing sheets on problem areas by using small aluminum nails. You can also paint the sheet to match the color of your house.

Step 3: Wood Putty

This would require more time, but is a permanent solution to woodpecker damage. Allow the putty to dry safely by setting up netting to prevent woodpeckers from disturbing the putty as it hardens. You can apply some match color techniques on the putty when it's dry.

Step 4: Sound Detterents

Sound deterrent systems mimic the distress calls of predatory birds, which that signal woodpeckers to stay away from your house. This type of machine is highly sensitive to motion and sounds off whenever it detects bird movement. However, these systems can be very expensive. Some are known to cost $100 or more.

Step 5: Polyurethane

This stuff is a chemical that you can paint outside your house to ward off wood-boring insects. In turn, woodpeckers are more likely to ignore your house because they will see it as a waste of time. A Disadvantage is this stuff is hard to find at local shops, at least where I live.

Burning Questions: Round 5

First Prize in the
Burning Questions: Round 5



    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    I have a problem with murray magpies attacking all the windows in my house, spitting all over them and dropping their poop everywhere, as well as making a mess on my car and lawn mower. Nothing is safe around me. I have tried bird netting, old cds, fluro tape, sticky mats etc etc and I still have a problem. I hate them. Waikerie, south australia.

    Shooting any migratory bird is illegal. Hope you get caught & fined the max.

    i use a crosman 760 airgun at 15 pumps, those (wood)Peckers are dead before they hit the ground.

    1 reply

    That's illegal, which I'm sure you know, & don't care.

    Good information here. A very useful resource for woodpecker removal is They helped me out tremendously!

    If the woodpeckers are making a deep hole then if you put up a bird box for them they will stop making the holes and simply live int he box.
    google government of Texas wood pecker damage to get details


    I've gotta give it to Crazyclown1. We used to have a terrible mockingbird problem in the neighborhood. What's wrong with mockingbirds, you ask? Even if you happen to like their shrill shrieks, I can't imagine you'd like them at 4am outside your bedroom window. They lived in every tree on our street. Finally, my neighbor got an airgun. Don't know what kind. He didn't kill the birds, so he must have shot to miss. He sure scared them! They haven't been back since.

    1 reply

    I read years ago that recording a mockingbird, then playing it back will get rid of them. Technology finally caught up with the idea, so I tried it. It works! It takes persistence, and preferably a volume louder than they are. It sure is fun to hear them abruptly stop the racket, look around, glide their lazy butts down from the top of the tree and hunt around in confusion trying to find that other bird! One of them even flew into the window screen where I had my computer speaker perched! The same recording going out of windows on either side of the house really drives them nuts. ;->


    Thank you for publishing this information. While we love having them visit our yard, I know woodpeckers can be quite annoying and destructive at times. At the same time, as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator I'm all to familiar with situations where people have taken a more "violent" approach to this and many other wildlife issues. I always appreciate these more positive and humane solutions.

    try putting salt on their every time

    Interesting. I've always thought woodpeckers were pretty cool. We were particularly happy when one started coming by and pecking the fruit and nut block we hung outside on the deck. They're beautiful, and fun to watch. We make a point of leaving some dead trees standing at the back of our property, as well as building brush piles for sheltering small animals and birds. If you give them nice places to live nearby, they're unlikely to attack your house.

    ok..... first off, if your gonna paint your house in polyurethane, you will have the shiniest house on the block(and it is REALLY expensive). Second, you dont need one of those fancy devices for makin bird noises, when all you need is an airhorn.

    1 reply

    An airhorn? Perfect, if you have neighbors who don't mind sudden earshattering sounds. I've been turned in once to the county for a 'nuisance barking dog'...only I don't even HAVE a dog. I can't imagine what would happen if I started honking an airhorn. I do have a woodpecker who likes the south wall of my house to hammer on, as advertisement or whatever it is they do. But there is a window on the 2nd floor near that spot, and if I jerk the window open and holler at the bird, it flies away (for a while). It's something. I want something more.

    Why would you want to get rid of wood-peckers? They peck wood!!!! How much cooler can it get, lol

    4 woodpeckers starting pecking on our windows (the glass) We have lived here for 5 years and all of a sudden they are pounding on the

    1 reply

    Woodpeckers are federally protected under the Migratory Birds Act. Shooting them is highly illegal. So what I suggest is the above, in the instructable, or the old fashioned, air horn :). You know what to do from there

    Try banging on a wall from the inside right opposite from where the woodpecker is on the outside.