Outdoor PestsBirds

How To Deter Woodpeckers From Trees

Pileated Woodpecker Chick Looking Our From Its Nest In A Hollow Of A Dead Ash Tree

Do you remember the good old Woody Woodpecker cartoons and how fun they used to be? Well, this is not it! In the real world, the woodpecker can become a nuisance with its constant pecking.

So how to prevent these birds from inhabiting the trees?


There are 3 humane preventive measures you can take to deter woodpeckers, such as:

  1. Placing predator dummies.
  2. Installing motion sensor alarms.
  3. Scaring them off with reflective surfaces.

These are simple and sure way DIY methods to keep woodpeckers away from trees.

Let’s discuss why woodpeckers should not be allowed to peck at trees and how you can keep them from becoming your new noisy neighbors.

Why Keep Woodpeckers Away?

Everyone likes to see trees full of birds singing and chirping. However, with woodpeckers, it can mean trouble. They can damage trees by drilling holes, leaving them vulnerable to diseases and infections.

Important Note

Woodpeckers are endangered and protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. So make sure not to harm them in any way!

Another issue with these birds is that they can start drilling holes into your roof and gutter pipes if they make a nest close to your home.

Even though they mainly do this to find food like bugs and insects, it can result in some major damage to your property.

Worst-case scenario, these pesky birds might start pecking your roof to make a nest if they are not scared away. This can cause serious structural harm to your house!

How To Keep Woodpeckers Away

There are 3 humane and effective methods of deterring woodpeckers from trees:

1. Placing Predator Dummies

Scare-Eye Balloon Or Bird Scare Ball.

Woodpeckers aren’t all that brave, especially when it comes to big birds. It also helps that they get easily scared.

Eagles, owls, falcons, and other big-sized birds prey on woodpeckers.

So having life-sized decoy dummies placed strategically on the trees will deter these pest birds from coming close.

Make sure to buy the ones with their wings spread out for the added fear factor. This will make the woodpecker think that the bird is about to take flight and attack it.

Additionally, you can also get large bird-shaped balloons. These will move with the wind, making them look more frightening.

2. Motion Sensor Alarms

Motion Sensor With Light Detector Mounted On Exterior Wall Of Private House As Part Of Security System

Small birds always take flight at unexpected loud sounds. So installing devices that make high-pitched noises when they detect motion is a sure way to scare woodpeckers away from trees.

Be Careful

If you’re placing motion sensor alarms on trees near your house, alert your neighbors beforehand, so they don’t get startled and call in the police!

Even better, you can get devices specifically made to produce high-frequency sounds. These are not harmful to the birds, but scare them away while also being silent for humans!

3. Use Reflective Surfaces

Silver Foil Background With Shiny Crumpled Surface For Texture Background

Have you ever been spooked by your reflection? If so, then it’s time to put it to good use. In this case, use it on the woodpeckers!

Birds get scared of bright and shiny objects, so using reflective surfaces like aluminum foil and mirrors can frighten their birds.

Double-wrap the trunk with aluminum foil to create a reflective surface. The flashes of sunlight bouncing off the surface will make the woodpecker fly away from the tree.

You can also hang small mirrors on a string. This will produce bright flashes, and the movement will add to the scare factor due to the wind.


Woodpeckers are important to the ecosystem as they eliminate pests and troublesome insects. But what to do when they become a nuisance themselves?

You can prevent the pecky birds from coming near the trees by doing the following:

  • Positioning predator decoys and dummies to scare them off.
  • Installing motion sensor alarms to keep them away.
  • Frightening them by placing reflective surfaces.

Now you know how you can deter woodpeckers from trees without harming them.

Remember, if none of these methods work, you can always call your local animal control center for help.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Permanently Deter Woodpeckers?

You can use bird nettings or mesh fabric to keep woodpeckers from coming near the trees. However, this method is time-consuming and dangerous for small-sized birds who may get trapped.

Can I Use Wind Chimes To Deter Woodpeckers?

Yes, you can hang windchimes on trees to scare off the woodpeckers, but it also depends on your tolerance for noise (don’t forget the neighbors!).

Do Woodpeckers Have Natural Predators?

Yes, woodpeckers are natural prey for hawks, cats, feral bobcats, and big owls.

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