Outdoor PestsBirds

How To Keep Woodpeckers Away


If it isn’t obvious, woodpeckers love pecking and hammering on wooden surfaces.

These birds might be pleasant to look at, but they can cause significant damage to your property if you don’t attend to these pests right away.


Once woodpeckers start creating nests outside your home, you should be alarmed.

Woodpeckers’ nests can damage your property, and it might take a while before your house can recover.

So, to keep woodpeckers away, try out the following options:

  • Remove their food source.
  • Create a decoy woodpecker feeder.
  • Trigger the bird’s sense of hearing.
  • Scare them away with shiny materials.

This guide gives you effective ways how to outsmart these pest birds and protect your backyard. It also talks about reasons why woodpeckers love hammering houses.

Four Tips To Keep Woodpeckers Away

Because woodpeckers are still animals, you should utilize humane ways to keep them away from your house.

The following are practical tips to achieve this:

1. Remove the Birds’ Food Source

Woodpecker Carrying Insects

Woodpeckers, like any animals, will continue to scout places to feed and survive. And this is one of the primary reasons why they love pecking at houses.

They love other pests like insects, bugs, bees, and more. They can easily find access to these in your backyard.

To confirm whether the food source is the reason why woodpeckers are hammering your house, try these two ways:

  • Look for holes and check their appearance. Tiny and deep holes suggest they really are looking for food.
  • Look for infestations surrounding the area.

If you think pest infestation is the reason, the best way to keep woodpeckers away is to remove their food source.

One way to do this is by using store-bought insecticides which can eventually kill the pests.

But if you’re looking at a more complicated and larger infestation, maybe it’s time to hire an exterminator.

2. Create a Decoy Woodpecker Feeder

Suet Feeder With A Tail Prop

If you suspect that woodpeckers are lurking around your house because they want to nest and forage, a decoy woodpecker feeder can help.

You can place the decoy feeder far away from your house to keep them away from your residence.

The decoy woodpecker feeder should contain better food sources so that the woodpeckers will not think about visiting your yard anymore.

Also, when you place the feeders away from your home, you are giving woodpeckers an opportunity to nest in far places. This means getting rid of the problem.

Some of the best food sources you can place inside the feeder include suet cakes.

A suet cake is a combination of rendered fat from vegetables, insects, seeds, and fruits.

A great feeder option is a suet feeder. Woodpeckers prefer this because it enables them to eat in the position they prefer.

To make the feeder last long, choose one that’s made of metal with a tail prop. Metal is more durable, and the tail prop adds stability to the feeder.

3. Trigger the Woodpeckers’ Sense of Hearing

Woman Adjusting The Volume Of Speakers

It’s natural for birds to take flight when they hear unusual noises, the same goes for woodpeckers.

For birds, unusual sounds mean predators are nearby. This causes them to react immediately and escape.

One way to trigger the woodpecker’s sense of hearing is by using different woodpecker sound deterrents. Does it sound complicated?

But, generally speaking, a woodpecker sound deterrent is as easy and practical as clapping your hands or making loud noises. You can also try to turn up your speakers’ volume.

While these options are economical, they require a consistent effort to work. In addition, wind chimes also work.

However, you should also warn your neighbors about the possible irritating noise you’ll make.

If you want quicker results, there are store-bought electrical sound deterrents you can check out.

These products utilize various ways—from emitting high-frequency sounds to pre-recording natural sounds to cause woodpeckers to panic.

4. Use Shiny Materials To Scare Woodpeckers

Shiny Streamers

Woodpeckers are not attracted to home decorations. Moreover, some may even feel scared when they go near them.

Probably, the best materials you can use to decorate your house are those made with shiny surfaces.

Woodpeckers cannot focus when there are reflective items surrounding them, including the following:

  • Foil strips
  • Pie tins
  • Shiny streamers
  • Reflective tape
  • Reflective pinwheels

It’s up to you how you want to hang or display these materials, but long and thin ones like the streamers or foil strips can be hung from your backyard’s tree branches. You can also hang pie tins from the roof.

When woodpeckers see their reflections on shiny surfaces, their first instinct is to feel nervous and escape.

Reasons Why Woodpeckers Love Hammering Houses

Woodpecker Hammering The House

Aside from looking for potential food sources, woodpeckers love making loud noises by pecking and hammering because it makes them feel territorial.

The ability to peck on surfaces makes them feel proud of themselves. It also makes them feel more manly as they look for a mate.

Some woodpeckers also love hammering houses to look for potential spaces to store food.

Others prefer house surfaces to create cavity holes where they could build their nests.

Don’t Let Woodpeckers Peck Your Entire House

House repair is one of the most expensive repairs, and you should do everything you could to protect your property from potential pests like woodpeckers.

To keep them away, creating a decoy feeder, removing their food sources, triggering their sense of hearing, and displaying shiny materials should do the magic.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Smells Do Woodpeckers Hate?

The most effective smells which could deter woodpeckers are garlic and peppermint oil. You can also mix the two to create an even stronger solution.

What Are Woodpeckers’ Natural Enemies?

Some of the woodpeckers’ predators include foxes, bobcats, feral cats, hawks, and coyotes.

If your house is located near forests with these creatures, you should not worry about woodpeckers dominating your house’s backyard.

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