Outdoor PestsBirds

How To Keep Woodpeckers Away From Bird Feeders

How To Keep Woodpeckers Away From Bird Feeders

Removing woodpeckers from your bird feeders can be challenging because whatever would scare woodpeckers away might also scare your birds away, and you do not want that.

Also, removing ants that serve as food for woodpeckers from bird feeders would affect the daily nutrition of your birds.

Hence, the big question is how to remove woodpeckers from your bird feeders without affecting your bird.


There are different ways to stop woodpeckers from coming close to your bird feeders that would not affect your birds.

This might not be easy to achieve, but below are some points to note to achieve it:

  • Environmental laws usually protect woodpeckers because of their importance in the ecosystem, so it is important to remove them humanely.
  • You can distract woodpeckers from your bird feeder by planting a berry tree so they can feed on it instead.
  • Woodpeckers can be very destructive, so it is important to keep them away.
  • Woodpeckers are usually looking for food in your bird feeder, so you can keep them away by removing their food sources from your bird feeder.
  • Use pesticides to kill pests that serve as food sources for woodpeckers.
  • Woodpeckers do not like bright colors, and introducing a bright object to your bird feeder would scare them away.
  • The type of feeder you have determines whether woodpeckers would visit. Thus, it is important to adopt feeders that are not attractive to woodpeckers.

The tips are important to note to keep the destructive woodpeckers away from your bird feeder, and one of the best ways to achieve this is to remove their food source from your feeder.

We will discuss specific ways to keep woodpeckers away from your bird feeders. We would also answer FAQs you need to know about woodpeckers.

5 Ways To Keep Woodpeckers Away From Your Bird Feeders

Ways To Keep Woodpeckers Away From Your Bird Feeders

One may consider woodpeckers pests because of their constant drumming and ability to destroy your property, hence the need to eliminate them humanely.

You might feel woodpeckers won’t come into your feeder because they are specifically known for drilling trees. However, woodpeckers would find their way into your feeder if you have the food they like in your feeder.

For instance, some woodpeckers would eat seeds that your other birds enjoy eating. Therefore it is crucial to learn how to keep them away from your feeder because of their destructive capacity.

Below are effective ways to keep woodpeckers away from your bird feeder:

1. Remove Their Food Sources

Remove Their Food Sources

This is one of the best ways to remove woodpeckers from your bird feeders because they come to your feeder for food.

However, this might be tricky because most of the foods that the birds in your feeder enjoy are what woodpeckers also want.

Woodpeckers are omnivores and can feed on different things, like ants, bees, and termites. Check your feeders for these insects and remove them to keep the woodpeckers away.

2. Use a Woodpecker Feeder

Use A Woodpecker Feeder

You can distract woodpeckers from coming to your bird feeder by creating a feeder specifically for them.

Woodpeckers love to live close to their food source, so It would help to fortify the woodpecker feeder with foods specific to woodpeckers, such as suet cakes.

You can also build a fruit tree close to the feeder to occupy the woodpeckers and provide fruits for your consumption.

3. Use Pesticides

Use Pesticides

One of the major things that draw woodpeckers to your feeder is insects. Woodpeckers love infested places because the insects serve as food for them.

To know that your feeder is infested and the insects are attracting woodpeckers to your feeder, check your feeder for signs of infestation, check the holes the woodpeckers drill into trees and check for ants, bees and termites.

It is advisable to use professional examination to kill the pests. However, if you wish to do it yourself, it is important to follow the instructions on pesticides.

4. Create Perch-Less Bird Feeders

Create Perch-Less Bird Feeders

Your type of feeder determines the extent to which woodpeckers would visit your bird feeder.

Other birds like to hover while feeding, but woodpeckers love to perch because they are longer and heavier.

Using a feeder without a perch would discourage woodpeckers from visiting your bird feeder without affecting your other birds, which can feed in a perch-less feeder.

It would also help use feeders with narrow ports that woodpeckers can’t access.

5. Use Decoy Owls

Use Decoy Owls

Generally, owls are natural enemies of birds, and woodpeckers are not an exception. Sighting an owl in your yard is likely to chase all birds away.

However, woodpeckers have specific owls they are afraid of, which other birds, like hummingbirds, do not react to.

For instance, hummingbirds can ignore owls that do not have glowing red eyes or animatronic features, but woodpeckers would be scared.

Thus, you can deploy owls that do not have these features to scare the woodpeckers without disturbing the other birds.


People regard woodpeckers as pests because their drumming and destructive capacities can be highly annoying.

Also, getting rid of them from your bird feeders can be challenging because they are also a species of birds, and whatever measure you adopt to remove them might also affect your birds.

However, some safe methods you can use in removing the woodpeckers include removing food sources specific to them, using perch-less feeders, using pesticides, creating a woodpecker feeder, and deploying owls.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Meal for Woodpeckers?

To know the meals that would adequately distract woodpeckers from your bird feeder, you might need to learn the favorite meal of woodpeckers. Some of their favorite meals include:

  • Suet cakes
  • Ants
  • Termites
  • Bees
  • Fruits and berries
  • Spiders
  • Rodents

What Scents Do Woodpeckers Hate?

Some of the smells that can repel woodpeckers include:

  • Peppermint or mint oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Citronella
  • Onion smell

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