If you had a pesky woodpecker that just wouldn’t stop pecking your trees or house, you’re not alone.
Pileated woodpeckers are one of the most destructive bird species in North America. Their large size and powerful beaks allow them to easily damage trees, siding, and other structures.
But worry not, there are some home remedies that can help stop them. I will discuss here the most effective ways to stop pileated woodpeckers from damaging your property.
Why Do Woodpeckers Hammer On Houses?
Woodpeckers are known to hammer on houses for a few different reasons.
a- Searching for Food
One reason is that they are looking for food. Woodpeckers eat insects, and they use their beaks to drill into wood to find them.
b- Attracting a Mate
Another reason why woodpeckers hammer on houses is to attract a mate. The male woodpecker will find a suitable tree or house and start drumming.
The sound will carry for long distances, and the hope is that it will attract a female woodpecker.
c- Relieving Stress or Boredom
You won’t believe but some woodpeckers also hammer on houses out of boredom or to relieve stress.
When they get bored, they will start pecking at anything they can find, including houses. And when they’re stressed, they will often take it out on houses as well.
d- Satisfying Loud Noise that Proclaims Their Territory
Another reason is that woodpeckers use their beaks to create drumming sounds. This is how they communicate with other woodpeckers. The sound also helps them mark their territory.
The Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Woodpeckers
There are more than 300 species of woodpeckers worldwide, and 22 species can be found in the United States.
The Pileated woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in the world and is native to North America.
The Ivory-billed woodpecker is a very rare large woodpecker that is native to the southeastern United States.
Both of these woodpeckers are black with white stripes on their wings, and they both have a red crest on their heads.
If you have a pileated woodpecker problem, there are a few things you can do to deter them.
1. Remove Potential Nesting Sites
You can do this by trimming back trees and shrubs around your property.
Pileated woodpeckers typically nest in large trees, so removing potential nesting sites may deter them from setting up shop near your home.
2. Remove Their Food Sources
Another way to deter woodpeckers is to remove potential food sources from your property. If you have fruit trees or bird feeders, these may be attracting woodpeckers to your yard.
Try removing these food sources and see if the woodpeckers go away.
3. Use Visual and Sound Deterrents
There are a few different visual deterrents you can use to keep woodpeckers away from your property.
One option is to hang shiny objects (like old CDs, aluminum foil, or small mirrors) around your yard that reflect light. You may put them around woodpecker holes to your advantage.
These bright objects are especially noticeable and alarming for birds and will help them keep away.
The reflective tape also flashes brilliant light and makes a crinkling noise in the wind. The sight and sound of this attack is an effective two-way punch that drives woodpeckers away.
You can also try hanging a pie pan or other loud object from a string near the area where the woodpeckers are pecking. The noise will scare them away.
The brightest pinwheels are also a great deterrent for woodpeckers. These have stakes that may be driven into the soil.
You can use them in your garden or on pots on your balcony or window ledge.
A few other items that can also help include:
- bright mylar balloons
- Windsocks, wind chimes & vanes
- Other garden ornaments that move in the air
4. Install a Woodpecker House and a Feeder
This is actually one of the most effective methods that can resolve your woodpecker problem.
All you have to do is install a woodpecker house and feeder in your yard away from your house. The idea is to provide the woodpeckers with an alternative place to nest and drum.
While you may not want these birds as house visitors, they can be useful neighbors that will consume all the dangerous insects that might harm your plants.
The greatest woodpecker homes are those that closely resemble these birds’ natural nests.
So, here are a few tips for you if you desire to build one for these birds…
- To replicate the birds’ natural habitat, install a woodpecker house on a tree trunk. Place it as near as possible to an existing woodpecker pecking hole in a tree that is far from your wood siding and home.
- The roof should be white, unpainted, and free of any bright or unnatural-looking colors that can deter woodpeckers instead of attracting them.
- A deep nest is great and it should be longer than its width. Because different species may have varied sizes make sure there is enough space for woodpeckers to enter.
- Finally, add some food for the birds and plant some seed-bearing flowers nearby to attract the birds in the house
5. Apply a Taste Deterrent
There are a few different products on the market that you can apply to your siding or trees that will make them taste bad to woodpeckers.
These products typically contain capsaicin, which is the active ingredient in chili peppers.
Woodpeckers don’t like the taste of capsaicin, so they will avoid any area that has been sprayed with it.
6. Install a Decoy Woodpecker Predator
This is one of the more extreme measures you can take to deter woodpeckers.
A decoy woodpecker predator is a life-size replica of a hawk or other predator that scares woodpeckers away.
These replicas can be hung from trees or placed on your roof.
7. Use an Ultrasonic Deterrent
You can also try using an ultrasonic deterrent to keep woodpeckers away from your property.
These devices emit high-frequency sound that is annoying to woodpeckers but not harmful to them.
8. Install Bird Spikes
If woodpeckers are pecking at your siding or windows, you can try installing bird spikes.
These spikes will make it difficult for the birds to land on your house, and they will eventually give up and go away.
You can also use these spikes in other areas of your home where the woodpeckers like to hang out.
These may include roofs, eaves, fences, and other horizontal surfaces that are high up like ceilings and chimneys.
These spikes are easy to install and do not require much maintenance. Plus, they are available at a very low cost online.
9. Fill Up All the Holes in Your House
Woodpeckers typically peck at houses because they are looking for insects to eat.
If you have any holes or cracks in your siding, the woodpeckers will be able to smell the insects and come after them.
To prevent this, you can fill up all the holes and cracks in your house with caulk or putty.
10. Use Netting and Physical Barrier
If you have a small tree or shrub that is being targeted by woodpeckers, you can try wrapping it in netting. This will prevent the birds from being able to access the tree or shrub.
You can also try using a physical barrier to keep woodpeckers away from your property.
This may include installing a chicken wire around the perimeter of your yard or building a fence.
The chicken wire will prevent the woodpeckers from being able to land on your property, and the fence will keep them out altogether.
11. Play Recorded Sounds of Predators
Another visual deterrent you can use is to play recorded sounds of predators in your yard.
The sound of a hawk or other predator will make the woodpeckers feel unsafe and they will avoid the area altogether.
12. Use a Water Hose
If you see a woodpecker pecking at your house, you can also try spraying it with a water hose. The sudden blast of water will startle the bird and make it fly away.
Can You Shoot the Woodpecker in Your Backyard?
If you’re having serious problems with woodpeckers and you can’t get rid of them on your own, you may need to hire a professional.
There are companies that specialize in getting rid of nuisance birds. They will likely use a combination of the above methods to get rid of the woodpeckers for good.
If you’re having serious problems with woodpeckers and none of the above methods are working, you may also think to resort to lethal force.
You can shoot the woodpeckers with a BB gun or pellet gun. This should only be done as a last resort, as it is illegal to kill most birds in the United States.
The woodpecker totem is a reminder that we all have an innate need to create and nurture life. It teaches us the importance of working hard to achieve our goals, and it reminds us to enjoy the simple things in life.
The woodpecker totem also symbolizes change and new beginnings. If you have been feeling stagnant in your life, the woodpecker totem can be a sign that it’s time for you to make some changes.
Woodpeckers pecking on your house, trees, and siding can be a nuisance. Hopefully, one of the above home remedies will help you get rid of your woodpecker problem.
Hi, I am Mark Garner a professional carpenter, woodworker, and DIY painter. I live in the small city of Peoria, Arizona as a semi-retired woodworker. I have started this blog with a simple motive to help you with my wood experience in this sector. If you like to know more about what I love doing and how it all got started, you can check more about me here.