It would be hard for one to consider birds as pests. However, some birds can become very problematic. One of such birds is a woodpecker.
Woodpeckers can be such a pain in the butt for a homeowner in two ways.
First of all, woodpeckers peck loudly when they are looking for food around your home. Secondly, they can damage your home’s exterior wooden structures. And this will cost you a lot of money during the home repair.
You have to keep in mind, though, woodpeckers help get rid of pest insects by eating them. So they aren’t as bad as you think.
If you’re having a woodpecker problem and you don’t know how to get rid of them, then you should keep reading.
In this article, we’ll be giving you some useful tips on how to get rid of woodpeckers.
What to Know About Woodpeckers
The first step to knowing how to get rid of woodpeckers is understanding their habits.
Woodpeckers are mainly carnivorous birds who prefer to eat insects. Their diet includes worms, ants, termites, carpenter bees, and other small bugs. However, they can also feed on sap, nuts, and birdseed.
They have a keen sense of perception and can tell if insects are hiding inside wooden structures or trees.
To collect their food, they peck hard and fast into the wood, picking out insects while they’re at it.
What Attracts Woodpeckers To My Walls?
Like most pests, woodpeckers go out in search of a food source, digging into wooden materials anytime they find one.
If you have insects in the exterior wood-work of your home, then there is every possibility that woodpeckers will come tapping.
Getting rid of the food source is one of the most effective ways to get rid of woodpeckers and keep them off your home. You can call an exterminator to disinfect your walls so that your home unattractive to a woodpecker.
Can You Kill Woodpeckers?
While there are many ways to get rid of woodpeckers, killing is not one of them. It is only illegal to kill woodpeckers in the United States, keep in mind that they are a protected bird species, and harming them is punishable by United States law.
They can indeed be problematic to your home structure, but they are also an important part of the ecosystem. Let’s not forget that their feeding habits help rid our vegetation of destructive pest insects.
How Do You Fix A Woodpecker Damage?
Woodpecker damage to parts of your home doesn’t necessarily mean the end of it. Some damages can be fixed, but only if it hasn’t gone beyond repair.
If the holes are in a part of your tree, you can fix the problem using liquid dish soap and warm water solution.
To make a soap solution, get two teaspoons of liquid soap and a warm water cup, and add the mixture into a container. Stir thoroughly to get a perfect blend, then pour the solution into a spray bottle.
Spray the solution into the tree holes to get rid of any pathogens that may have been deposited from the woodpecker’s beak.
For best results, rinse the holes to flush out the soap solution as well as the pathogens. You can use your garden hose for this.
Small tree holes can be left open to dry, but larger holes will require better care. You can seal the holes with a cloth piece to prevent woodpeckers from drilling deeper holes in that area.
If you find dislodged bark, get some duct tape and fix them back to their original positions.
After some time, the holes in the tree will heal. You can remove the cloth and duct tape after the damage has been healed.
If the woodpecker damage is severe, the best option would be to contact a professional arborist for help. They would know what to do.
However, If woodpecker damage occurs in your siding, you can get some epoxy putty to fill it up. This is a combination of hardening putty and a two-part adhesive of epoxy resin. You can buy putty fillers from amazon com or a home maintenance store.
To use epoxy putty, mix the epoxy resin and the putty using a putty knife until they are well blended. The next step is to spread the mix over the holes until they are totally sealed.
For a smooth finish, you can use the putty knife to scoop away the excess putty. Make sure you air-dry and sand the putty before you paint over the sealed areas.
If the damage is in your roof shingles, you can fix it using wood putty. You can also get this material from amazon com.
After filling the holes, you can paint over the sealant using colors to match the shingles’ rest.
If the damage to the singles is severe, the best option would be to get new shingles to replace the damaged ones.
The good thing about replacing the compromised shingles with new ones is that there will be no visual traces of woodpecker activity on them. Woodpeckers are attracted to old peck marks and can return if they spot any.
Why Is A Woodpecker Pecking My Gutter?
Woodpeckers use their pecking skills mainly to get food, but there are other reasons why they keep tapping away.
The gutters in your home would be one of the woodpecker’s favorite spots. They can find some insects in there, and they can use it to send signals.
The first signal would be telling other woodpeckers that the territory has been claimed, while the second signal would be a mating call.
The act of woodpeckers tapping for other reasons other than food is known as “drumming.”
Why Would A Woodpecker Peck On My Roof?
There are several reasons why a woodpecker would peck on the roof of your home. First of all, it’s a great landing spot for any bird, not just peckers. If they’re lucky, some of your roof’s woodwork will have some carpenter bees hiding inside.
Sending out mating calls is another reason woodpeckers may peck on your roof. Male peckers perform this ritual to call out to interested females.
Peckers may also tap on your roof for the sake of nesting. They deliver as many as 20 pecks per second, so creating a nesting area in your structure wouldn’t be a problem for these hardworking birds.
How To Get Rid Of Woodpeckers From Your Roof
Woodpeckers land on the roof of your home for many reasons. These include nesting, feeding, and sending out mating calls.
Whatever the reasons are, the damage they cause from all the pecking will leave the framework of your roof in a less desirable state. If you don’t act, they will get used to your home and keep visiting.
Getting rid of them isn’t difficult, as there are several woodpecker deterrents you can use. Follow the tips below to deter woodpeckers from your roof.
1.Use A Motion Activated Sprinkler
Most small birds don’t like surprises, especially those that seem like threats, which is why a motion-activated water sprinkler will work well as a woodpecker deterrent.
This device works by picking up movements from birds within its range and spraying blasts of water. The sudden blast will scare the birds away, and they will be discouraged from returning if they feel your roof isn’t safe.
A motion-activated sprinkler is one of the most common woodpecker deterrents you can find in home improvement stores.
2. Motion Activated Alarm
Just like the sprinkler, a motion-activated alarm picks up movements within range. But instead of spraying water, it triggers a loud alarm.
Any intruding woodpecker will take off once it hears the unexpected sound. The effect is pretty much the same as when a gun is fired close to a flock of birds.
They are afraid of loud and unexpected noises. They see them as threats, and their first reaction would be to fly away.
3. Scare Dummy Deterrents
Woodpeckers aren’t large birds, and they aren’t the bravest either. There are larger bird species that they are afraid of.
You can use this knowledge to your advantage and place some scare dummies on your roof. These dummies have to be in the form of natural predators like snakes, hawks, and falcons.
You can buy balloon dummies from a home improvement store near you. Make sure the ones you buy look menacing enough to scare the woodpeckers.
If you’re going for a dummy prey bird, ensure that it is life-sized. Buy the ones that will have their wings spread out and their mouths open when inflated. To the woodpecker, it would seem like the prey bird is ready to attack.
They wouldn’t come close to your roof if they believe they’ll be eaten. String up one or two scare balloons and let the woodpecker’s fear of being killed do the rest. The wind will also help you sell this scare tactic, as it will keep the dummies moving at all times.
This is one of the most effective methods you can use to drive them away.
4. Reflective Deterrents
Birds get uneasy when they find other birds in areas they plan to perch, even if it’s their own reflection.
Looking at their own reflections will make them feel another woodpecker has already claimed the territory, and they will leave.
You can install aluminum pans or aluminum foil to scare them off. You can also install small mirrors or reflective wind chimes to keep them away.
Reflective tape is another option. The sunlight bounces off the reflective tape to create flashes that scare woodpeckers away.
Reflective tape can also make noise when the wind is blowing it. The noise can help keep woodpeckers off your roof.
5. Bird Netting
You can use bird netting to stop woodpeckers from landing on certain parts of your roof. Be sure to install the net in the areas where they are most likely to explore. These include areas they would like to nest or perform their mating calls.
You have to be careful when installing bird netting. The idea is to keep the birds from accessing a certain area and not to trap them. If the netting is not properly installed, then the latter might be the case.
If you have never tried bird netting, you should call someone who has more experience to help you install it.
6. Remove The Food Source
If your roof is infested with insects, then woodpeckers may keep visiting. To keep them uninterested, you need to get rid of the insects on your top.
It is a fact that woodpeckers help homeowners get rid of problematic insects, but the peckers themselves cause significant damage.
Calling a pest control company would be the best way to do this. After inspecting your property, they would come up with an extermination plan.
Once the pest insects are gone, the woodpeckers would have one less reason to visit your property.
7. Install Bird Spikes
The first choice of landing areas for most birds will be a place high above the ground, which is why your roof is a common target. The only reason birds land on your roof is because it is convenient. But what if it’s not?
You can cause woodpeckers a lot of inconvenience by installing bird spikes along your roof.
Bird spikes are pointed, needle-like clusters of upward-facing prongs that make it impossible for birds to perch.
If the woodpecker tries to land, the spikes will prick its feet base, and it will take off immediately.
You can use this to keep woodpeckers away from your roof.
How To Keep Woodpeckers From Pecking Your Trees
Woodpeckers may invade your garden in search of food. Your fruit trees will be their preferred spot. This is because fruit trees are a prime destination for insects that the woodpeckers feed on.
If left alone, woodpeckers will drill holes in your trees. Remember, holes can leave them vulnerable to infections and diseases.
Luckily, there are different woodpecker deterrents you can use to solve this problem.
Follow the tips below to keep woodpeckers away from your garden.
1. Install A Woodpecker Feeder
If you’re bothered about woodpeckers doing damage to your trees, you can easily divert their attention by providing an easier source of food.
Suet is an effective decoy!
For those who don’t know, suet cakes are specially made as a distraction for pest birds. It contains vegetables, seeds, fruits, animal fat, and insects.
Suet cakes are placed into metal cages called suet feeders, which you can hang along your tree branches to give the woodpeckers an easier feeding option.
The good thing about suet feeders is that they allow the woodpeckers to eat in their natural position, gripping the feeder grill with their feet and pecking away with their beak.
The trick here is simple. If the peckers have a more comfortable feeding option, they will take it and leave your trees alone. After a round of suet cakes, they’d be too full to peck on your trees.
Even though this may not completely stop them from pecking on your trees, it will significantly reduce their interest.
Before you pay for a suet feeder, ask the attendant at the pest control or home improvement store if the feeder is specifically made to deal with woodpeckers.
Also, buy one that has a tail prop. This will keep the birds more comfortable as they feed.
2. Use Predator Sounds
Sound is one of the things that can scare woodpeckers away. Something as simple as a hand-clap can scare them off. But what if you go the extra mile and give the pest birds something they are terrified of.
Try natural predator sounds!
Of course, we don’t expect you to hiss like a snake or make hawk sounds. There are electronic devices that can do that for you.
These devices come in different shapes and sizes. Some look like basic audio recorders, while some are actually made to look like a real hawk or owl.
Regardless of design, they are built to produce natural predator sounds and distress calls, which the woodpeckers would recognize as a warning to stay clear.
These sounds have been pre-recorded and installed in the devices. Some of them work with motion and will play the sound once a pecker perches on your tree.
You can buy one from a home improvement store in your area and install it in your garden to keep the invading birds at bay.
3. Use A Decoy Predator
Let’s face it. It would be hard to train a fox or hawk specifically for the task of repelling woodpeckers. But you don’t have to.
All you need to do is buy a decoy predator and place it in your garden to scare the birds away.
There are plastic owls and hawks available in home improvement stores. There are also balloon dummies that look exactly like the predators.
Please place them in strategic positions around your garden and let nature do the rest. Remember to buy decoys that look terrifying. The idea is to scare the woodpeckers away.
Combine this tactic with natural predator sounds, and the woodpecker will feel the area is not safe.
4. Buy A Woodpecker Net
The idea behind a bird or woodpecker net is to keep the pests away from certain areas around your home. In this case, your trees.
Be sure to buy a net that is designed for garden use and not for buildings.
A good woodpecker net should be hard enough to barricade birds from your trees and too soft and unstable for them to land on firmly.
Do not buy netting that is made with poor materials; otherwise, it wouldn’t last. Buy a net that is UV proof, waterproof, and rot proof.
It would be best if you didn’t buy poorly made bird netting because it can give in to consistent pressure from the woodpeckers. The more they attempt to perch and get a good grip on it, the weaker it becomes.
Bird nets made with strong polyethylene material is your best choice.
5. Install Wind Chimes
We have spoken about how a bird is scared of certain sounds, especially those that seem threatening. This is why installing wind chimes is a great way to keep a woodpecker off your trees.
Wind chimes are small, crystal-like rods that are held loosely together. They make clashing sounds when they are under wind pressure.
These clashing sounds aren’t pleasant to a bird, and it would assume the sound represents danger.
You can buy some wind chimes and place them in strategic areas of your garden to discourage woodpeckers from staying.
What Smells Can Repel A Woodpecker?
Woodpeckers don’t like the smell of garlic and peppermint oil, which is why they can be used as a woodpecker deterrent.
You can make a garlic or peppermint solution and spray it around the areas they are likely to visit.
Can A Woodpecker Enter My House?
Well, if your windows and doors are open, then a woodpecker can enter your home. But like most birds, a woodpecker has no interest in going in.
The food source of a bird is abundant outside your house, so that’s where it would rather be.
Woodpeckers are beneficial birds in the context of getting rid of pest insects. However, their rapid pecking causes damage to trees and the structure of your building.
You can use the DIY methods listed here to solve the problem. You can also call an exterminator to help you remove their food source.
Hopefully, this article on how to get rid of woodpeckers has been helpful.