woodpecker controlWoodpeckers can be a costly nuisance to today’s homeowners. The noisy, pesky birds will drill gaping holes into eaves, window frames, trim boards, patio posts and siding. And they’re not too particular about the type of wood they attack, be it cedar, redwood, plywood, pine, fir or cypress. They drill holes in search of insects to feed on. The holes can get big and quite numerous. Woodpeckers also won’t hesitate to peck at your metal gutters, downspouts, chimney caps, TV antennas, rooftop plumbing vents and metal roof valleys. They do this to attract mates. Just about every surface of your home is fair game. Fail to get rid of woodpeckers and they will gather in greater numbers. Ask any homeowner whose home has been attacked by these birds and they’ll tell you, the damage is both extensive and costly to repair.  

Woodpecker Types

There are 22 species of woodpeckers in North America. The most common species in the U.S. is the Downey Woodpecker. Other common species include the hairy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, and the northern flicker. The Downey Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, and Northern Flicker can be found across the U.S. Woodpeckers usually inhabit woods and forests, but in the absence of bird control measures, they will wander into populated areas looking for insects, fruit, acorns and nuts. 

Lethal Means are a No-No.

If you’re thinking of using pellet guns, poisons or other lethal means to get rid of woodpeckers, you should know that the North American Migratory Bird Act regards these birds as a federally protected species. That means using anything but humane measures to deter them is illegal. The good news is, you can get rid of woodpeckers with the right bird deterrents—with the emphasis on right.

Roll the Dice with “Homegrown” Deterrents

Some homeowners say that clattering tin-can lids and wind chimes can temporarily get rid of woodpeckers. Others insist that all you have to do is get rid of their source of food—the insects they feed on in your wood. And here are those who advise keeping bird feeders full of suet to prevent woodpeckers from digging through your siding for insects. These are all good preliminary measures. However, if you’ve tried all these measures and woodpeckers continue to attack your property, you’ll need to implement some professional woodpecker deterrents.  Here’s what the bird control experts recommend to deter these pesky birds:

Woodpecker Netting. Draped across an eave’s overhang to the side of the house, garden netting creates a physical barrier that will deny woodpeckers access to vulnerable wood surfaces. Avoid cutting large pieces out of the netting when encountering protrusions like pipes, lights or rain gutters. Cut slits or X cuts just large enough to accommodate these obstructions.

Flash Tape. This tape creates a Visual Distraction Zone that deters pest birds. It comes in 50-foot rolls and is made of iridescent foil that can be easily cut into short strips. Hung from high visibility areas of your eaves and overhangs, the strips snap in the wind and reflect sunlight to make birds too nervous to stay.

Balloons & Scare Eye Diverters. The Scare Eye Diverter, a tear-drop-shaped iridescent foil deterrent, features a large “predator” eye designed to scare birds. The Bird Scare Balloon, a large inflatable “beach ball,” also features a large mock predator eye. Hung under eaves and overhangs, these deterrents twist and bob in the breeze, convincing woodpeckers that a large predator is “eyeing” them for a meal.