How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers: 13 Best Woodpecker Deterrents from $10 to $120

Author: Michael Potter Reviewed by Updated: April 21, 2022

Woodpeckers are useful in the forest as they rid the trees of bugs and parasites. At the same time, these birds are a true disaster for any man-made structures. Once the woodpeckers choose to settle on a wooden fence, pole or house siding, the homeowners will not only suffer anxiety because of the noise, but will soon discover apple-sized holes gouged into your house causing wasted time on repairs. Up here in Alaska the birds start early with the sunrise and, for some reason, like to bang around on metal siding – at least my whole neighborhood is suffering with me! That’s how I know it is essential to buy the best woodpecker deterrents as soon as possible before these birds damage your household or your sleep.

Killing many species is banned and is simply inhumane which is why our review is  dedicated only to repelling woodpeckers. You will find out which methods are recommended by the scientists, how to pick a woodpecker repellent and woodpecker scare devices. To really understand what you are up against explore the behavior and biology of Woodpeckers by expanding the article below “+”. At the end of the review, we will list the top products to meet every budget and situation. 

A Comparative Chart of Methods and Deterrents

Method/Product How, When and Where Best Used /




On house cornices and city fences. /

Prevents the pests from landing, are versatile against various species.

Are not aesthetic.


To protect fruit trees, houses and plantings. /

Effective protection against medium-sized and large birds.

Is not always useful against smaller birds.


To be installed on the lot or damage. /

Visual and sonic repelling.

Can work against woodpeckers only if hung.
Noisy Light Reflectors: Tape. Rods, Discs


Are hung wherever birds are undesirable. /

Reflected light and sounds have a repelling effect.

The birds get used to it eventually, the best effect is achieved when it is windy and sunny.
Sound Repellers


Are installed in places that require protection. /

They mimic predator’s sounds ie Natural threat for the birds
Large coverage area
Can be set to repel various species.

Should be combined with other control methods.
Ultrasonic Repellers


Are installed on balconies, terraces and outside. /

Can repel various pests.

Motion Activated Water Sprinklers


Are installed on laws. /

Physical repelling and additional plant watering.

Woodpeckers can be out of the sprinkler’s reach.
Chemical Repellents: Gels and Sprays


Various surfaces are treated, eg: cornices, lawns, fruit trees. /

Evoke a reflex of avoiding the treated areas.

Some compounds are toxic and require following the manual. They can repel useful birds.

What Attracts Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers inhabit the entire USA, and over 20 species can be found across the country. Most often, they are encountered in the forests or near wooded areas in rural neighborhoods. They are resilient creatures that will occasionally make suburbia their home. Trees are a source of life for these birds as they nest in hollows pecked into tree trunks and they feed on the insects and larvae burrowed deep in the tree. They manage to do this with the help of their powerful beak and long, sticky tongue which is half as long as the bird – reaching an astounding 7-15 inches in length!

Woodpeckers are easy to recognize as their plumage is contrastingly black and white, and the males also have a red mark on their head. A common kind of woodpeckers is the yellow-bellied sapsucker distinguished by the yellow chest. Their method of clinging vertically to tree trunks is also an easy way to distinguish them – not to mention the incessant knocking. 

A popular yet uninformed myth says that apparently, woodpeckers peck the buildings only when they’re starving. Such a phenomenon could be considered warning a sign of the building’s dilapidation and repair work eliminating the insects in the rotten wood will help get rid of the woodpeckers. In fact, the birds can be attracted by brand new buildings for a variety of reasons. Not only wooden designs, but also certain building materials, such as mounting foam are susceptible to damage as they visually resemble old bark and moss.

  • The acorn woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) drills holes in wood simply to store acorns. When sapsuckers drill their numerous rows of 1/4-inch (0.6-cm) holes in healthy trees, they are primarily after sap and the insects entrapped by the sap, –the University of California’ Rex E. Marsh gives an illustrative example.

As a rule, one or two woodpeckers attack a building at once, but over the season, up to eight woodpeckers could be drilling into your house! It is crucial to repair the pecked hollows in a timely manner so as not to attract new pests and additional water damage. Dead trees should be disposed of and diseased trees should be treated for the same reasons. If your house has a wooden siding with small round holes, check right away for an infestation of carpenter bees. Not only do Carpenter Bees damage property but they attract woodpeckers too. It is possible to stop woodpeckers from pecking the house if you eliminate their food source with special products. If Carpenter Bees are part of your problem, join thousands of others who have discovered How to get rid of Carpenter Bees.

Woodpeckers prefer coniferous trees, cedar and mahogany, especially if the material has retained its natural properties after being processed. Sometimes the siding’s hue can pose a threat.

  • A study in New York found that homes painted with earth-tone colored paints or stains experienced significantly more woodpecker damage than homes painted with bright white or pastel colors, – as stated in the brochure of the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin -Madison.

Woodpeckers’ destructive activity peaks throughout February to June, during the mating period and migration. In the spring, male woodpeckers can bother you with their drumbeat on metal pipes and gutters as they attempt to claim their territory. Rubber construction gaskets placed under these structures can dampen the noise.

How to Get Rid Of Woodpeckers with tips from Scientists

If you are looking for the woodpecker deterrents on a cedar siding, draw your attention to physical barriers, primarily to netting.

  • One of the most effective methods of excluding woodpeckers from damaging wood sidings beneath the eaves is to place lightweight plastic bird-type netting over the area, – believes Rex E. Marsh (University of California).

Netting with 3-4 inch wide holes will protect the cornice from the woodpeckers. The distance between the net and the wall should be about three inches so that the birds cannot damage wood siding through the netting.

Metal or plastic spikes are a universal barrier against almost all kinds of birds. The metal kind targets larger birds and can be attached to uneven surfaces. Metal spikes can also be spray painted the same color to your siding and trim work to preserve the beauty of your investment.

Since the woodpeckers are attracted to wood, vulnerable spots can be protected by metal or plastic membrane or use rough cloth. The common disadvantage of all kinds of barrier protection is that the birds can outsmart you and attack another, unprotected part.

Woodpecker Scare Devices

Another way of scaring woodpeckers is to create a seemingly hostile atmosphere for them. This requires acting on the woodpeckers’ highly sensitive vision and hearing.

The scientists do not consider traditional visual repelling, such as making a stationary hawk or an owl scarecrow, to be very effective as the pests get used to static figures quite fast. However, if you make these mock-ups move – for instance, if you hang a predator scarecrow rather than mounting it firm – you can yield results. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (unit of Cornell University) recommends using Bird-X balloons with a holographic image of eyes watching the birds’ movement.

Light-weight Light-reflecting devices are well proven. Use aluminum strips, long foil bands, windsocks and toy plastic twirlers. Pay special attention to small windmills with reflective blades as they can be installed straight on the problematic lot. Shiny silver balloons tied to a string in windy weather will also do.

The opinions regarding using small mirrors to scare woodpeckers differ: in some cases, the bird didn’t react to their own reflection or even became more active in the area. Perhaps this has to do with the static placement of these devices or the instinct to defend its territory from its own reflection.

Using Sound as a Deterrent

Loud noise scares woodpeckers, but in order for them to flee forever, claps and knocks must repeat every time these birds enter your territory. Programmable sonic deterrents are devices that reproduce predator birds’ voices and are specifically aimed at repelling the woodpeckers (however, BirdXPeller Pro is capable of scaring both woodpeckers and sparrows) and are recommended for use. The advantage of such an acoustic system is that the sound repeats regularly and covers up to one acre of territory.

Devices with movement sensors also scare your unwanted guests. When a bird approaches such a gadget, it makes noise or releases a jet of water. Because such motion activated water sprinklers are usually installed on the lawns, woodpeckers are often out of their reach. Motion Activated Sprinklers are a versatile option to defend against many pests and are often recommend by the SPI Reasearch Team. Even if the water does not contact the bird, the sudden sight and sound of the water jet will continue to have an effect.

Propane exploders are used to protect commercial fruit farms, however, they are too bulky and powerful to use at home. As for the ultrasonic acoustic devices, many specialists doubt their effectiveness.

– High-frequency sound is above the normal audible hearing range of humans but, unfortunately, above the range of most birds too, – claims Rex E. Marsh (University of California).

Visual and sonic repellents are useful as a rule only when the birds haven’t yet nested on your lot. If they have and there is an abundant food source, most likely you will need a combination of physical barriers and deterrents.

Woodpecker Repellent

Gels and sprays are still used mostly to preserve crops. Chemicals cause indigestion in birds, so they leave fruit and berries alone. As the woodpeckers are more attracted by insects inside trees than by fruit, no digestive repellents can be used against them. A woodpecker spray must act on touch and be sticky.

Sticky repellents (Tanglefoot, 4-The-Birds, Roost-No-More) will make even cedar siding unwanted for birds. Be careful and try not to damage the surface. First, try this product on a small area. If any traces are left, apply the product on a thin plate or a transparent plastic sheet and attach it to a problematic place.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology does not recommend using sticky repellents, because if a bird gets this product on its plumage, it will likely not be able to fly anymore. That being said, Woodpeckers are large birds and to not “sit” on the vertical siding areas of your house. The SPI team has observed that this can be an effective deterrent on those vertical surfaces if you have a frequent visitor to the same area. 

How to Keep Woodpeckers from Pecking Using Redirection

If you have tried all the legal methods in vain, change your strategy. Instead of repelling birds, you can make feeders or nests for them away from the house and thus minimize the damage. This tip is especially useful for places heavily populated with the woodpeckers as the nested birds will protect your lot from other woodpeckers by defending their territory.

Use a narrow wooden box 22-26 inches high with a wide entrance and an inclined roof. Such a booth can be attached to a pole, a tree or even under a house roof, ie at any height where there is damage. A number of traps are available for purchase that have unique features including squirrel proof wire cages and rain protection.

Specialists recommend undertaking feeding in cold seasons when birds have trouble doing this on their own. Suet is the best filler for a feeder that should therefore have a trellised bottom, allowing the woodpeckers to peck out the treat by clinging with their claws. Such access protects food from other bird species.

The StopPestInfo Editorial Staff suggests that feeding too close to the house or too early in the season may just attract more woodpeckers. If you decide to try luring woodpeckers away from damaged areas using suet, please be vigilant and remove the suet if it appears that you are attracting additional woodpeckers, – warns the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

TOP-13 Best Woodpecker Repellents

Here is a list of various deterrents which, as we’ve found out, are recommended by scientists to use in combination to create an atmosphere hostile to woodpeckers.

Physical Barriers: Spikes and Nets

One of the most popular ways of keeping the woodpeckers away from your house is to use physical barriers, eg, spikes and nets. You will have to spend some time installing them, but in return, these universal repellents will help you restrict any birds and will serve you for a long time.

Spikes are a universal means of scaring the birds, including the woodpeckers. Bird-X metal and polycarbonate spikes are popular. Plastic spikes have branches at the bottom which is why they won’t miss even small intruders, such as sparrows. These spikes are glued with the supplied glue. Metal spikes will be more appropriate against woodpeckers as first, the grid will be more durable and, second, the flexible base of the metal spikes allows attaching them even to an uneven surface.

Price: Plastic Polycarbonate Spikes: Check the current price

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Stainless Steel pikes: Check the current price

Nets are also a universal method. A quality synthetic net will protect any kind of shelter, and the woodpeckers won’t be able to penetrate it. The only issue is that as a rule, these nets are sold without any supplementary structures, so you will have to determine yourself where and how this protective barrier will be situated. Special netted devices are usually made as a means of controlling garden birds.

There are two similar options: Bird-X Standard Bird Netting (100′ by 14’) is perfect for gardens and light-duty applications, while Bird-X Heavy Duty Premium Bird Netting (50′ by 50′) is ideal for heavy-duty applications. Opt for a larger canvas to protect even the widest surfaces against woodpeckers. In both cases, the nets are water-proof and UV light-proof; they are flexible and won’t hurt birds. Keep in mind that you will have to build protective designs out of these nets by yourself. Stapling or hanging from rods and string will secure the nets in place.

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bird-X Standard Bird Netting: Check the current price

Bird-X Heavy Duty Premium: Check the current price

Woodpecker Scare Devices

The task of scaring woodpeckers has been simplified as much as possible. Just like other birds, woodpeckers perceive the environment with their vision and by associations. That is why such scare devices as terror eyes can be used to deter them.


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology experts are skeptical about predator statues, but they do recommend hanging balloons with holographic eye image. One such option is a Bird-X Terror-Eyes Inflatable Bird Scare with realistic holographic eyes. The balloon is 24 inches wide, which is twice an average woodpecker size. Huge eyes watching an intruder are undoubtedly the main fear factor. This fake becomes a realistic threat when these orange eyes swing in the wind. To avoid the birds getting used to this product, plan on moving its location occasionally and combining it with other deterrents.

Scare Eye Balloon Bird Repellent is a more affordable option of the same set of three balloons with an eye pattern. Each balloon is 16 inches wide, but the manufacturer states that the product is aimed not only at repelling small birds, but also seagulls, ravens and woodpeckers. Increase the effectiveness by purchasing different colors and moving the locations.

Bird-X Terror-Eyes: Check the current price

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Scare Eye Balloon Bird Repellent: Check the current price

Light Reflection Devices: Scare Rods, Discs and Tape

Cost-saving, effectiveness and compactness are the main attributes of light reflection woodpecker repellents. Light reflection devices target visually (as they blind the birds with reflected light) and sonically (by making noise even at the slightest wind blow). You won’t find a better woodpecker protection on a windy sunny summer day.

Bird Blinder Repellent Scare Rods (Check current price) is a classic set of five silver rods made of shiny plastic on a band. Almost all the consumer opinions are positive. The users from all regions are unanimous that they repel birds effectively.

Bird Repellent Disks are a good option for those who value durability. This gadget is made of stainless steel and won’t let you down in a rainy summer. This is a set of eight light-reflective dual disks. This original design yields results as there is twice as much noise and light. The sellers assure that the device will be quite effective against woodpeckers.

Scare Tape is a really popular item and people’s choice. Perhaps, they simply like the design of this colorful holographic tape… or it just works at repelling birds! It is long enough for several installations. The tape reflects light from both sides and can be attached to any surface. This product is simple to use, effective and is affordable, hence the popularity with the users all over the internet and the world.

Scare Rods (5-pack): Check the current price

Scare Disks (8-pack): Check the current price

The tape reflects light from both sides and can be attached to any surface. This product is simple to use, effective and is affordable, hence the popularity with the users.

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Scare Tape: Check the current price

Electronic Repellents

As we’ve mentioned, not every electronic repeller is effective against woodpeckers. Water sprinklers can be useful if the woodpeckers were within reach which is highly unlikely. Acoustic repellents are more reliable, and the scientists recommend combining them with other deterrents, at least with spikes, nets or flashers. There are plenty of popular devices, and we will tell you about the best ones. It is up to you to decide which to choose.

Bird B Gone Chase Super Sonic Deterrent

This interesting and innovative gadget is prerecorded cries of predatory birds. They are the woodpeckers’ natural enemies and therefore, they repel these long-nosed beautiful birds from several hundred yards away!

This universal product has various modes of repelling up to 22 bird species. According to the description, it can be programmed against certain species, for example, pigeons, crows, starlings, gulls, or woodpeckers. It is powered from an outlet and not batteries.

If you are bothered exclusively by the woodpeckers, turn your attention to a special gadget Bird-X BirdXPeller Pro set to work specifically against woodpeckers and sparrows. Both devices’ speakers can cover up to one acre. Additional speakers will enhance the sound.

The feedback on these electronic repellers is contradictory. Obviously, some users didn’t think that these noise makers actually make noise… Do they disturb the neighborhood dogs? Maybe. But do they give you the much deserved peace and quite you need and the ability to protect your house. Definitely. Please combine this product with some of the low-tech products for best results. Woodpeckers are annoying but impressively adaptable.

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bird B Gone Chase Super Sonic Deterrent: Check the current price

Bird-X BirdXPeller PRO Electronic Bird Repeller Version WP for Woodpeckers & Sparrows: Check the current price

Chemical Repellents: Gel and Spray

Chemical repellers also allow scaring the woodpeckers. It can be applied on windowsills and cornices (if a woodpecker is fond of your house’s exterior), and sprays can be used immediately on trees and plantings (if this bird has settled on your lot).

Bird-X Bird-Proof Gel Repellent

This is a very curious product with an intriguing name of “liquid spikes”. Its main feature is the ease of use on cornices and windowsills. The manufacturers claim that it can be installed at any height or slope. All you have to do is to apply the gel on the surface properly. Woodpeckers are one of ten species against which the liquid spikes are effective enough.

The users confirm that this gel retains its properties outside well enough. It is also transparent and does not seem toxic. Three packs of this inexpensive chemical repellent will be enough to create a 30-feet long protective band.

Bird-X Bird-Proof Gel Repellent: Check the current price

Woodpecker Spray – Bird-X Bird Stop Liquid Deterrent

The product is universal and targets a large variety of birds that harm fruit and trees, including woodpeckers. Depending on the tactics used in every situation (refer to the manual), this liquid can require dissolving in water or being used as it is.

So far, neither the sales nor the rating have been high. Certain users, however, describe positive experiences of using this repellent against woodpeckers. However, they claim that the product acts on all birds with no exceptions, even on beneficial ones. Try using the product during dryer months that the Woodpeckers are most annoyingly active (Summer). This concentrate is far more cost-efficient than a ready-to-use item.

Check the current price

Woodpecker Deterrents Comparative Chart

Name Type Use
Bird-X Plastic Polycarbonate Spikes Kit with Adhesive Glue

Spikes Install on a cornice or a windowsill.
Bird-X Stainless Steel Spikes Kit
Spikes Install on a cornice or a windowsill.
Bird-X Standard Bird Netting
Netting As a barrier.
Bird-X Heavy Duty Premium

Netting As a barrier.
Bird-X Terror-Eyes Inflatable Bird Scare

Terror Eyes Hang where needed.
Scare Eye Balloon Bird Repellent
Terror Eyes Hang where needed.
Bird Blinder Repellent Wind Twisting Scare Rods
Light Reflector Hang where needed.
Bird Repellent Discs
Light Reflector Hang where needed.
Scare Tape
Light Reflector Hang where needed.
Bird B Gone Super Sonic Deterrent


Sonic Repeller Install in places of birds’ unsolicited activity.
Bird-X BirdXPeller PRO WP for Woodpeckers & Sparrows

Sonic Repeller Install in places of birds’ unsolicited activity.
Bird-X Bird-Proof Gel Repellent

Chemical Repellent Leave a strip of liquid nails on your cornice or windowsill.
Bird-X Liquid Deterrent
Chemical Repellent Spray over the trees and plantings.

View Comments

  • I didn't know that there are different types of woodpeckers. Also, since my house is painted in a brownish shade, this could be the reason why I keep seeing dents and holes in my walls outside. You listed a lot of ways to prevent woodpecker attacks, however, I'm not comfortable in using chemicals, and nets don't look very pretty either. I guess I'll just check with a professional to see if there are other options for me.

    • mfinch, Thanks for leaving a comment. There are a bunch of different woodpeckers in the US but the ones that torment homeowners basically all behave the same way - so dont worry about identifying the specific species. Besides chemical and nets, take a look at some of the scare tactics. A few well placed shiny spinners just might do the trick! Please Write back here and tell us your success story - all of our readers would really appreciate it.

Author: Michael Potter Reviewed by Updated: April 21, 2022
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Michael Potter, Ph. D. In biology, is a consultant and author for He is a scientist obsessed with the idea to save the world from pests.

He does not belive hollow words and empty promises from the producers ads. It is only facts that matter to him. Mr. Potter questions any statement and analzes in detail all related information.


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