How to Get Rid of Sapsuckers

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Things You'll Need

  • String

  • CDs

  • Tin or aluminum pie plate

  • Small mirrors

  • Pinwheels

  • Wind chimes

  • Garden hose

  • Sticky bird deterrent

  • Suet feeder

  • Suet block

Sapsuckers are a protected species and are illegal to kill without a permit.

Sapsuckers are a breed of woodpeckers found in North America. As their name implies, sapsuckers use their sharp beaks to tap into trees that contain sap and feed off it. They also eat some of the insects that inhabit those trees. If a lot of sapsuckers attack a tree they could drill so many holes that the tree dies. Sapsuckers can also drill holes into the roofs and sides of homes as they search for bugs to eat and to attract mates with their loud pecking. You can use a few different strategies to rid your yard of sapsuckers and save your trees and home from drilling.

Step 1

Hang reflective items that will scare off the sapsuckers. Tie string to things like CDs, tin pie plates and small mirrors and hang them up so the sun reflects off them. These objects will scare the birds away. Pinwheels and wind chimes can also frighten them, because they move and make sound.

Step 2

Be noisy. When you see or hear a sapsucker, go outside and yell at it, scream and bang something noisy like a trashcan or pots and pans. If you have a toy cap gun, fire it off near the bird to scare it away.


Step 3

Spray sapsuckers with a garden hose when you see them. Spraying sapsuckers will not only annoy the birds but also threaten them and make them feel unsafe. A bird that believes it is in danger is less likely to return.

Step 4

Cover holes they have made in your home or trees with sticky bird deterrent. The solution is extremely sticky which will get on the sapsucker's feet and discourage it from returning.

Step 5

Hang a suet feeder near where the sapsucker is pecking and drilling. All woodpeckers like suet and thus the sapsucker should start to feed off the suet. Each day, move the suet approximately 5 to 10 feet away from your home to another part of your yard. The sapsucker should continue to find the suet and feed from it and after approximately 12 to 15 days the suet feeder should be at the edge of your property away from the house.



Dan Richter

Dan Richter began freelance writing in 2006. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the "Wausau Daily Herald," "Stevens Point Journal," "Central Wisconsin Business Magazine" and the "Iowa City Press-Citizen." Richter graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media studies.