How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers on My House

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Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum flashing

  • Hammer

  • Nails

  • Automatic sprinkler

  • Owl effigies

  • Reflective tape

  • Tin foil

  • Stapler

  • Twine

Woodpeckers are federally protected birds.

Woodpeckers, like most North American birds, are protected by federal laws, meaning that you cannot legally kill them as a pest control method. Because of this, when woodpeckers begin pecking your home and causing damage, you must use a non-lethal control method to get rid of them. You could contact a professional to deal with the problem; however, this can be very expensive. The other option is to get rid of woodpeckers yourself. Home remedies require little money and just a bit of time and energy to complete.


Step 1

Use pieces of aluminum flashing to cover any holes that are created by a woodpecker. You can find flashing at your local home improvement store. Use a hammer and nails to attach the flashing to the side of your home. The shininess, the sound and the texture of the flashing discourages woodpeckers from pecking.

Step 2

Use an automatic sprinkler with motion activation to wet the side of your home. Woodpeckers do not like to hold onto wet surfaces. Using a motion activated sprinkler allows you to wet down the side of your home, but only as needed. Check with the product instructions to determine the recommended distance for the specific model.


Step 3

Place owl effigies around your property. These are plastic or wooden statues that look like a real owl. Move the effigies to a new location daily, otherwise the woodpecker will figure out they are not real. The owls are predators which will discourage woodpeckers from your property.

Step 4

Hang pieces of reflective tape from the side of your home. This also uses the idea that woodpeckers do not like shiny things. Reflective tape is available at your local home improvement store or you can make your own reflective tape by cutting pieces of tin foil into strips which are 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. Staple the strips to a length of twine and hang the twine on the side of your home where the woodpecker is frequenting. The amount of twine depends on the number of strips you wish to hang.


As with any deterrent method for any animal, not every woodpecker will respond the same to every deterrent method. You may have to try multiple methods before you find the right one or use a combination of methods.

If all else fails, you can contact the US Fish and Wildlife Service and request a depredation permit to lethally remove woodpeckers.


references & resources

Erin Ringwald

Erin Ringwald began writing in 1998. She runs her own party planning business and helps with her husband's photography business. She's working on her Master of Education with a focus on elementary education and child development. Ringwald studied musical theater and later obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Wright State University.