How to Get Rid of a Pileated Woodpecker

The pileated woodpecker is a wood-boring bird that can grow up to 20 inches long, almost the size of a crow. You can identify these birds by the bright red crest on top of their heads. Adult males have red markings along either side of their powerful beaks, which can make a frightful racket when one these birds is hammering away on the side of your house or a nearby tree. If it seems like a pileated woodpecker is trying to drill his way inside your house, it's probably because he's attempting to attract a mate with his "drumming." Follow these humane steps to encourage the woodpecker to look for love elsewhere.

A Pileated woodpecker hard at work.

Step 1

Hang aluminum pie pans and strips of shiny mylar with string around the area the woodpecker is damaging. The movement and glare off the material annoys a pileated woodpecker and he may go elsewhere.

Step 2

Repair woodpecker damage on your home as soon as you notice it. This will deter the birds and they may give up.

Step 3

Fire a cap pistol or bang pots and pans near the woodpecker whenever he comes around.

Step 4

Check your house for insect infestation. Woodpecker drilling is sometimes a search for food, such as carpenter bees and their larvae, which are sometimes laid underneath wood siding or behind window shutters. Get rid of the food supply and you may get rid of the woodpecker.

Step 5

Fire a blast of water from the garden hose. After being hit a few times in this way, the woodpecker should give up.