how to scare woodpeckers away from your house

How to Scare Woodpeckers Away from Your House: Complete Guide

Woodpeckers are beautiful birds but only when seen in a park or in the lap of nature. They have a terrible reputation for hammering houses. This is why people are always looking for ways to deter them from sticking around their homes. So do you know how to scare woodpeckers away from your house?

If left unattended, you will have to bear with a constant noise that may be irritating at times along with some significant damage to your wooden structures and bark of trees.

When Are Woodpeckers Most Active?

Woodpeckers are most active during their mating season that happens to be the spring. It is the time of the year when these birds are most active and looking to attract mates. Their signature pecking helps them attract other birds and you ought to follow this pecking as well to locate them in your home.

Why Do Woodpeckers Hammer on Houses?

Several reasons explain this behavior of woodpeckers. Some of these include:

  • To Attract a Mate: Hammering usually involves making a loud noise that helps the woodpecker to attract a mate. This is the reason the hammering slows down during the spring season when these birds start mating.
  • They Want to Create a Nest: Another reason that explains the drumming of woodpeckers is their desire to create a nest. You will hear loud noises when the bird is trying to roost a hole.
  • They Love Insects: Woodpeckers love to feed on insects. If you notice small holes in and around your home, chances are woodpeckers have found a good supply of insects such as grass bagworms that they relish. As a solution to this, you may have to get your house checked for an underlying insect infestation.
  • They Want to Store Food: Many times woodpeckers hammer holes in houses because they want to create a safe space to store food.

Why Should I Scare Woodpeckers Away?

Woodpeckers need to be dealt with seriously, especially if they are harming your trees and property. If you don’t, you will end up with:

  • A messy garden with weak trees and plants.
  • An incessant clatter on your roof or chimney.
  • Holes in your roof and terrace area.

How to Scare Woodpeckers Away from My House?

Author Note: If you find yourself waking up every day to the sound of woodpecker’s drumming, you ought to take things in your hand and put in place steps to improve the situation else you would have to bear monumental damage to your property.

Having said that, you should focus on scaring them away and at no point, should take any steps to harm them. Woodpeckers are incredibly useful to the ecosystem and, therefore, need to be valued. Here’s how to scare woodpeckers away from your house.

Make Sure They Don’t Come to Your Home for Food

The first step that you need to take to scare away woodpeckers is to remove all sources of food from your property. This will be a huge deterrent for them and they will look for greener pastures elsewhere.

Here are a few signs that will help you undertake a thorough examination of your property.

  • Examine the holes thoroughly to check if it is indeed a woodpecker’s doing. Some signs that confirm this include erratic, irregular, random small holes in a vertical or horizontal pattern. If you notice this, your home is the food haven of woodpeckers.
  • If you find dead insects around these holes, or even small living ones crawling in and around, woodpeckers might not be far away.

You would need to take steps to remove these insects from your home because that would automatically mean no food for the woodpeckers. As a solution, you may use pesticides to stop insects from coming to your home or garden area.

If it is a huge army of insects that need to be dealt with, you may have to involve a professional for the best results. They’ll also know how to scare woodpeckers away from your house.

Scare It Away with Its Reflection

If you notice a woodpecker’s presence around a specific area, hanging a shiny object such as a mirror or an aluminum foil can put a stop to the problem. The woodpecker will see its reflection in these objects and get scared and never visit the area again.

Try a Woodpecker Feeder

If you don’t want to chase the woodpecker away, you can experiment with a woodpecker feeder. Put suet cakes in the feeder as this would be an incentive for the woodpecker to stop drumming on your property.

Suet cakes work wonders because they make the woodpecker feel as if it is feeding in its natural habitat. You can either make these at home using mealworms and peanuts or get ready-made cakes from the market.

Use Noise to Your Advantage

Woodpeckers respond rapidly to sounds. Setting a windchime or pinwheel near the spot where the woodpecker has made holes can be a big deterrent for the bird to visit the area again.

It will be fooled into thinking, through the noise and movement of the windchime, that a predator is near and the thought of danger will scare it away.

Another thing that you can do is to scare it away using tricks such as loud music, clapping hands or shooing it away if you spot it. This is incidental and can only be done if you spot one. So, use it alongside other measures.

Scare Them Away with a Fake Predator

Woodpeckers will stop coming to your home if they sense real danger. Owls feed on woodpeckers and therefore, the bird is incredibly scared of owls. All you need to do is to use this information to your advantage as a solution to your problem.

Author Note: Get a real-looking artificial decoy owl and hang them around the area where woodpeckers drum. Make sure the eyes are reflective as this will scare the woodpeckers away.

You can either DIY or get one from a departmental store. These are easy to find so you won’t have to bother much. You may also need to move these decoy predators to different spots once every 2-3 days to make it feel real for the woodpecker.

Try a Woodpecker Net

Bird netting is a good way of scaring away woodpeckers. This would work best if you want to protect a large area or garden. Make sure that the net is at least 3 inches above the surface it is meant to protect.

Go for a rot-proof and waterproof net for better protection and also look for a net that is specific to woodpeckers. There are plenty of options available in the market and the more specific net you go for, the better results you will get.

You should also keep an eye on the net and check the presence of any debris or leaves over it from time to time.

Mylar Balloons Work Surprisingly Well

Who said mylar balloons only belong in the birthday parties of kids? These can be a creative way to get rid of woodpeckers from your home. These are shiny and have drawings on them that can be incredibly scary to the woodpecker.

Just hang a few around the garden area where woodpeckers feel most at ease and you will see the change.

Fill All Holes in the House

Remove any visible gaps and holes that you spot in the house. Woodpeckers are curious birds who look for openings and holes for making their nests and you should not give them a chance to set eyes on your home.

Cover the Trees

Trees are the most commonly used nesting areas for woodpeckers and if you have a garden with trees, chances are woodpeckers are having their party in these.

Author Note: If you don’t tend to the trees, woodpeckers may drill holes in their trunk leaving the trees weak in the long run.

Use any synthetic burlap material to wrap the trees. This will prevent woodpeckers from flocking towards the trees.

Besides, this protective wrapping will also protect the trees from insect infestation, strong winds, and harsh weather conditions.

It is a good idea to check your trees once in a while for obvious signs of disease because such trees are bound to attract woodpeckers.

Take the Help of a Professional

If you lead a particularly busy life or if you have tried everything but with little success, chances are you need expert help. In such a scenario, we would recommend calling in for woodpecker control.

Sometimes these birds get stubborn and territorial and refuse to bow down to any measure that you take. In such a case, you would do yourself a favor by calling in experts who deal with such situations on a regular basis.

Just keep a watch on the experts and ask them to comply with environmental regulations and don’t let them harm the birds in any way.

The Final Word

Woodpeckers can be a nuisance in and around your home if left unattended. This is why when you notice the first signs of drumming or hammerings, you should intervene immediately. There are several easy interventions you can make to scare them away and protect your home.

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to scare woodpeckers away from your house.

Fly high friends!


A woodpecker keeps coming to the house but isn’t pecking. What is it doing?

It is probably looking for food. In any situation where woodpeckers are coming to the house, you need to check the areas where it is present. It could be that it is looking for food and has found termites in your wood.

Do woodpeckers make any other noises than pecking and drumming?

Yes, they do call as well. Visit the xeno-canto website to explore the different sounds they make.

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