How to Get Rid Of a Woodpecker

Two woodpeckers on a tree.
Most times, the presence of a woodpecker spells destruction. Mark Newman / Getty Images

As kids, we all enjoyed Woody Woodpecker. However, there are times when the sight of woodpeckers spells trouble and damage. If this is the case, you have to get rid of them immediately. If a woodpecker has found a part of your house that is made of wood and finds it appealing, it will start pecking at it, making holes right through it. The pecking produces a rapid tapping sound which is also very annoying. The reasons woodpeckers peck include nesting, looking for food, claiming territory and as a mating call. At first, you might find it amusing to have your own woodpecker, but when you see the damage it causes you'll realize it's no laughing matter [source: State Animals]. Before you get rid of a woodpecker, you should know that woodpeckers are a protected species and there is a possibility of a $500 fine and six months in jail for killing a woodpecker [source: Barnes]. Here are some of the most popular ways to get rid of woodpeckers.

  • Reflective tape One of the best bird control methods around is reflective tape. These shiny strips of light metal are 2-inches (5-centimeters) wide and around 24-inches (61-centimeters) long. When exposed to the wind, the tape makes a very unpleasant noise that scares away woodpeckers. Take a roll of reflective tape and cut as many 24-inch (61-centimeter) strips as you can. Attach them with glue or a staple gun to the end of the roof. The strips will flutter in the wind and make a metallic sound that will scare the woodpecker away.
  • Pest control You can get rid of woodpeckers by taking away their source of food. Simply make sure there are no worms or insects thriving in your woodwork that may attract woodpeckers.
  • Plastic owls and hawks Woodpeckers are afraid of owls and hawks. Placing a plastic owl or hawk on the roof of your house will scare away woodpeckers. However, this usually only works temporarily [source: Cornell].