How to Repel Woodpeckers?

This article shows how to repel woodpeckers in gardens, country houses, or wherever they are a problem. We learn what methods we can use to scare away woodpeckers without causing them any harm. And which methods we should not use, as they are prohibited practices.

But before anything else, let’s learn some interesting facts about woodpeckers.

Why do woodpeckers peck at wood?

The woodpecker is classified as a protected species in danger of extinction in the National Catalog of Endangered Species (Spain). It is a beautiful bird with vibrant colors, a red head, and a sharp beak.

In Spain, you can find the following species of woodpeckers:

  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Wryneck
  • Middle Spotted Woodpecker
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
  • Black Woodpecker
  • Eurasian Green Woodpecker
  • European Pied Flycatcher

Woodpeckers drill holes in trunks and wood for feeding, building nests, marking their territory, or attracting a mate. They do so to find food, such as small insects they find in the wood, or to create noise that marks their territory and attracts females.

This peculiar habit of woodpeckers pecking at wood causes numerous problems in country houses. Not only does it create unbearable noise for the inhabitants, but it also causes damage to the facades of these houses.

When is the best time to deter woodpeckers?

It is very important to act quickly as soon as we notice the first woodpecker in our house or garden, or as soon as we hear the first noise.

At that moment, the woodpecker has started drilling its first hole, and from then on, the holes will become more numerous and larger.

There is also the risk of more woodpeckers coming to the area or insects entering the holes, which would exacerbate the problem.

So, how can we repel woodpeckers?

The first and most important thing to consider is that any method used to repel woodpeckers must not cause harm to the birds under any circumstances.
There are two natural methods to deter woodpeckers that are respectful to the birds, do not cause them any harm, and can be used to prevent the material damage and nuisance caused by these birds.

Recommended Methods to Repel Woodpeckers

1 – Visual Bird Repellers

When it comes to visual bird repellers, it is essential to choose one that is not static. Woodpeckers will get accustomed to seeing static visual deterrents (e.g., plastic eagle figures without any movement) in the same position every day, and after a few days, they will no longer be effective.

To repel woodpeckers, you can use visual bird deterrents with movement. We recommend the Hawk Kite, which simulates the presence of a hawk flying over the area and yields good results.

Hawk Kite

Another option, which is more affordable but less effective than the hawk kite, is the Scare Eyes Balloons. These scare eye balloons move gently with the breeze and are specially designed with shapes, colors, and reflective elements to scare away birds. Here’s an example:


If you are considering using visual bird repellers to deter woodpeckers, we recommend reading the article “Tips for Choosing an Effective Bird Scare Figure”.

2 – Sonic Bird Repellers

We discourage the use of ultrasonic (silent) bird repellerss to scare away woodpeckers in an open outdoor environment.

Choose a sonic bird repellers (audible) specifically designed to deter woodpeckers. It should include distress calls of woodpeckers along with sounds of their predators. Woodpeckers will react to these distress calls from birds of their own species and be scared away by the sounds of their predators. This will make them leave the area.

The BirdGard Pro #11 Woodpecker Deterrent is effective against woodpecker birds while being bird-friendly. It can successfully keep them away from our house or garden without causing any harm.


Woodpeckers are very persistent. In some cases, it may be necessary to use a combination of visual and sonic bird deterrents to effectively repel them.

Similarly, it is advisable to continue using these methods for a while after the woodpeckers have left the area. Also, repair any damage or holes they have drilled to prevent their return.

Methods NOT to Use to Deter Woodpeckers

We must remember that woodpeckers are an endangered species and therefore protected. Avoid using any methods such as nets, spikes, or gels that can harm woodpeckers. These practices are prohibited. Similarly, do not attempt to capture them or remove eggs from their nests.

More Information on How to Repel Woodpeckers

Read the experience of José Luis López Budia, a farmer in Cifuentes (Guadalajara), who shares in this article how he managed to protect his almond orchard from woodpecker bird attacks.