A woodpecker is a type of bird that has a sharp and pointy bill, which it uses to peck or drum wood. It does this to search for insects to eat, or to create a nest for itself. Woodpeckers often damage houses or trees, and the sound of their drumming can be annoying. Both federal and state law protect woodpeckers. The law does not allow people to trap or kill woodpeckers unless they obtain a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowing them to do so.
Address the problem immediately. The longer you allow a woodpecker to hang around, the more difficult it is to get it to leave, because it has formed the habit of drumming there.2
Draw or attach owl eyes to a balloon and hang it in the drumming area. Create or purchase a falcon in flight and attach it. All birds are afraid of falcons. Move the falcon around so the woodpecker won't realize that it's a fake. These are temporary solutions that will be effective only as long as the woodpecker believes they pose a threat.3
Install netting on your siding, leaving 3 inches between the net and the siding to ensure that the woodpecker can't cause damage through the netting. Netting is effective because it is invisible from a distance, and is a long-term solution to controlling woodpeckers.4
Attach a handheld windmill to the woodpecker's drumming site. Ensure that it has reflective vanes and that they move freely.5
Get rid of things that attract woodpeckers, such as insects or dead trees. Use a woodpecker repellent like pentachlorophenol. This substance also protects wood and repels insects. Purchase sticky bird repellents like Roost-no-More or Bird Stop. However, sticky repellents may run in the heat. Use a chemical repellent such as Thiram or Ro-pel.6
Remove the siding where the woodpecker is drumming and place soft material or insulation behind it. This is effective in deadening the sound the woodpecker makes.7
Display several aluminum foil strips 2 to 3 feet above the drumming location. Hang them on strings to sway in the wind so the motion will scare the birds away.8
Make a lot of noise when you hear the woodpecker drumming. Clap loudly, shout or bang on pans and boards. Play very loud music in a window near the woodpecker's location to scare it away.9
Attach a mirror to the siding where the woodpecker drums. Woodpeckers get scared if they see themselves in a mirror and won't hang around.10
Obtain a federal permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to kill or trap the woodpecker if all other methods fail.