How to Prevent Woodpecker Damage to a House

Some woodpeckers enjoy pecking away at homes.
Some woodpeckers enjoy pecking away at homes. (Image: downey woodpecker image by John Fatuzzo from

Woodpeckers are known for the ability to tap and destroy wood with their hard, pointy beaks. However, this damage doesn’t only occur in trees and other wooden vegetation. In fact, some woodpeckers like to inflict their damage to houses. Not only is the house wreckage unsightly and rather annoying, but it is also potentially dangerous, as severe damage can result in parts of your home falling down, possibly landing on and hurting someone or something. Fortunately, there are a few methods you can try to prevent woodpecker-induced damage to your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Netting
  • Metal sheathing
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Noise-making devices
  • Sticky repellent
  • Bird-safe insecticide

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Apply a lightweight, mesh bird netting over the area where the woodpeckers are causing damage. Use netting that contains 3/4-inch mesh and leave at least 3 inches of space between the netting and the house.

Place metal sheathing over the damaged areas of your home. Aluminum flashing works well as a deterrent. Moreover, application of plastic sheeting to the areas may also help to keep woodpeckers away.

Scare the woodpeckers away by using noise-making devices, such as pie pans, aluminum foil, reflective tape, colored plastic strips and plastic twirlers. In addition, the placement of stationary, fake owls, cats, snakes and hawks may also prevent woodpeckers from damaging your home.

Use loud noises to keep the birds away. Play loud rock music and bird distress calls, or create your own noise with fuse ropes, screamers or bird-banger rockets.

Apply a sticky repellent to the affected areas of your house to deter the woodpeckers. Test the product on a small area on your home to avoid discoloration or other damage to the house.

Use insecticides that will not harm birds on your home, if the woodpecker is attracted to insects living on the outside of your house. The absence of the insects may be enough to encourage the woodpecker to look elsewhere for food.

Tips & Warnings

  • Nets, noise-making devices and sticky repellents are often available at feed and outdoor life stores.
  • Play the loud noises for at least three days to keep the woodpeckers away.
  • Keep in mind that the woodpeckers may find other areas of your home to peck once you’ve kept them away from the affected spot. You may need to employ deterring tactics at various areas in your home.
  • According to the Ohio State University Extension, woodpeckers are federally protected animals; therefore, permits are required for any shooting or trapping of the birds.


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