Best Woodpecker Deterrents & Repellents for Your Home

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

Are you convinced that woodpeckers are cute and a rare sight to see? While that may be true, but it’s also true that they’re among the biggest nuisances to any residence and garden. The best woodpecker deterrents & repellents can maintain the silence, protect your house from damage, keep your trees healthy, and so much more.

What’s even better is that most methods of dealing with woodpeckers don’t involve causing them any bodily harm. Check out my favorite solutions to see what I mean.

6 Best Woodpecker Deterrents & Repellents for Residential Use

Sometimes the best way to keep woodpeckers at bay is through visual stimulus. Homescape Creations offers woodpecker scarecrows if you will, which are reflective repellents shaped like owls.

The combination of the bird shape, reflective material, sound, and random movement works as an excellent fear inducer. This combination will scare and confuse woodpeckers, and they will surely stop seeking food or anything else on your property.

I like that these woodpecker deterrents come in pairs and that they’re effortless to hang. They’re also non-toxic and won’t cause harm to your kids, pets, or plants. Although not as effective during the night, shining a soft light on the refractive surface would still do the trick.

  • Woodpecker refractive scarecrow
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    Emits sound
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    Random movement pattern
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    Fear inducing deterrent
  • Not designed for nighttime use

This owl scarecrow may not be a bargain, but it looks very realistic for the money. The Gardeneer RHO4 scarecrow is an efficient fear-inducing woodpecker deterrent.

What’s impressive is that the owl’s head moves even during a gentle breeze, making this deterrent less dependent on weather conditions. Its realistic head bobbing and turning make it look quite convincing as far as other birds are concerned.

It’s also a very big scarecrow, sitting at 18” tall. It is visible from far away and will help you protect your house and trees on your property from all sorts of harmful pests, woodpeckers included.

The handpainted exterior is a nice touch as it adds to the realism and effectiveness.

  • Realistic carved and painted owl
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    Moves in slow winds
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    Visually imposing
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    Comes pre-assembled
  • May require some improvisation to secure it up in a tree

The Bird-X repellent gel comes in cases of three or 12 tubes. Each tube contains the same long-lasting formula which repels birds and prevents them from nesting. It can do the same thing with woodpeckers only in their case, discourage them from pecking at your home or trees.

I recommend this formula because it’s non-staining, discrete, and non-toxic. Therefore, it’s convenient and safe to apply to any surface material.

The Bird-X Proof Gel is another humane solution for repelling birds, albeit a more aggressive one. What this petroleum-based formula does is make the coated surface unpleasant and sticky. It will cause birds to avoid those areas and, eventually, your property altogether.

Each tube can cover up to 10 linear feet. I’d recommend this any day for coating branches, sills, vehicles, roofs, and other places that woodpeckers might have occupied.

  • Non-toxic repellent
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    Creates unsuitable living environments for birds
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    Easy to apply
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    Non-staining formula
  • Not the most cost-effective solution

If you have a lot of ground to cover, so to speak, then may I suggest going straight for refractive tape. The De-Bird Scare Tape works just like refractive owl scarecrows only without the fancy shape.

This tape is ideal if you have a vast property and need a low-cost method of keeping woodpeckers and other birds away from it. The tape comes in two lengths, 125 and 350 feet. It’s easy enough to install, and you have a lot of freedom when it comes to placement.

You can stick it to flat surfaces or hang it in strips. The latter would probably work better in some areas as it would also offer movement for an even more impressive visual stimulus for woodpeckers.

Of course, like any other type of refractive deterrent, its efficiency during nighttime is somewhat limited. So, you might want to use some night lights if you want to have 24/7 protection.

  • Non-harming deterrent
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    Very cost-effective
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    DIY installation
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    Good tear resistance
  • Limited nighttime efficiency

I’ll be the first one to admit that most light refractive woodpecker deterrents don’t go well with most garden decors. They’re often too flashy to blend in, so they’re not always eye-catching. But, Homescape Creations also offers an ornamental woodpecker deterrent in the form of reflective scare rods.

These rods feature a spiraled design and are 15” tall. It is enough height to make the rods seem imposing when reflecting light. They also feature multiple refraction points and can also react to the wind to give the impression of a moving, living predator.

What’s cool about them is that their design is quite luxurious and almost makes them look like spinning strips with diamond inserts. If you want something that looks awesome but without compromising too much on the performance, the Homescape Creations Reflective Scare Rods might be the right woodpecker deterrent for you.

  • Luxurious design
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    Imposing stature
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    Highly reflective material
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    React to wind with motion
  • Not the cheapest solution for large properties

Another chemical-free solution for deterring woodpeckers is the Bird B Gone Woodpecker Deterrent Kit. Now, this may not look very impressive at first, but it can take care of a side of the house or a huge tree.

The kit contains a roll of flash tape which flutters in the wind and reflects light in various directions. Both these actions combined can induce fear in woodpeckers from far away. Another key feature is the predator eye balloon.

It’s a big balloon with two eyes painted on it. On its own, it can do a good job. But, when combined with the flashiness and movement of the flash tape, it’s an efficient deterrent.

And, as far as installation goes, you can do it yourself with no tools; you only need the two mounting brackets included in the package. While it may not have the most extensive coverage or the best overall value, it’s certainly good enough for small yards. Of course, as long as kids don’t try to rip the balloon from the brackets and take it for a spin.

  • Applies multiple visual stimuli
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    DIY installation
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    Mounting brackets included
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    A long roll of flash tape included
  • Might be too appealing to kids

Difference Between Repellents and Deterrents

There’s a simple difference between repellents and deterrents, and it has to do with how they affect woodpeckers. Repellents start working once the bird gets close enough to either smell it or ingest it.

Deterrents have broader area coverage and can prevent woodpeckers before they even come near to the property line. That’s because they can induce fear from afar, emit harmful sound waves, or emit potent odors that woodpeckers find repulsing.

Is one better than the other? It’s hard to say. Deterrents may sound like the best solution because they prevent birds from entering your property. Have in mind, however, that a good repellent is better than a weak deterrent.

So you see, it’s all about the formulation, trial and error, and various other factors.

Should You Use Chemicals or No?

I would typically advise against the use of chemicals if you want to keep a couple of woodpeckers away from your home and trees. Visual deterrents are usually enough, and they will have little to no effect on your pets, other than maybe entice your cat a bit.

Some repellents have formulas with natural ingredients. Some have an undesirable scent for woodpeckers, while others rely on having sticky surfaces. Either way, they are usually safe to use on plants and various surface materials.

Unless you’re trying to kill the woodpeckers on your property, there’s no reason to choose chemicals over any other readily available variant.

Does Size and Shape Matter in Deterrents?

Well, yes and no. You see, for woodpeckers to get intimidated, they need to see something big enough to pass as a predatory bird. That’s why most deterrents are shaped or carved as owl figures.

But, that’s not to say that a thin figure, as long as it’s long enough, wouldn’t have the same effect. Sometimes movement or a fast-flashing refracting light can be equally effective if not more so.

If you can balance all these features out, you’ll likely get the most effective deterrent.

Keep Your Home Safe and your Trees Healthy

While Woody the Woodpecker may arguably be one of the funniest cartoons, real woodpeckers are kind of a nuisance for most homeowners. Since they’re rarely satisfied with just pecking at trees, roofs, walls, and garage doors, you should try to keep them away from your stuff, if you can.

As you can see, this article offers plenty of humane deterrents and repellents that won’t allow woodpeckers to make themselves at home on your property. Pick what fits your style best and watch the woodpecker and overall bird activity dial down.

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