Imagine being at home, sitting relaxed in front of a TV or napping on the couch. Suddenly, a noisy drumming sound comes from the outside.Bloody woodpeckers!
You’ve seen them fly around, and now they’re attacking your property!Luckily for you, we have gathered the most relevant list of modern woodpecker deterrents. From pesticides that kill the birds’ main food source to humane and harmless gels and tapes, you’ll learn how to keep annoying birds well away.
Talstar is the most popular anti-insect product on Amazon. 7.9% solution of bifenthrin instantly penetrates insects and kills them. They are the main food source for woodpeckers. As soon as they are gone, birds will look for nutrition somewhere else. The substance has no odor and is said to be safe when strongly diluted.
Looking for more details? Dive into the article and see how you can fight woodpeckers!
What Are Woodpecker Deterrents?
Woodpeckers like to peck into the wood while looking for bugs or attracting a mate with loud noises. This is particularly irritating: wood is the most common building material used in walls, shingles, siding, etc. Also, city birds are often carriers of parasites and infections. Woodpeckers do not transmit diseases that are contagious for humans, but if you wish to stay away from any risk, it is completely justifiable.
To start fighting these creatures that must’ve destroyed your backyard, let’s find out exactly what a deterrent is.
QUOTE: to deter — to prevent or discourage someone from doing something.
Essentially, woodpeckers are pests that you need to control. Woodpecker deterrents are various tools and products that prevent birds from damaging your house, facility, or garage.
Unfortunately, today there is no simple solution that repels woodpeckers with a 100% accuracy AND doesn’t hurt living beings. To understand the issue better, we’ll study what types of pest repellents can be found on the market.
Existing Types of Pest Deterrents
Pest control has always been a hot topic, especially in farming and economy. In length of time, people developed different methods of reducing the harm to their crop fields.
Pesticides are poisonous substances largely used in agriculture for killing plants, insects, fungi, or anything that can damage the crops. There are numerous types of pesticides depending on what threats are to be eliminated.
Pests inevitably develop resistance against pesticides. As such treatment kills off the vulnerable specimens, stronger pests pass their genes to the next generation, where, again, only the vulnerable are killed. This way, farmers are forced to constantly increase the toxicity of solutions, making them yet more dangerous to the environment, animals, birds and even humans.
Ultrasonic repellents are the next popular type of deterrent. They produce high-pitched noises that repel rodents and insects but are inaudible to human ears. Ultrasound devices are safe for animals and absolutely humane.
Apart from pesticides and ultrasonic repellents, there are lots of pest-proofing methods that are both ethical and reasonably priced:
- Scare tapes have a holographic surface that is expected to repel birds: they hate moving shiny things. Hang these tapes around your site so they flap in the wind, reflecting sunbeams and scaring pests off with their noise and shimmer.
- Optical gels are small containers filled with a sticky substance emitting the strong scent of citronella and peppermint, pleasant for us, but intolerable for birds. It doesn’t stop here! Optical gel releases strong UV-light that also scares your woodpeckers off: they see it akin to smoke or fire.
- Stainless steel spikes are, obviously, spiky plates that can be screwed on the top of your fence or balcony railing.
There are lots of other solutions, including wind chimes, rockets, kites, balloons, and even falconry. As fun as they seem, such methods are either ineffective or difficult to implement: after all, buying and training a falcon to ward off other birds seems too far-fetched.
Are They Effective?
To answer what methods will help you against pest invasions, we’ll start from the end.
Trivial Tactics to Deter Woodpeckers
Sadly, the most humane methods of repelling birds are the least effective.
Scare tapes, wind chimes, and other primitive deterrents are usually short-term solutions that will scare birds off for a season at best. You need to constantly readjust and renew your protection as woodpeckers get accustomed to the noise and annoying sights.
The optical gel is a new development that hasn’t been tested much. However, its efficiency is also unproven.
Ultrasound: Debunking Marketing Myths
Although 20 years ago ultrasonic repellents were marketed as a cure-all for pest invasion, thanks to the Federal Trade Commission, this is not a thing anymore. There is no scientific research to back up the aggressive PR-campaign we all remember from our 00’s.
Yet, do ultrasonic repellers actually work?
Yes and no — to some extent.
If you were trying to deter rats, adding an ultrasonic repeller to your protection could somewhat make a difference. On the other hand, it may be efficient with birds.
Unethical but Successful
Now it’s not that hard to see why pesticides remain the main method of pest control. Though, because of ecological threats, their use has started to decrease. Treating crops with toxic substances leads to their soaking into soil and poisoning groundwater. Also, the use of pesticides and, mostly, insecticides causes enormous avian die-offs: birds feed on poisoned insects and get fatally intoxicated.
All in all, when it comes to woodpecker proofing, it’s clear that inhumane and dangerous methods should be the very last pick when nothing else helped.
6 Efficient Woodpecker Deterrents
To see what’s in demand, let’s dive into market research and look at the most popular bird deterrents.
When looking for an easy solution that doesn’t require renewing it at least once a year, the single option you get is poison. As inhumane as it is, toxic pesticides are the best for deterring birds. By killing bugs on your site, you cut off the woodpeckers’ food source, so they will go look for insects somewhere else.
However, when not diluted, Talstar is hazardous to humans and animals. That’s why you need to keep your children and domestic animals away when you’re working with insecticides. If a woodpecker gets insecticide solution on its skin, in its stomach or respiratory organs (while eating bugs or breathing), it can die as well.
Of course, we strongly recommend you to keep away from using pesticides as best as you can. Still, if nothing has worked and you are determined to buy a toxic substance, make sure to verify that it is not banned in your country and you won’t break the law.
- the most popular anti-insect product on Amazon
- instantly kills the main food source for woodpeckers
- safe when strongly diluted
- hazardous to humans and domestic animals
- might be illegal in your country
- may require protection
Yes, I have said it earlier: your woodpecker barely can hear ultrasonic frequencies. Nevertheless, this advanced repeller with an adjustable sound range might help you against bird pests. Jokes aside, the way it works seems pretty reasonable.
As soon as a bird lands on your site, a detection mode turns the device on. It can produce a wide range of sounds from ultrasonic to clicking noises that might appear irritating to your neighbors.
If an infrared sensor detects body heat, CLEANRTH switches an LED flashlight that scares the birds away. Sooner or later, the birds will get used to any repellent, but until then it’s a great tactic.
The device is water-resistant and works from a battery. You can use it with an extension cord as well. In case anything goes wrong, you have a 1-year refund warranty.
- detection-mode and infrared sensors
- adjustable range of sounds
- visual effects (flashlights)
- operates on batteries
- 1-year warranty
- birds get used to it
- annoying clicking
- batteries don’t last for long
The newest word in the pest repellent industry, this invention combines everything birds dislike, causing a sensory overload that is expected to deter your woodpeckers.
The optical gel comes in big packs to make sure you haven’t missed a single spot. It can be installed on a horizontal surface, on a wall, and even upside down. When put in place according to the instructions, the containers form a dense net that can cover large territories, such as your rooftop or backyard. The optical gel can also be mounted on top of thin and/or tricky objects, such as fences, piping, sculptures, wall ornaments, etc.
Unluckily, you won’t able to stick optical gel to your balcony floor. It doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing either. Overall, the product is somewhat pricey for its unproven effectiveness.
- easy & universal installation
- birds get a visual and sensory overload
- scented with citronella and peppermint
- aesthetically questionable
- not recommended for smell-sensitive people
Of course, this article wouldn’t be full without bird spikes. This is a classic bird-proofing option: stainless steel spikes won’t let woodpeckers sit on your fence. Thanks to the flexible base, you can adjust it to any curve. With 10 feet of coverage, you’ll protect your balcony or rooftop.
Be careful and only install spikes vertically: some birds use spikes as reinforcement to their nests. Besides, this method doesn’t look good on your patio as well.
- stainless steel classic
- flexible adjusting base
- 10-feet coverage
- aesthetically questionable
- only vertical installation
- birds might like it
Birds don’t like sticky surfaces and tend to avoid them, so this JT Eaton gel might help you against woodpeckers. The application is really simple: put the gel on the surface with a caulking tube. You will need to refresh it twice a month as it dries out. However, it comes in a 12-pack, so you are supplied for long!
If there is anything wrong with a product, it has a 1-year long warranty.
- the easiest method of bird-proofing
- 12-pack supply
- 1-year warranty
- needs to be reapplied
- it’s sticky, so don’t forget you’ve put it on your railing!
Scare tapes are the cheapest option on the market. You need no special skills to install them. Invite your kids to “decorate” the house, they’ll love it!
Still, the effectiveness of scare tapes is minimal, so prepare for quite underwhelming results. Holographic coating fades in the sun as well, so you need to reapply tapes each season.
- the cheapest option
- no special skills needed for installation
- holographic tapes have a nice look
- minimal effectiveness
- need to be reapplied
Safety Instructions for Deterrents
The most harmful method of pest control is, surely, using pesticides. These poisonous substances should be treated with high alert and in such conditions where no one is at risk.
Put on long-sleeved clothes that will protect your body. Wear respiratory protection and don’t forget your gloves.
Mixing less is better than mixing more: it’s highly unwelcome to store the excessive solution at home, dispose or spill it out. If you are using pesticides in an enclosed space, the room should be well-ventilated. When treating the area outside of your house, wait until the weather is calm and close all doors and windows tightly.
Wash your hands immediately. Do not take smoke breaks until you’re done with pesticides.
How to Keep Woodpeckers Away?
If we were to list a few recommendations on how to repel woodpeckers, our advice would be as follows:
- Inspect your house to see if woodpeckers did any damage. Typically, they leave holes in the wood as they look for bugs to feed on. They can also hammer on the side of your house to get the attention of a possible mate. Finally, bigger holes are sometimes excavated for nesting.
- Repair holes with expandable foam, caulk or wood. It’s truly important to close them all: woodpecker excavations make it easier for the insects to get inside. Together with mating sounds, it attracts more birds to the area.
- Protect trees on your property: wrap each of them in a piece of cloth or use bird netting. If there are any dead trunks, think about removing them: they are the best habitat for insects.
- Set bird spikes on top of your roof, fence, or railing.
If needed, add ultrasonic repellers, scare tapes or audial effects: for example, you can hang wind chimes in your backyard, turn on recorded sounds of predatory birds, etc. Woodpeckers can be scared off easily, but if you don’t change your tactics, they’ll get to learn it’s not a real threat.