Top 5 Best Woodpecker Deterrents (**2019 Review**)

Are you looking for woodpecker deterrents?  Then you've come to the right place.

In this Pest Strategies product review you can expect to learn about:

  • Woodpeckers and their diet
  • Insecticides to deter woodpeckers
  • Woodpecker deterrent liquids & gels
  • Woodpecker deterrent netting
best woodpecker deterrent (1)

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated as of 1/8/2019)

  • ​Easy to use
  • ​Effective long-term strategy
  • ​Safe around pets and children
  • ​Also kills bugs that damage trees and your house

Of all the Woodpecker deterrents we researched and reviewed, our top pick goes to Talstar Pro.

Why?

Killing the woodpecker's food source is the best, long-term strategy to deter them from coming near your house and yard.

The bugs that woodpeckers eat are also known for damaging your trees and the wood in your house.  Not only are you discouraging woodpeckers, you're killing wood destroying insects at the same time.

Check out the rest of the guide to help you remove these pests once and for all.

Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your ​woodpecker problem?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area. 

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Top 5 Best Woodpecker Deterrents

Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?

Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about woodpecker deterrents.

What Are Woodpecker Deterrents? 

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a deterrent is anything that serves to discourage, prevent, or inhibit.  For example; during the Cold War, President Reagan put Theater Nuclear Weapons in Europe as a deterrence to Soviet adventurism, to deter them from trying to invade.

A deterrent doesn't eliminate the thing it seeks to deter, is simply keeps it at bay. When we're looking at deterring woodpeckers, we're not trying to kill them or trap them, we're seeking to discourage them from coming onto your property.  All of the products we look at and review will fall into that category.

Some of the products we're reviewing might have the word repel or repellent in the name.  Don't let it confuse you.  

Deterrent and repellent are very similar in many ways but a deterrent has more of a physical connotation to it, whereas a repellent operates more on an emotional level.

Looking for our recommended woodpecker repellants? Check out this guide.

Woodpeckers and Their Diet

Woodpeckers are average size birds, about 7-15 inches long.  Most woodpeckers feed on wood-boring insects such as wood borers, bark lice and other insects harmful to trees.  They also eat ants and other insects, berries, nuts, and seeds collected from trees and shrubs.

woodpecker average size

As migrating birds woodpeckers are protected by law from being killed, but there is nothing preventing you from killing the bugs they eat.  If there's no food, there's no reason for them to hang around.  They'll leave of their own accord to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

Also read: What're The Best Pigeon Repellents?

Using Insecticides To Deter Woodpeckers

Using insecticides will become a major part of your deterrence efforts to keep woodpeckers away from your house and property.  

The advantages of spraying an insecticide are that it kills bugs the woodpeckers eat, which are bugs that also damage the trees on your property and leave holes of their own in your house.

Here's a short video explaining how woodpeckers can be dealt with by targeting their food source.

Because the insecticides are a spray, you can cover entire areas instead of just a few spots here and there.  With a ladder and a 1-gallon hand sprayer, you can spray your entire roof with just one or two gallons of insecticide, killing bugs for up to three months before you have re-spray.

The one disadvantage is that it's a slow process.  You're not going to get instant results.  

We recommend using this in conjunction with the other deterrents listed here. That way you get short-term coverage and well as long-term.

Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your ​woodpecker problem?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area. 

(Process takes about 30 seconds)

Top 5 Best Woodpecker Deterrents Reviewed

As a quick recap, here are the best Woodpecker deterrents we looked at.  Our #1 pick went to Talstar Pro.  

Be sure to take a look at the 4 the Birds Repellent Liquid spray because it creates an uncomfortable sticky sensation on their feet.

In the below section we break down each of our product recommendations in a little more detail.​

  • ​Safe, effective, and economical
  • ​has no oder and can be used against 70 different types of pest insects

​Talstar Pro is a Bifenthrin-based insecticide that was originally formulated to kill termites. It's a man-made version of pyrethrin, a naturally occurring pesticide found in chrysanthemum flowers.



It is labeled by the EPA to kill a wide variety of insects, including the ones woodpeckers like to drill for in the trees.


It comes in a 32-ounce bottle of concentrate that has to be diluted with water to achieve the correct ratio for use. You'll need to mix one ounce of the concentrate with a gallon of water each time you use it, so the bottle will make 32-gallons of what is called the finished product


The bottle has a built-in measuring cup (the bottle is called a tilt-n-pour) for ease of use. Fill your 1-gallon hand sprayer about halfway with water then measure in an ounce of concentrate. 


Swirl it around a bit then finish filling the sprayer to the one-gallon mark. Put the cap, with the built-in pump on it, on the sprayer and tighten
it, then shake vigorously for at least a minute.


Pump up the pressure and you're ready to spray. Dial the tip until you achieve a fine spray, just above a mist. Spray the entire surface of the trees where the woodpeckers are hammering, spray your entire roof and any siding the woodpeckers are attacking.


This is a long-term strategy that works quite well, but it will not return instant results. It will take the woodpeckers a while to realize there's nothing to eat at your place.


Pros

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    ​Easy to use
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    ​Effective long term strategy
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    ​Safe around pets and children
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    ​Kills bugs that damage trees and your property

Cons

  • ​Slow progress
  • ​Transforms possible landing areas of your house into tacky surfaces
  • ​Non-toxic and non-lethal
  • ​Can be used on trees, shrubs, vines, and beams

 

 

This comes in a 1-gallon container, already premixed and ready to use. Empty it into your 1-gallon hand sprayer and you're ready to start spraying. 


It can be used in nearly any weather and on almost any outdoor
surface. You can spray it on trees, shrubs, vines, shingles, siding, and more. It's non-toxic and non-lethal.​


​You may need several gallons if you are working on a larger area.


It leaves a sticky residue behind when it “dries”. When woodpeckers land on it they feel the stickiness and want to get away from it.


Although it's technically a repellent, they have to come into physical contact with it in order for it to work which is why we're listing here under deterrents.


Another reason to list it as a deterrent is that it discourages woodpeckers rather than compelling them to leave. Some will stay in spite of it.


Woodpeckers are social birds, however, so the more of them that leave, the more of their companions that will leave to go with them. All things being equal, it's quite effective.


Pros

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    ​Effective
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    ​Easy to use
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    ​Weather resistant
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    ​Non-toxic and non-lethal
  • Can be used on many surfaces

Cons

  • ​May require several gallons to secure efficiency
  • ​May not be able to deter other species of woodpeckers
  • ​Ecological and humane way to deter birds
  • ​Can be easily used on any structure

It's a clear gel that leaves behind a thick, sticky residue that creates uncomfortable sensations when woodpeckers land on it.


It lasts for a long time so it's easy to apply and maintain. The non-toxic formula won't cause staining on buildings and won't harm any animals that come in contact with it.​


This petroleum-based clear formula can be used in any weather on ledges, window sills, beams, tree trunks, tree branches and limbs, rafters, etc. It can be applied in straight or wavy lines to cover the surface you're protecting (wavy lines are the best) and is nearly invisible once applied.


It does have a tendency to melt in hot weather so you may have to re-apply it more frequently in the summer months than during the rest of the year, and each tube only covers about 30-32 linear feet. ​


Pros

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    ​Easy to use
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    ​Non-toxic
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    ​Won't stain buildings
  • Safe to use around animals

Cons

  • ​Melts in hot weather
  • ​Each tube covers only around 30-32 linear feet
  • ​Easy to install and use
  • ​Effective on woodpeckers and other types of birds

This battery-operated “attack” spider is sound activated. When it detects a noise from a woodpecker it drops down on a string so it appears to be attacking them. It also makes sounds, further startling them into leaving.

Once they're gone, it climbs back up the string to its “ambush” position and waits for another triggering sound.​


It's fairly easy to install but it's a bit too sensitive to sounds. A car door slamming 50-feet away will trigger it.


Consequently, it will drain the batteries very quickly and you'll need to think ahead about how you'll get it down from wherever you hang it to change them.


Birds are easily started by sound and movement, especially if it's close by and appears to be attacking them, so this is a great idea, it just needs a bit of tweaking to make it better.


Pros

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    ​Easy to use
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    ​Effectively startles the woodpeckers
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    ​Resets to its ambush position after each attack

Cons

  • ​Too sensitive to sounds
  • ​Drains the batteries quickly
  • ​Can be used to protect fruits and plants from birds
  • ​Easy to trim to desired size

This is a black net with 1/2" mesh. It is 14-feet wide and comes in a 200-foot long roll. While you probably don't want to drape your house with bird netting, wrapping it around the tree trunks and branches shouldn't cause much of a problem.

It needs to be suspended at least a couple inches away from the surface it is protecting. You might need to hire someone to wrap the netting around the trees for you or buy some ladders. Either way, it's going to cost more than just the price of the netting.

When woodpeckers land on it they can't get a firm grip on the wood through the net. Without that firm footing, they can't peck at the wood. The swaying motion of the net simply won't let them do it. They'll quickly become frustrated and leave.

Netting is especially useful if a flock of woodpeckers has already established themselves in the trees around your house. They feel like it's their territory now, so it will take some very stern measures to drive them away.

Wrapping a net around your trees is a radical maneuver but it will work. But it is going to take some work to make it work, and it will be rather unsightly while the netting is in place.

Pros

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    ​Effective

Cons

  • ​Unsightly
  • Difficult to install
  • Can be quite expensive

Our Top Pick: Talstar Pro

There are lots of Woodpecker deterrents on the market.

Only one of them can be the best, and the choice was fairly easy.​

Overall, our pick goes to Talstar Pro.
Killing the woodpecker's food source is the best, long-term strategy for keeping them away from your house
and home.

​The bugs that woodpeckers eat are also known for damaging your trees and the wood in your house, so eliminating them “kills two birds with one stone” if you'll forgive the expression.

A close second is 4 the Birds Repellent Liquid because you can spray it over a wide area to discourage them as soon as they step in it.

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