Any ideas to stop Woodpeckers from making holes in my cedar shake house?

So, we’ve always had some woodpeckers, but this year they’ve come on strong, making substantial sized holes in our cedar shake house, and on the wooden window frames. An exterminator had a look and told us the milder winters had caused a large insect population – and indeed we do have a ton of ladybugs, flies, and stinkbugs this year, that show up on our second floor near the windows.

The exterminator proposes to spray the perimeter of the house with Talstar, and do this more or less routinely. I grow many shrubs and flowers near the house, we have several neighbors who keep honeybees, and I’m actually very proud of how many bees my plants attract, especially given the diving bee populations. I am very, very reluctant to spray the house with a pesticide like this that I’m pretty sure will kill a lot of those bees.

I don’t really care if bugs get in the house, I just don’t want the woodpeckers to keep making holes. I’ve read about the reflective tape, the balloons, the hawk kites, the noise repellents, etc. I would try these things, but my spouse is inclined to let the exterminator spray. Has anyone had good results for such a problem without resorting to insecticides?

Thank you for any advice!

This could sound wacky but you could make your own paint on mixture of lard, cooking oil, and hot peppers. My buddy does it for his pecan trees and once the squirrels get it on their feet and then continue and grab a pecan they throw the nut and run as fast as they can out of the tree.

I know he uses a large tub of lard, a large $2-3 dollar bottle of vegetable oil or whatever he has around and he grinds up peppers and boils that all together and then he slathers it on.

You could focus on the most hit areas and see if that helps. It stays on for quite a while.


Maybe a well stocked feeder , ?

Maybe 22 bird shot ?

Maybe try the feeder first.?

Fire crackers out the window ?

I don’t think lard -even with pepper - will repel woodpecker, it will attract it. I make my own suet from lard, woodpeckers are the first to the table. You can try place some small logs with holes drilled in them and filled with melted lard. Place them on the way to the places they like to knock on. This may change their habit.


that wont work on birds they are not effected by capsasien

I appreciate knowing.

Thank you,


My grandpa used to make bird lime (he cooked up something.)which is like tangle foot.
He would tack an old piece of wood where the pigeon s would roost,putting bird lime on it.
Some times the pigeon would get stuck right there.
Other times they would just get it on their feet ,fly off ,and have a bad time getting it off.and not return.

Woodpecker s have different habits than they roost on vertical surfaces ,so it could be more challenging .

Pigeons aren’t legally protected but woodpeckers are. You need a gov. permit to kill them.

I am not advocating killing woodpecker s
They are our friends,especially since they eat insects in our orchards.
And are an important part of the ecosystem .
One of the few birds I go out of my way to feed in the winter, because they do such a good job eating insect eggs on the trees.

My first choice would be to offer them an easier free lunch.
Second,a deterrent ,
Fire cracker ?
Tangle foot ( not labeled for wood pecker , but not usually lethal )
Spraying with Telstar , would kill the bugs ,but they aren’t really the problem.
Are dead bugs still lunch for a wood pecker.?
$$$ for exterminator = how much bird food ?
I would not spray my whole house repeatedly .
22 bird shot .not legal but problem solved ,may be ?
I am asuming their is one "problem bird."although there may be many around
Could get a permit ?
So if you had a woodpecker making tooth pics out of your window sills what would “you do” ?
The question was for “any” ideas
That’s mine , not saying it’s “good” ideas

I had a big woodpecker making holes in my house a few years back, shot two or three bottle rockets near it and it moved on. They work good for keeping the crows out of the orchard too.

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I have a pipe out side pointed at the garden.
When I see deer out there I drop a rocket in the pipe.
Works great !

Thanks all. Don’t want to kill them, just want to stop 'em pecking on my house. I noticed no one said “Just go ahead and spray the house,” and I’m hoping it’s because you all agree with the notion of not killing bees, etc.

So I’m liking the idea of giving them an easier free lunch with the suet. Maybe combine that with the reflective tape and perhaps some netting on the spots they seem to like best. Now I just have to convince my better half.

Yay …free lunch !
Good to know ,( if you see me at the feeder In a bird suit , )
that you won’t shoot.
What’s on the menu For ,…say this Thursday …?
Directions and menu would be good.!!
Hope it’s bird friendly…

I really do like woodpeckers …!

Tast like chicken …

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Fly north at the fork, I make a mean apple pie :wink:

Reading the woodpecker blogs…"
The woodpecker s are asking for advice on how to keep people from making houses out of their trees !!!

Depends on the type of woodpecker and why they are visiting your house.

We had birds that liked drilling into the siding of our old place to make nests. The solution there was to put up a couple of bird houses in nearby trees. Once a bird family adopts the birdhouse they are territorial and will keep others of the same species (and maybe others) away. Worked well back then.

If it is bugs in your house (or under the siding), then you need a different approach. Killing all the bugs should work, but may end up poisoning the birds too. You might look at refreshing the caulking around your windows and at the edges of your siding. Sealing those places may keep the bugs from getting in and attracting the birds.