Natural Smells That Repel Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers stealing away your peace? Here are some smells that repel woodpeckers with other ways to keep your surroundings clear of woodpeckers.

Woodpeckers, with their distinctive drumming sounds and vibrant plumage, are fascinating birds to observe in the wild. However, when they decide to make your home or garden their territory, they can become a nuisance. In this article, we’ll explore smells that repel woodpeckers and other effective methods to keep these persistent birds at bay.

Woodpeckers are a diverse family of birds known for their unique drumming behavior and strong, chisel-like bills. You will find them in various regions across the world, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. In North America, species like the Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, and Northern Flicker are commonly encountered. Woodpeckers primarily peck wood to find food. They have specialized bills that are strong and chisel-like, allowing them to excavate into tree bark to locate insects, larvae, and pupae hiding underneath. By drumming on wood and probing crevices, they can access their primary source of nourishment.

Why Are Woodpeckers A Nuisance

While woodpeckers are remarkable creatures, they can become a matter of concern when they decide to establish their presence in your garden or around your house. Some of the concerns associated with woodpeckers include

  • Property Damage: Woodpeckers use their powerful bills to drum on wooden surfaces, including siding, eaves, and tree trunks. This behavior can result in unsightly holes and costly repairs
  • Noise Disturbance: The loud drumming sounds produced by woodpeckers can be disruptive and disturb the peace and quiet of your home.
  • Attraction of Other Pests: Woodpeckers may attract other unwanted pests, such as insects and rodents, by drilling holes in wooden structures.
  • Visual Aesthetics: The holes and damage caused by woodpeckers can negatively impact the appearance of your property. Unsightly holes and pecking marks on your home’s exterior or wooden garden structures can reduce curb appeal and the overall aesthetic value of your property.
  • Frustration and Stress: Dealing with persistent woodpecker activity can be frustrating and stressful for homeowners. The damage they cause and the noise they generate can lead to ongoing frustration and anxiety.

Smells That Repel Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers, like many birds, have a keen sense of smell, and there are certain scents that they find unpleasant. Using these scents as natural repellents can help deter woodpeckers from areas you want to protect. Here are some smells that woodpeckers tend to dislike:

1. Garlic

You can crush a few garlic cloves and apply them to wooden surfaces to deter woodpeckers. You can use garlic along with other strong-smelling substances in repellents to mimic the presence of natural predators. Birds, including woodpeckers, are often cautious around areas where they sense the presence of potential threats. The smell of garlic may trigger this cautionary behavior in woodpeckers, making them more likely to avoid the area.

2. Hot Peppers

The compound responsible for the heat or spiciness in hot peppers is capsaicin. Birds, including woodpeckers, are sensitive to capsaicin. Because it can cause a burning sensation in their mouths and digestive tracts. This sensation is not pleasant for them, so they tend to avoid foods or areas with a strong capsaicin presence. You can mix hot pepper with water and spray it on the areas of woodpeckers’ sightings to repel them.

3. Essential Oils

Scents like eucalyptus, mint, and citrus have strong and distinctive odors that can overwhelm a bird’s sensitive olfactory system. Woodpeckers rely on their sense of smell to locate food and assess their environment. Scents that are overpowering or unfamiliar may discourage them from staying in an area. Dilute these essential oils and apply them to wood or make a homemade woodpecker repellent spray with it.

4. Predator Scents

Some garden centers offer predator urine or scents like fox or coyote urine. These can mimic the presence of natural predators and deter woodpeckers.

Other Ways to Repel Woodpeckers

In addition to using scents, here are some other effective methods to repel woodpeckers

  1. Reflective Objects: Hanging reflective objects like CD discs, aluminum foil strips, or shiny tape near problem areas can startle woodpeckers with unexpected movements and reflections.
  2. Netting: Covering vulnerable areas with bird netting or mesh can physically prevent woodpeckers from reaching the wood.
  3. Visual Deterrents: Visual deterrents such as scarecrows or owl decoys can make woodpeckers think twice about approaching your property.
  4. Providing Alternate Food Sources: To keep woodpeckers from drilling into your wooden structures, provide them with suet feeders or other bird-friendly food sources away from your home.


Woodpeckers may be charming to watch in the wild, but when they start causing damage to your property, it’s essential to take action. Using smells that repel woodpeckers and implementing other deterrent methods can help you coexist peacefully with these birds while protecting your home and garden from unnecessary damage and disturbance.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Posts

Related articles

5 All-Natural Homemade Serum for Acne Recipes

Are you struggling to find the right skincare products to get rid of acne and marks? Well, we...

How to Clean a Glass Pipe with Vinegar At Home

Quite often we feel the urge to clean our glass pipes but don't know how to. Clean a...

Shea Butter on Tattoo | Tattoo Aftercare Routine

Learn how to use shea butter on tattoo for the aftercare routine! Get to know the potential benefits...

How to Clean Vinyl Records With Windex

Learn how to take care of your vinyl records. Also, learn how Windex can help you clean and...