preventing woodpecker on a roof

Woodpecker on a Roof

A woodpecker on a roof can pose a serious issue for homeowners. If you’ve ever been awoken to the incessant pecking of a woodpecker, note that is a process to deter them. These birds are known for their many benefits. On one hand, they’re extremely fun to watch, plus they’re extremely resourceful hunters, usually eating their body weight in insects. They can help prevent insect infestation in your home. However, while beautiful and majestic creatures, woodpeckers are also known for causing damage to homes and commercial buildings and, yes, occasionally being a nuisance. It can be difficult to get rid of these birds once they’ve become fixated on your home’s wood frame and its roof. A woodpecker on a roof can be extremely costly.

Looking for a way to dissuade woodpeckers from sticking around for a long time? Read below on some preventive steps you can take.

woodpeckers on a roof

Nature of Woodpeckers

A woodpecker on a roof is a common occurrence simply because of their nature and preferences. Your home can be an ideal place for pecking holes or creating a space for nesting. In Spring, male woodpeckers will begin drilling, or what is technically referred to as drumming, to attract female woodpeckers. Generally, woodpeckers will select trees to initiate their mating calls. However, it can cause issues if they select your home for drilling, instead. It’s true. These birds have, indeed, taken a liking to home materials such as metal gutters, siding, window frames, and roofing.

Woodpeckers are known to peck 20 times per second. This can cause significant damage. Woodpeckers eat bugs, sap, fruit, nuts, and seeds. In the yard, they are often attracted to suet feeders or nut feeders, and may even visit nectar or jelly feeders. Hanging bird feeders isn’t only appealing to hummingbirds. For a woodpecker on a roof, it can be yet another reason for them to stick around.

Woodpeckers usually hammer on homes for four different reasons:

  • It certifies their territory and works for mating purposes.
  • They are burrowing to make a nest. The hole will be large and round.
  • The woodpecker may be drawn to insects that are feeding on the house.
  • They, also, drum to create a place for food storage.

Understanding the specific reasons a woodpecker may be drawn to your home will give you a better idea of how to address the underlying issue. A woodpecker on a roof may mean that you’re experiencing termite issues. Therefore, addressing a termite problem may help to deter the woodpecker from continuing its drilling. On the other hand, if they’re attempting to make a nest, making that area of your home inhospitable can quickly solve your issue, too.

woodpecker deterrent

Woodpecker Deterrent

How can you deter a woodpecker on a roof? Given the many reasons a woodpecker is drawn to your home, it’s important to first identify what is appealing. A quick way to determine these circumstances is to take a look at what types of holes they are drilling or drumming. If they’re creating a nest, the hole will be in a focused area and allow for enough space for the bird to climb in comfortably. If they’re drilling for insects within the home, you’re more likely to see sporadic drilling. Sporadic drilling can be more costly to repair given that there isn’t any containment of the damage.

Regardless of why a woodpecker is on a roof, it’s important to note that there are various methods for deterring a woodpecker. There are objects that can serve to dissuade these birds from taking up your home as their residence. Similarly, you can make your home inhospitable to insects, which will also make it less appealing for woodpeckers who prey on these same bees, mosquitos, caterpillars, termites, and more.

Here are a few methods for deterring a woodpecker on a roof:

Motion Deterrent

Windsocks or windmills placed around the roof, particularly near affected areas may work to scare woodpeckers away. Because birds tend to ignore visual stimuli, visual deterrents should move with the wind to be most effective. Plastic owls and other birds of prey are less effective, as woodpeckers will acclimate to their presence after a few days, and ignore them.

Don’t have anything on hand? Some homeowners opt for using something cost-effective and found laying around. A compact disk, for example, is a great visual aid to dissuade woodpeckers from visiting. Simply hang an old CD from a string or fishing wire near the area where drilling has started. Subtle movements and the reflection on the CD aid in helping the woodpecker to see movement on the home, successfully scaring them away.

woodpecker on a roof

Visual Deterrent

Some woodpeckers may be frightened by reflections and the shadows they create. Hanging aluminum pans or aluminum foil around affected areas of your home may scare them away. Homeowners may also use mirrors or wind chimes that can reflect sunlight. These can be used in combination with motion deterrents.

Audio Deterrent

Many hardware stores carry motion-activated alarms that emit noises that scare woodpeckers away. These may simply emit a loud noise that keeps woodpeckers from becoming comfortable around your home, or sounds of predators and woodpeckers in distress.

Pest Control

Woodpeckers may be attracted to your home because of an infestation of insects. Talk with an exterminator to eliminate the food supply that draws woodpeckers to your home. Dealing with infestations of insects is a good maintenance practice.

Physical Deterrent

Many hardware stores offer bird deterrent products such as bird repellent tape that can be installed in areas around the affected area. If you’re noticing oblong shaped holes in your home’s roof, it may be an indication that the male and female woodpeckers are nesting. Consider building an external nesting box.


FAQ – Woodpecker on a Roof – B&M Roofing

Can a Woodpecker Damage Your Roof?

Can a Woodpecker Damage Your Roof?

Woodpeckers use their sharp beaks to make holes in trees, then stick their long, forked tongues inside to search for insects. Woodpeckers also drum to mark their territory and find mates. If one of these birds sees your house as its territory, it could cause damage and disturb you with its drumming.

What to do if a woodpecker is pecking your roof?

Here are some ideas on how to keep woodpeckers away from your property.

  • Check your home for signs of insect infestations. If woodpeckers are repeatedly drumming in your house, they are probably doing so for a good reason; your house may contain insect populations, such as bees, ants, or termites.
  • Place a woodpecker feeder with bait near the outside of your house. These birds like to feed on bait made from beef fat; you can buy it at a pet store. We recommend hanging the feeder on a tree so that no other creatures eat the bait.
  • Plant fruit trees and berry bushes. Woodpeckers are attracted to sweet fruits, so planting fruit trees and berry bushes around the perimeter of your yard rather than near your house may keep them away from your dwelling.

Can woodpeckers damage shingles?

It is not common for woodpeckers to damage or create holes in your shingles. But, if it does happen, we recommend that you fill the holes or cracks with caulk. However, it would be best to replace the damaged shingles with new ones.


B&M Roofing Colorado

B&M Roofing is experienced with expert roofing installations, repairs, and overall maintenance. Our 24/7 support line is here to help immediately with emergency roof repair. Calling sooner means less of a wait and more opportunities to repair before extensive damage is done. We offer work throughout Colorado, including:

  • Denver
  • Colorado Springs
  • Fort Collins
  • Boulder
  • Greeley
  • Rocky Mountain areas
  • Surrounding states including Wyoming, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska

Call us today at 303.938.9642 to schedule a visit from our emergency repair team or visit our leak repair request page to submit your information and have one of our team members contact you.