How to kill problem woodpeckers in Pennsylvania | Woodpecker

How to kill problem woodpeckers

When non-lethal attempts to control woodpecker damage have failed and damage is substantial, you may apply for a federal U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Migratory Bird Depredation Permit authorizing the trapping or shooting of a limited number of woodpeckers. Keep records of your exclusion, harassment, and monitoring efforts as well as the damage caused by the woodpeckers to support your application. For further information contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Birds and Habitat at (413) 253-8643 or email

Laws and regulations to be aware of

Federal regulations

Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act makes it illegal for anyone to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter, any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird except under the terms of a valid permit issued pursuant to federal regulations.

Migratory birds may seek respite within trees or on buildings considered private property. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 prohibits the removal of all listed species or their parts (feathers, eggs, nests, etc.) from such property.

Federal permit needed

A federal permit is needed to kill this species. Contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (413) 253-8643 or

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

Was this solution helpful?

Yes No