How To Get Rid Of Grackles From Your Home

grackles on a wooden fence

Are you grappling with grackles? Wondering how to get rid of grackles? Grackles are considered by many to be the bullies of the bird species. Getting rid of grackles from your home can be challenging, but it’s essential to prevent damage and nuisance caused by these noisy and invasive birds. Grackles, particularly common and boat-tailed grackles, are known for flocking in large numbers and can be quite aggressive.

They’re typically found feeding in agricultural fields or yards. Because the birds peck for food, they can wreak havoc on your land. And, grackles are the number one threat to corn, the country’s biggest source of crops. They can pull mature kernels right off the cob.

It’s important to remember that grackles are protected by federal laws, so it’s crucial to use non-lethal methods to deter them. Combining multiple strategies and maintaining consistency in deterring grackles is often the most effective approach to reclaiming your home from these unwanted guests. This comprehensive guide is a great place to start. Keep reading to learn how to keep grackles away.

Understanding Grackles

Grackles are a type of blackbird known for their iridescent black plumage and distinct vocalizations. While they have their ecological role, they can become a nuisance when they gather in large numbers. Grackles are highly adaptable, so they’re attracted to a wide range of food sources, from insects and berries to pet food and discarded garbage. This adaptability, coupled with their tendency to roost in large flocks, can lead to several problems.

Grackles cause problems for homeowners and businesses due to their aggressive behavior, noisy vocalizations and property damage. They can decimate bird feeders, leaving little for other, smaller bird species. Additionally, grackles’ nesting habits, particularly in urban areas, can lead to the spread of disease. Understanding grackles’ behavior and the reasons they congregate around human habitats is crucial to implementing effective and humane deterrence strategies. We’ll help you understand how to get rid of grackles but keep other birds.

Identifying Grackle Infestations

Identifying a grackle infestation requires attentiveness to their distinctive characteristics, behaviors and signs. Grackles are highly social birds and are often seen in large, noisy flocks, making their presence obvious. Signs of grackle presence include the distinctive sound of their calls, which are a series of high-pitched whistles and chatters that can be loud and persistent. Grackles are known for congregating in trees, on power lines, and in open areas, creating a significant visual presence. They tend to flock around food sources like bird feeders, outdoor dining areas or garbage bins.

Grackles are often confused with crows or starlings due to their dark plumage, but they have a sleeker, longer-tailed appearance. Starlings, on the other hand, are smaller and lack the iridescent sheen seen in grackles. Their yellow eyes and long tails are key identifiers. Additionally, grackles’ noisy and gregarious behavior sets them apart from many other bird species commonly found in urban and suburban environments.

grackle making a noise

Physical And Visual Grackle Deterrent

Physical and visual deterrents discourage grackles from hanging around your property. They’re a great way to keep grackles away. These methods are non-lethal and help create an environment that is less attractive to these birds:

  1. Netting and Mesh: Installing bird netting or mesh around areas where grackles tend to roost, such as balconies, eaves or rafters, can physically prevent them from accessing these spaces.
  2. Visual Deterrents: Grackles are wary of unfamiliar objects and potential threats. Using visual deterrents can exploit this behavior. Reflective objects like foil strips, shiny tape, CDs or scarecrows can intimidate grackles.
  3. Decoys: Placing decoy predators, like owls or hawks, can create the illusion of danger for grackles. They mimic natural predators, making grackles think twice before approaching. Remember to move decoys periodically to prevent grackles from becoming accustomed to them.

Home-Made Grackle Repellents

Home-made grackle repellents can be an economical and environmentally-friendly way to deter these nuisance birds. Chili pepper spray is made by mixing hot chili pepper flakes or powder with water and a bit of dish soap. When applied to surfaces or sprayed in the areas where grackles roost or forage, the spicy residue irritates their feet and beaks, deterring them from landing or eating.

Soap water spray, created by mixing water with a few drops of dish soap, can be sprayed on plants and outdoor dining areas. When grackles come into contact with the soapy solution, it makes their feathers lose their waterproofing, making them uncomfortable and encouraging them to move on. These DIY repellents provide a humane way to manage grackle infestations and are safe for the birds and the environment.

Commercial Grackle Repellents

Commercial grackle repellents can provide effective solutions for managing grackle infestations, especially when DIY methods aren’t working. Liquid repellents are applied to surfaces and create a sticky or unpleasant texture that deters grackles from landing or roosting. Sound-based devices emit loud and irritating noises that disrupt grackle flock behavior, making the area less appealing to them.

Ultrasonic repellents produce high-frequency sounds that are imperceptible to humans but uncomfortable for grackles, encouraging them to find quieter surroundings. These commercial options are designed to be humane and environmentally friendly, offering a non-lethal means to keep grackles away. When used in combination with other preventive measures, they can help maintain a more peaceful and bird-free environment.

Landscaping And Environmental Options

Landscaping and environmental modifications can play a significant role in deterring grackles from your property. Tree trimming is a strategic approach as grackles often roost in trees. Pruning branches and thinning foliage can make trees less attractive for nesting and resting. Additionally, removing berry-producing plants that attract grackles can help reduce their presence.

Grackles are drawn to these food sources, and by eliminating or replacing them with less appealing vegetation, you can discourage the birds from frequenting your property. Combining these landscaping strategies with other grackle deterrent methods can contribute to a more effective and environmentally friendly approach to managing grackle nuisances while preserving the natural beauty of your property.

Grackle in a bird feeder

Bird Feeder Management

Trying to figure out how to get rid of grackles at bird feeders? Effective bird feeder management is essential to deter grackles while still attracting smaller, desirable bird species to your yard. Grackles are notorious for dominating bird feeders, leaving little for other birds. To discourage them, avoid using platform or tray feeders, which grackles prefer. Instead, opt for tube feeders with small perches, which make it difficult for grackles to access the seeds. Additionally, establish a proper feeding schedule to limit the time when feeders are available. Offering food in the morning and late afternoon when grackles are less active can reduce their presence.

Bird feeder cages or baffles can be employed to create barriers that prevent larger birds like grackles from reaching the seeds. These cage-like structures allow smaller birds to access the feeder while keeping grackles at bay. By managing your bird feeders strategically, you can create a more inviting environment for native bird species while minimizing grackle disruptions.

Using Avian Control To Get Rid Of Grackles

The quickest and easiest way to get rid of grackles is using Avian Control’s non-toxic and EPA-registered liquid bird repellent in the necessary areas. Because Avian Control is effective in getting rid of grackles and other unwanted birds, the product will do all the work for you.

Through the use of Avian Control, birds will also become conditioned to avoid the areas where the product was sprayed, getting rid of the grackles for a longer period of time. Avian Control’s liquid bird repellent spray is safe to use around vegetation, people and other animals, while still getting rid of grackles and other pesky birds.

To order Avian Control, contact us at 888.868.1982 or sales@solveyourbirdproblem.com.

How To Get Rid Of Grackles From Your Home