Grackle Problems? Here’s How to Deter This Common Bird.

Grackles are difficult birds to manage, as they are an abundant type of blackbird. Because of this, grackles often require more effort and attention to control compared to other similar bird species.

These birds live year-round in the southeastern United States, especially in Texas and Florida, but migrate to the North and Midwest during summer. Grackles like agricultural fields and are more of a threat to crops than crows. As much as they like open spaces, they also live in urban areas, making them abundant virtually everywhere.

For homeowners, crop farmers, and property managers, these birds can be extremely dominant and harmful. Some homeowners may look to simple solutions like tube feeders, but they likely aren’t enough. For larger flocks, poisons and other chemicals are frequently used to try to combat them. Not only are poisons inhumane, but they also don’t work because grackles forage in large flocks.

Preliminary Clean Up

First and foremost, it’s important to note that one of the most common causes of bird infestations is reliable access to food and water. What does this mean?  It means that grackles may have chosen your property because their basic survival needs are being met. In order to discourage them from hanging around, we recommend removing all access to food and standing water such as bird feeders, bird baths and uncovered waste. If you have a garden where you grow food, use bird netting to block off grackles’ access to your plants.

Recommended Products for Grackle Control

Not only is it illegal to kill grackles, but here at Bird-X, we are strong advocates for humane bird control methods that cause no harm to the birds or the environment. Fortunately, there are solutions for grackle control that are humane yet extremely effective. To reduce the presence of grackles, try some of these products, all of which are designed to create a threatening area for grackles without causing physical harm to them.

Liquid Repellents and Taste Aversions

Bird-X offers a liquid repellent that prevents grackles and other bird species from roosting or landing on any surface. If you’re having a problem with grackles roosting in your yard, apply this non-toxic repellent to trees and shrubs.

Alternatively, use Bird Stop to prevent grackles from landing on rooftops and other building structures. This taste aversion is ideal for crop and produce farmers with grackle problems, as the smell and taste irritates grackles and prevents them from eating crops.

Visual Deterrents

For farms and vineyards, holographic bird tape combines flashing light with sounds to keep birds away. Apply them anywhere birds land, ideally in areas with light and wind. Additionally, visual scares like owl predator decoys are lifelike enough to scare away grackles.

Electronic Bird Control

Sonic bird control is a type of electronic bird deterrent that uses naturally recorded distress calls and predator cries to frighten and distress grackles. Grackles perceive the area to be threatening and unsafe.

Because grackles are intelligent, program your BirdXPeller PRO and Super BirdXPeller PRO on random intervals so they don’t become accustomed to the sounds. For grackles, Version 2 of either of these sonic control products works best.

Due to the aggressive behavior of grackles, a multisensory approach using different types of products, like a visual deterrent along with a sonic repellent, is ideal. Learn more about these and other safe, humane deterrents that can reduce your grackle problem.

Questions? Contact us.

5 + 2 = ?

28 replies
  1. Gus
    Gus says:

    Is a license required for bird (specifically crackles) abatement in Texas? Not to capture, poison or otherwise harm, simply to move.

  2. Sherri Weimer
    Sherri Weimer says:

    I live in Fort Wayne IN I am handicapped @ have a large picture window where I can look-out on a
    small berry/flowering tree & a bird feeder. I haven’t had a problem before, but this spring I’ve been
    Inundated by nasty purple grackles. They are mean & run off the other birds. What can I do to get rid
    of the grackles w/out harming or running off the other birds that I enjoy so much. Somebody help me!
    And no I’ve never commented before-never been on this web site!

    • Kathy
      Kathy says:

      Blackbirds, Grackles, and Starlings will not eat Safflower. So put Safflower in all of your feeders. The small birds like it. In addition, Safflower will not grow under your feeders.

  3. Davin
    Davin says:

    We have a bird feeder where we get a lot of different birds. We don’t want to scare away those. I fill the feeder too much. The grackles almost drain it in a day. I heard safflower seed works because they don’t like it. It didn’t work,,!!!

    • Jim
      Jim says:

      I use tube feeders and a cage over my platform feeder. This keeps doves and grackles unable to feed, but allows cardinal sized and smaller birds to feed.

      • Kate
        Kate says:

        Thank you for sending. Now maybe we will get our birds back. I am handicapped and don’t get around well. It’s such an enjoyable time to watch them.

    • Martha
      Martha says:

      Safflower Sears worked for me. After we removed the sunflowers seeds the grackles and squirrels have not touched the safflower seeds. The cardinals and morning doves eating the safflower seeds. Now if I could get the grackles to stay out of the bird baths. They chase all the other birds away and make a poppy mess of the bird baths.

  4. Kimberly Roy
    Kimberly Roy says:

    Is there anything that we can use that won’t scare off or be harmful to our squirrels? Would the reflective tape work? Last year was the first we remember seeing these birds in upper western New York. They may be pretty but they’re horrible. We witnessed them stealing baby squirrels! We love our squirrels and have had enough of this awful feathered invasion. Please help! [email protected]

  5. Ann
    Ann says:

    We have a bird bath in our backyard. We used to love to watch different species of birds drink and bathe from it. This year it’s loaded with grackles-they’ve chased all the other species of birds away. I also believe they ate 3 baby finch that had just hatched in a nest on our porch. How do I get rid of these birds without scaring away my other birds?

  6. MG
    MG says:

    Grackles are not invasive. They are native to the Americas and do not even outcompete other native species.

    It is also very illegal to kill them, as they are a protected species under the Migratory Bird Act- which is shockingly not mentioned here as a reason not to poison or harm them.

    This article needs to be amended or taken down. People will likely read this and believe it is legal to kill them.

    • Annie Gavin
      Annie Gavin says:

      Thank you for your feedback. The word “invasive” is used in the context of invading personal property, not invasive to the nation. I can see where there can be some confusion. Bird-X advocates for humane bird and wildlife control and all the bird control products we offer are non-lethal, eco-friendly and humane. These recommendations are for people who want humane ways to deter birds that do not involve harmful traps, poisons, pesticides, etc.

    • cindy
      cindy says:


      • Tammy
        Tammy says:

        in Az we have them in tree behind where I work, they actually attack us as we are walking into work . Its like the birds movie, … one is the ring leader, and is getting more and more aggressive to people.
        What can we do?

    • Shelley
      Shelley says:

      They are invasive right now in sw Arkansas. They have chased all my birds and squirrels away for a month now. They even eat the dogs and cats outside food. I can’t stand them, they are noisy and poop
      Even in my carport and patio, there is no food there.

    • Michael Hopkins
      Michael Hopkins says:

      This article did say it was illegal to kill grackles and further said they do not believe in inhumane treatment of any bird. At least that’s what I read in a article that brought me to questions and answers.

    • D.B
      D.B says:

      MG not invasive! They are horrible. They will attack your dogs and they will go for cat in your yard. The big one lives under my carpet on my car and poops on it daily. I’m a bird lover but I hate these TRASH birds! That’s all they are! Mean and killer of other baby birds and poop birds!! I would Love for you to have the huge one I have. I truly wish a cat could get the one for dinner!!!

    • Am
      Am says:

      Hey guy, it says and I quote “not only is it illegal to kill grackles…”. So I’m not sure where you get the idea that people will think it is legal to kill them. Not only that, but they tote preferring humane methods of deterring, and NONE of the methods talk about killing them.

  7. liscio
    liscio says:

    So…..all the above comments seem to indicate problems, not answers; Doesn’t anybody have a way to get rid of grackles around bird feeders and birdbaths?

    • Annie Gavin
      Annie Gavin says:


      For a problem of this type, we usually recommend to stop feeding the pest bird as step one. Reliable access to sources of food and water is among the most common reasons for pest bird infestations. If you need specific grackle deterrents, Bird-X sells a sonic device called the BirdXPeller PRO that deters Grackles by using naturally recorded distress and alarm calls from the birds, as well as intimidating predator calls.

        • Annie Gavin
          Annie Gavin says:

          Hi Donnalynn. Yes, it can drive other birds out of the area. If you are looking for a way to get rid of Grackles but keep other wild birds coming to your yard, I recommend calling our bird specialists at 800-662-5021 or [email protected]. They may have some recommendations to do that.

  8. Susan
    Susan says:

    I hope these disgusting birds leave in July, like some websites say. We have a Koi pond and a birdbath with deterrence around both, and these grackles continuously drop their fecal sacs into the water and on our deck, which is not good for our Koi fish or the other birds that used to like to drink out of the birdbath. I have found dead baby birds on our lawn due to these terrible creatures, and the flies from the fecal sacs that they drop everywhere are intolerable! We live in Massachusetts, and this is the first year I have ever had an issue with grackles, nor did I know what they were before! They are dirty, disgusting, noisy and nothing but annoying.

  9. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Will the owl decoys scare away ALL birds, or just the grackles?? We’ve gone through various types of birdseed, different types of feeders, making noises (clapping, banging on table, etc) and the grackles just seem to continue to multiply and wipe out large amounts of birdseed so the many other types of birds are left with little or none. They are mean birds too and attack the other species at our feeders and birdbath. Help, please!!

    • Annie Gavin
      Annie Gavin says:


      Owl decoys will work to scare most species of small and medium-sized bird. If grackles are invading your property because they’re being fed, we would recommend to stop feeding the birds. Reliable access to food and water is the most common reason why pest birds decide to stick around an area.

      • Doris
        Doris says:

        I just stumbled upon this conversation. I live in Texas and never had a problem like this until 2 yrs ago. It’s insane. I have no food, no water in my backyard, and still, every day the noise and poop!!!! Omg. The sonic thing: it says it will also scare away other animals, like dogs! I have dogs, so that’s a NO. I bought sparkly streamers and owls etc and will hang them around my yard today. Problem is: I have very large trees and they land on top of the trees where I can’t get to. I wonder if all the stuff in other places will scare them off. 🤔
        I’ll let you know in a few days.

        • Annie Gavin
          Annie Gavin says:

          Hi Doris,

          Sonic deterrents will not scare off dogs, but ultrasonics will in some cases. Our sonic deterrents, such as the BirdXPeller PRO, work by broadcasting species-specific distress and alarm cries, as well as predator calls to scare off birds.

  10. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    I bought an owl decoy with a rotating head to keep grackles away from our pool. It doesn’t work, they flew right beside it the very first day, almost like they were testing it! Smart buggers! They are a nuisance, like someone else mentioned, they continuously drop fecal sacks into our pool and all on the edge of it. It’s a daily cleanup routine.


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