We've all seen blackbirds digging up our gardens.
They're annoying pests that dig up plants, destroy seeds, and make a mess.
Most of the time, we just ignore them, but blackbirds may actually cause severe damage to your plants and garden!
Luckily, there are many ways to stop blackbirds from digging in your garden.
And we'll be discussing those in this article.
How to stop blackbirds digging using chemicals, physical barriers, and even toothpicks!
First, let's understand our enemy.
Blackbirds are notorious for digging up gardens. But did you know they're actually looking for food?
They're not just after your vegetables; they're also looking for tasty grubs and bugs to eat.
That's because blackbirds are omnivores, meaning they eat everything from plants to animals.
They're looking for insects, grubs, worms, and seeds to eat when they dig. They also eat fruit, vegetables, flowers, and bulbs.
So if you have a blackbird problem, you may be dealing with a bigger issue than you thought.
Blackbird damage is a common problem in many gardens.
While blackbirds are beneficial in some ways, they can be destructive in others.
Their digging creates not only unsightly holes in your yard but also mild to severe damage to plants and soil.
They also leave behind large amounts of seeds that can germinate and grow into weeds or invasive species.
Their droppings can cause disease in plants.
But did you know that they could also help your garden?
Blackbirds aren't just destructive pests; they're also beneficial pollinators.
When they eat and poop out seeds, those seeds can grow into weeds or a helpful plant - depending on what seed it is.
Blackbirds also help control insects and diseases in your home.
Insects can ruin your plants, attract even more pests, and spread diseases in your plants, maybe even to you.
So, when blackbirds eat them, they're actually helping you control the insect population and (hopefully) keeping a healthy balance in your garden's ecosystem.
So when you find them digging in your yard, don't be too quick to blame them.
Instead, consider if they bring more benefits to your garden and home than any damage.
But if you decide that they're not welcome on your property, here are some things you can do.
Blackbirds are protected bird species in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. So whatever method you decide on trying to get them out of your garden, make sure they don't hurt or kill the blackbirds.
As mentioned above, they are also pollinators. Pollinators play an essential role in preserving and improving our environment.
Some chemicals are restricted for use only by wildlife specialists, and some are only targeted for commercial or large operation use, but there are also some options available to home gardeners at garden centres.
One is a transparent bird gel repellant. You're meant to put this on the edge of your flower pots and not your soil.
The gel is sticky, so the birds will avoid it. It also makes it hard for them to get a stable footing.
Although, it's not foolproof because the birds may land on the soil which doesn't have any gel.
The second is products made of methyl anthranilate. They can be applied like caulk to surfaces or as packaged as cartridges that you simply hang.
Methyl anthranilate is an aromatic deterrent. Methyl anthranilate will stimulate the trigeminal nerves in the bird's beak, eyes, and throat when inhaled. This results in irritation for the birds.
Keep in mind that these repellants may affect other wildlife as well.
The most effective method is physical barriers.
The primary purpose of physical barriers is to make it hard or impossible for the birds to get near, have a stable footing, or even land in your garden.
These include using bird spikes, netting, wires, and even toothpicks. (Yes, toothpicks!)
Bird spikes are inexpensive, and they're designed for this purpose, so they work well.
But you can up your thrift game by using toothpicks. Simply stick a bunch of toothpicks all around the ground to prevent the birds from digging or even landing.
You can use other things like craft sticks, too. It doesn't;t have to be sharp.
You can also install chicken wires and bird nets around your plants or your whole garden if you can.
Keep in mind that you have to place these physical barriers in a way that won't interfere with your plants.
There's a reason farms commonly have scarecrows; they work. Birds will think twice before going near your garden because they think there's a person in there.
However, scarecrows may also scare you, especially in a dark garden at night.
If you want something more pleasant, there are many visual devices that are marketed to repel birds.
You can choose more decorative pieces like pinwheels, reflectors, vinyl balloons or ribbons, and many more. Basically, anything that can move with the wind and is shiny so the birds think they're alive and will hesitate to get near.
As mentioned before, blackbirds dig because they're looking for food.
So if you remove their possible food source in your garden, they will look for other places with food and won't come to your place anymore.
The moist soil in your garden and the abundance of plant matters make the perfect breeding ground for insects, so check if you have an infestation that's attracting the birds and treat that accordingly.
You can also get rid of any bird feeding station or bird feeders for a while to lessen their food source.
As annoying and destructive as they are, blackbirds are just hungry birds rummaging for food, trying to survive or feed their bird families.
So, please choose a gentle bird control method to use and send them away kindly.
After all, they're also important pollinators that help our environment.
We hope this article helped.
See you at the next one!