I had never heard of the word “Grackle” before but many of our clients seem to know it well. A Grackle, a North American Blackbird, is a nuisance bird to any pool owner as they not only litter the pool deck with their large droppings but also conveniently land their unsanitary bombs into the swimming pool. This time last year, Curt and Debbie from Paris, Ontario introduced me to the Grackle and what they can do once they take over a backyard and nest close by the pool. Soon after, another client from Dunnville, Ontario, approached me with the same problem.
Depending on the weather and from what clients have shared, it seem that Grackles begin nesting sometime in April and can linger until as long as early June.
I reached out to Curt and Debbie and asked if they could share some of the things that they had tried to help chase their Grackles away or deter them from nesting in the first place and here are some tricks they found to be successful:
1. Float an inflatable alligator in the pool and just let it float.
They had trouble with the alligator blowing off of the pool on windy days so they weighted it down with water bottles – try tying them with rope to the alligator handles and letting them drop into the pool on either side.
2. Place toy snakes around the pool deck.
Move them occasionally to different areas – dollar stores normally carry these.
3. Plastic Owls – station them along fence posts and around the pool.
4. Try playing a sound recording of birds of prey.
Deb found a recording online and played it several times throughout the day over several days.
This big concern that brought this topic to The Pool Shoppe in the first place, was the safety of the pool water during this persistent battle with the Grackles constantly dropping their bundles in around the swimming pool. As with any organic matter or harmful bacteria, it is recommended to maintain a constant free chlorine level between 1 -3 ppm and routinely shock the pool with a powerful oxidizer such as our 75% Super Shock, to rid the pool of any resistant bacteria or contaminants. A supplemental shock following a rainfall would also be recommended to assist with any contaminants washed in from the pool deck and surrounding environment.
We are so grateful to our clients for sharing their experiences with us and teaching us something new each and every day!