How Do I Stop Blackbirds Digging Up My Plants?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:25 pm

What to do about blackbirds in raised beds? 5 effective remedies!

Blackbirds in raised beds are a real nuisance. Where yesterday there were young plants in the bed, there are only large holes.
In search of insects and worms, the birds, which are also called blackbirds, have torn out the young plants in the raised bed.

How Do I Stop Blackbirds Digging Up My Plants?

In this article, you’ll learn how to keep the naughty birds away from your raised bed and young plants.

Here we go.

Blackbirds in raised beds, that means a lot of trouble for all gardeners.

How to protect a raised bed from blackbirds: 5 best means.

Blackbirds uprooted your young plants from the raised bed in search of food. Holes litter your raised bed?

Then it’s time to remedy the situation …

In the following section, I present the 5 best ways to protect your raised bed and your young plants from blackbirds.

  1. use bird nets to protect from blackbirds
    A bird protection net over your raised bed can protect your young plants from blackbirds. The birds will not have a chance to reach the soil.

Make sure that it is very small-meshed so that no smaller birds get caught in it.

For example, bird protection nets with a very small mesh size of only 13 mm x 13 mm would be suitable. The Windhager bird protection net* fulfills this condition and is at the same time still very inexpensive.

  1. ultrasonic repellent for blackbirds
    An ultrasonic repellent emits ultrasonic waves that are not perceptible to the human ear.

Blackbirds, however, can perceive them very well and find these sounds very unpleasant. They feel disturbed by it.

If you set up an ultrasonic repeller, blackbirds will avoid your raised bed.
The best thing about it is that the ultrasonic waves not only work against blackbirds, but will also keep other animals away from your raised bed.

The GRUNDIG ultrasonic solar animal repeller is recommended. Simply plug it into the raised bed, switch it on and you’re good to go.

The batteries are even recharged daily via the integrated solar panels.

It couldn’t be easier!

  1. install a scarecrow in the raised bed
    The visual ability of blackbirds is very well developed only near the ground and in the twilight, from the air and above them they see only dimly, for this reason they can be scared very well and optical scaring agents can be used effectively.
    A scarecrow is such an optical deterrent.

Place a scarecrow next to your raised bed and the blackbirds will stay away from it.

It should be noted that there is a habituation effect. That’s why you need to keep changing the scarecrow, otherwise the effect will diminish.

This scarecrow definitely keeps the blackbird away from the raised bed.
  1. hang dummy birds of prey.
    A dummy bird of prey naturally mimics enemies of the blackbird, this will keep the naughty birds from approaching your raised bed and snatching your seedlings out of your bed.
See also  Robins: Distinguish Female And Male

Bird of prey dummies are made of plastic, you can hang them near the raised bed or attach them to a rod on the edge of the raised bed.

The hanging version is advantageous, as the dummies move in the wind and act as a deterrent to the blackbirds.

  1. water jet distributor to protect against blackbirds
    A water jet distributor is connected to the water supply in the garden and is equipped with a solar cell and an infrared motion sensor.

As soon as a blackbird triggers the motion sensor, a water jet is emitted and the blackbird is driven away by it.

The sensitivity of the sensor can be adjusted. This can keep various wild animals (martens, raccoons, badgers, etc.) out of your garden.

Both the spray distance and the intensity of the water jet can be adjusted.

The advantage of the water jet spreader is its high effectiveness and low habituation effect.

The Gardigo water jet animal distributor* has a very good price-performance ratio and is worth a look!
There is also no health risk to any type of animal in your garden.

Why do blackbirds forage in raised beds?

Blackbirds are looking for food in the raised bed. They use their beaks to dig through the soil to find worms, grubs and insects.

Blackbirds prefer to eat spiders, beetles, snails, ants, woodlice and larvae.

They have no regard for your plants and young plants and will rip them out with them.

What fruits do blackbirds love?

Blackbirds love currants, gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Fruits like apples, plums, cherries and pears are also on their menu.

Therefore, you should also protect your berries, fruit trees and shrubs in your garden sufficiently from blackbirds.

How can you drive blackbirds out of your garden?

It’s best if blackbirds don’t feel comfortable in your garden, so they won’t come near your raised bed in the first place.
Here are a few tips on how to keep blackbirds out of your garden.

Hang old CDs on a piece of clear string near your raised bed. Blackbirds are disturbed by the reflections and will keep their distance

Aluminum foil works similarly, cut it into strips and hang them up so they move in the wind
Bells and wind chimes that make noise will keep blackbirds away, hang them in different places in your garden and the blackbirds will avoid your garden.

Pinwheels and flags that move in the wind are unpleasant for blackbirds and they will stay away.
Do not leave food scraps lying around and make compost inaccessible to birds

Put dummy birds of prey in the garden, this will also scare away blackbirds

Blackbirds are scratching in the bark mulch, how to drive them away?

The songbirds are foraging in your bark mulch.

A clear sign that blackbirds have been there is that there are lots of bark mulch particles next to your bed.

The black birds will pick up the mulch pieces with their bills and toss them over the edge of the bed to get to the nutritious worms and larvae.

Again, you can try using reflective tape or pinwheels hung nearby to keep the blackbirds away from the bed.

See also  What Smells Scares The Birds Away?

Another option is to cover the bed with a trellis or bird net, then the blackbirds won’t get to the bottom of the raised bed at all and can’t do any damage.

When using a net, make sure that it is small mesh (13 mm x 13 mm) so that the blackbirds do not get caught in it.
What do blackbirds & other birds look for in bark mulch?
Blackbirds and other birds look for insects in bark mulch for food.

Various species of birds rummage through the bark mulch in search of food, leaving behind the “perfect” mess.

How to keep the bark mulch together?

To keep bark mulch in the bed and not scattered around it, you can use bed borders.

These should be at least 10 cm high, so that the blackbirds do not simply throw the bark mulch over it, but it remains attached to the border.

Bed borders are available in various materials. Wood, metal and stone. Personally, I like best the woven bed borders made of willow.

This looks really nice and natural. Here you can also take a look at it: Nature LOUNGE bed edging willow*.

Driving away blackbirds with home remedies – does it really work?

Yes, you can drive away blackbirds with home remedies. In the following section, I will introduce you to three effective home remedies against blackbirds in raised beds.

  1. decorate raised bed with pinwheels
    You can put pinwheels on the edges of the raised bed or in flower pots. The blackbird’s eyesight is very good only near the ground.

If you put up pinwheels, the blackbird will not be able to judge what is moving from a distance and will avoid your raised bed.

  1. hang up old CD’s
    Deterrents like old CDs that you hang up are also useful. Animals are put off by the reflections. They cannot judge if you are in danger.
  2. dog and cat keep watch at the raised bed
    Pets such as dogs and cats are also a good and reliable home remedy against blackbirds. Cats, in particular, pose a latent danger to birds.

Where a cat makes its home, birds usually keep their distance.

Did you know that not only blackbirds can go on a rampage in the raised bed, but also all sorts of other wild animals.

In my article “What animal digs holes in the raised bed” you will find more important information on how to recognize the culprit.

Is it allowed to poison blackbirds?

No, you are not allowed to poison blackbirds. All European bird species are protected all year round under the Federal Nature Conservation Act.

This means that it is forbidden to catch, injure or kill them. Violations of this law are punished with a high fine.

Here you can take a look at the Federal Nature Conservation Act yourself.

Drive away blackbirds with ultrasound, does it really work?

Yes, you can drive away blackbirds with ultrasonic ejectors. The device produces ultrasonic waves, which are not perceived by humans, but the animals find very unpleasant.

The blackbirds will look for another place in the garden.

Place the ultrasonic repeller near the places where blackbirds like to stay, then they will avoid these places in the future.

Blackbirds peck holes in the lawn, what to do?

Blackbirds peck holes in the lawn because they are looking for food there.

Especially after mowing and after rain, they are there looking for worms and larvae, which then come to the surface.

See also  Are Orchids Toxic To Birds?

To keep blackbirds from pecking holes in the lawn, you would need to stretch a large net over the lawn to keep the birds from pecking holes in the lawn.

What do blackbirds hate?

Blackbirds have poor aerial and distance vision, so they hate anything they can’t clearly see from a distance.

If you hang reflective wind chimes, balloons, garland, or strips of aluminum foil in your yard, blackbirds will stay away because they can’t accurately assess what it is from the air.

Reflective decorations such as balls of glass or plastic that you can stick in the ground can also discourage blackbirds from visiting your garden.

Things that move in the wind and reflect sunlight are very handy.

You can also use dummy birds of prey, it is best to hang them, then they can move in the wind.

What kind of smell drives birds away?

Birds generally have a very poor sense of smell, so it is difficult to drive them away with scents.

Dog and cat hair can help in the short term, as they are the natural enemies of birds, but it will not help in the long run.

Stronger smells that are perceived as annoying by birds, such as butyric acid will not only keep the birds away, but you as well, so it is not advisable to try this.

Blackbirds are rioting on the terrace – what to do?

You find soil and pebbles on your terrace? You discover bird droppings scattered around your flower pots? You find black bird feathers?

Then you have had a visit from rowdy blackbirds.

The songbirds also look for food and suitable building material for their nests in flower pots and window boxes.

Hang wind chimes that make noise and reflective wind chimes on your patio, this will keep blackbirds away from your patio.

You can also place an ultrasonic repeller near your patio, the sounds are not perceptible to human hearing, but the blackbirds will perceive them, feel disturbed and will avoid your patio.

What to do against noisy blackbirds?

From March to July, blackbirds have breeding season and sing especially loudly. It is the male blackbirds that sing, female blackbirds give warning calls during breeding and rearing of the brood.

Both sing and call throughout the day.

Blackbird singing is often considered pleasant. However, the loud singing of the male blackbird during the dawn mating season can rob you of sleep.

To avoid being woken up, the only thing to do is to close the window and use earplugs.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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