Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

October 1987


The December 1983 freeze inflicted tremendous damage to the South Texas groves and reduced tree by approximately fifty Additionally, it is believed that Great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) populations increased over the past few years. With decreased citrus acreage and increased grackle numbers, the severe negative effects are economically significant to the Texas citrus industry.

Grackle damage to grapefruit and oranges differs in type and economic importance. The first is "cosmetic" in nature, small pecks or scratches on the fruit skin, and downgrades the fruit, reducing its value. The second is actual crop loss due to consumption of fruit pulp.

Several techniques were used to disperse birds from citrus groves including propane exploders and pyrotechniques. In addition, attempts were made at population reduction through the use of live traps, shooting, treated baits, mist nets, and a floodlight trap.

Some work has been reported on various agricultural problems with grackles; however, literature on grackle predation to citrus is limited. Our work identifies a unique problem to citrus, and future research is needed for long term potential solutions.