We all love our backyard birds. They are fun to watch and to feed. …..when they are at the bird feeder. However, when they get into a gardener’s fruits, berries and vegetables, they are not quite so lovable. The trouble is, how do you feed your birds at the bird feeder, yet keep them from becoming garden pests? Enter the world of bird control. We’ve gotcha covered with several effective methods.
Without some way of controlling birds, they will beat you to the cherries in your cherry tree. Your blueberry bush in your garden is a haven for hungry birds. And, your sunflowers may soon be seedless, just as those tasty and nutritious seeds mature. Got a garden full of strawberries? If you don’t have bird control netting, backyard birds will beat you to those sweet, plump berries.
Of course, birds are a pest problem in the vegetable garden, too. Birds will seek out many types of freshly planted seeds. Sparrows love to nip the tender growing tips of pea plants. With a sizable sparrow population in your area, your garden sweet pea plants may not have a chance.
Listed below, are ways to deter birds from your gardens and fruit trees.
Garden pest nets are very efficient and easy to use. It makes controlling birds a snap. Simply secure it over the tree, bush, or plant you want to protect, and birds are no longer a problem. A bird pest net can be used on big and small plants. As a garden netting, it can be draped over your vegetable garden. It can completely wrap a cherry tree or blueberry bush. Commercial growers set up a frame around their crop and create a “roof” of bird pest netting across a large area.
Bird pest netting is very lightweight. You can set it on most crops without damage. Use caution when setting it on the tenderest of plants, like lettuce. It is best, to make a frame for the netting, so the material doesn’t sit directly on the plant. Sun, rain, and air circulation can enter and exit easily through the mesh of the netting, helping to keep plants healthy.
See: How to make a bird netting frame
Tip: Use 1/4″ or 1/2″ mesh nets. This size is too small for birds to get their beaks into.
Use multi-strand bird netting wherever birds are a problem to your crops. It is durable and hard to break. Unlike single-strand netting, UV-protected, multi-strand nets will last for many years.
Netting protects plants from birds, bunnies, deer, and other foraging pests. Unfortunately, it is not effective against groundhogs, squirrels, chipmunks, and other gnawing type of pests.
Shrub Guard Pest Net Bags – Net bags are really neat for a quick cover-up of a bush or shrub. It’s very popular for blueberry bushes. Simply roll it on, and your blueberries are secure. Roll it upwards to harvest the fruit.
Pest Net Sheets – Flat pest netting sheets work well in the vegetable garden. It comes in varying sizes. Drape it over your plants in your garden, and the birds and bunnies are shut out.
Bulk Pest Netting – For big gardens, bulk bird netting is the solution. It’s cheaper in bulk. If you have several bushes or trees to cover, you can size and cut pieces off the bulk roll.
A sound system blasts noises or plays the sounds of natural predators. As a result, it scares off the birds in your garden. We stress it “may scare the birds”, as some people report questionable results.
An inexpensive sound system is a disposable aluminum pie pan tied to a string and placed in a tree, or on a post in the garden. When the wind blows, it bangs against the tree, making noise. It only works when the wind blows strong enough to move the pie pan. Also, it irritates your neighbors.
Scarecrows have helped to protect gardens and crops from birds for over 3,000 years. They are still in use in home gardens and are very popular in fall decorating. Learn the history of scarecrows, how to make scarecrows, a little trivia, and more. More on Scarecrows
Fake Owls and inflatable snakes are a couple of examples of products that may scare off birds. Importantly, the figurine must look life-like. Moving it from time to time, makes it appear more realistic