|Tuesday Products: Natural Bird Control|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 25 May 2010|
Since the topic of fruit gardens has come up recently, we might as well talk about bird control. After all, the point of this kind of gardening is for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun intended)--not the birds.
There are a couple of methods to prevent birds from gobbling up those luscious raspberries, gorgeous gooseberries, and succulent strawberries. The first is the use of decoys such as this great horned owl Sentry, snakes, or the commonly used scarecrow. In general these work quite well, but birds are smart chickies and quickly learn not to be afraid after a few days. The trick here is inconsistency. Use several different ones, frequently move the decoys to new locations, add one that moves if possible.
You can also try using bird netting, 14' x 14'. Typically made form a poly mesh material that is easy to cut, netting allows air to circulate but doesn't allow birds to have access to the fruit. Mesh is usually sold in two colors, black to blend into the landscape or sometimes white and with 5/8 inch or 3/4 inch mesh openings. To pick ripe fruit simply cut the mesh. When you're done for the season, hose it down and fold it up for next year. Less expensive, but sometimes just as effective methods of scaring birds away include tin cans hung from string (the noise scares away the birds) or aluminum pie plates also hung from string whose reflections scare the birds away--in theory.