Blueberries are sweet and juicy. Birds love them, and they won’t say no to these fresh delights. Crows, blackbirds, robins, jays, and other birds will swoop in and steal your berries from beneath your feet!
If you’re producing blueberries (or any berries), make sure you get to enjoy them instead of the birds. Here are some suggestions for keeping your berries safe from hungry birds while still being considerate.
How to Keep Birds from Eating Blueberries?
1. Use Bird Netting
Bird netting can help keep away birds that might be interested in your berries.
Buy the Netting
Bird netting contains 14-inch holes that make it almost impossible for a bird to get through. Use plastic or nylon bird netting from a store. Bird netting is available locally or in online hardware stores. Purchase some bird netting to completely cover your berry plant (or row of berry plants) in your garden.
Chicken wire can also be used to cover the fruit. Chicken wire can be difficult to drape over the berries, so proceed cautiously.
Install Poles or Stakes
Dig deep, small holes and insert five to seven-foot wood, bamboo, or metal poles into them. Depending on how hard the terrain is, you might need to use a pickaxe or shovel to dig the holes. Arrange the poles along with the berry plants, tying them together at the end of each row to form a teepee. The poles can then be used to construct V-shapes along the middle of the berry plants.
You can alternatively install the net over the berry plants with wooden stakes. Ascertain that the wooden posts are tall enough for the net to drape over the fruit.
Secure the Net
Drape the netting over the poles and secure it in place. Ensure that the netting completely covers the berry bush entirely. To keep the netting in place, use staples. Double-check that the netting is securely fastened to the poles and that there are no gaps or holes between the poles and the netting.
Check the Net for Trapped Birds
Once the netting is in place over the garden berries, keep an eye on it for any birds that may become trapped inside. To ensure that they can return to their nesting spot, you must remove them.
It’s also a good idea to double-check that the netting is secure and hasn’t shifted or changed. You don’t want any birds to get to the berries by finding an opening in the netting.
2. Set up Decoys
Decoys can also be set up to deter birds from eating your blueberries.
Put Plastic Snakes in the Garden
Decoys are an effective technique to keep rodents and pests away from your berries. Purchase inexpensive rubber snakes in bright colors that appear lifelike from a distance. Just as the berries begin to ripen, plant them in the garden. Place them around the berry bushes in easy-to-find locations. Every few days, move them to different parts of the garden. Once the harvest is complete, remove the plastic snakes from the garden so that the birds do not become accustomed to their presence.
Use Plastic Owls
Place the fake owls in the same manner as the decoy snakes. Put them in plain sight on a perch over the berry bushes. To keep pests at bay, move them around the garden every few days to different areas.
Place Shiny Pinwheels
Shiny pinwheels reflect light and make noise in the garden, scaring birds away. As soon as the berries begin to ripen, place the pinwheels on poles or fences near the plants. Make sure they’re placed where they’ll be exposed to the breeze
When the harvest is complete, remove the pinwheels to prevent pests from becoming accustomed to their presence. To prevent birds, place CDs on posts near the berry buses as an alternative to pinwheels.
Create a Decoy Area with Food
Make a food station away from your garden’s berries so birds can eat elsewhere. In a secluded nook of the garden, put peanuts, sunflower seeds, and food corn in a feeder. You could even feed them by planting vegetables. Birds may be enticed to eat just from the decoy food area, leaving your berry plants alone.
3. Use Repellants
Spray Table Sugar on Blueberries
Birds can easily digest simple monosaccharide carbohydrates like glucose and fructose found in fruit, but many lack the enzymes needed to digest disaccharides like sucrose (table sugar). According to recent Cornell University research, bird damage on blueberries was considerably decreased by spraying plants with a sucrose solution.
5 pounds of sugar were dissolved in 2 quarts of water by the researchers. To dissolve all of the sugar, the water has to be heated at first. One gallon of spray solution resulted from this. When the blueberries started to ripen, this was sprinkled on the plants. After a rain, the solution had to be reapplied.
Sucrose and methyl anthranilate are excellent deterrents. However, in years when bird pressure is high, it is recommended that these be combined with scare devices such as fear eye balloons to ensure greater control.
Birds can be deterred by a product from the grocery store. The grape component methyl anthranilate is found in grape-flavored Kool-Aid. The chemical has a flavor that birds find revolting. Mix 4 packets of grape Kool-Aid in one gallon of water to keep birds away from blueberries, cherries, and grapes. Spray the plant and the berries when the fruit begins to color and attract birds.
It should be noted that while this method is a good way to keep birds away in the short term, you need to combine it with other methods for a more permanent solution.
Birds like to eat blueberries, and if you don’t protect your fruits against them, you will soon have no berry left in your garden. Use the ideas we have given above to protect your blueberries from all kinds of birds.
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