Strawberries are a delicious treat not just for us, but also for birds. While it’s wonderful to have birds in your garden, it’s not so wonderful when they start eating your strawberries. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various methods to keep birds away from your strawberries without causing them harm.
To keep birds away from strawberries, you can use bird netting or physical barriers around your plants. Scare tactics with shiny objects or decoys like fake owls can also deter birds. Alternatively, you can use strawberry rocks or provide alternative food sources away from your strawberries. Commercial bird deterrent products are also available for purchase. Remember, the goal is not to harm the birds but to deter them from your strawberries.
Understanding the Strawberry Predators
Several bird species are attracted to strawberries due to their bright red color, juicy texture, and sweet taste. Some of the most common birds that enjoy strawberries include Mockingbirds, Thrushes, Blackbirds, Robins, Blue Jays, Starlings, and Sparrows, among others. These birds are attracted to strawberries as they provide essential nutrients and energy as part of their varied diet.
Various Methods to Keep Birds Away from Strawberries
There are several effective methods to keep birds away from your strawberries without causing harm to the birds. Let’s explore these methods in detail.
1. Bird Netting
Bird netting is a simple and effective way to protect your strawberry plants from birds. You can drape the netting over a frame or supports to prevent birds from accessing the plants. Bird netting is available on Amazon and other garden centers. Alternatively, you can create a homemade bird net using garden canes or wooden stakes, discarded plastic bottles, cable ties, or garden twine.
2. Physical Barriers
Place sticks, twigs, or plastic forks upright in the soil around your plants. Position them close enough together to prevent birds from landing comfortably but far enough apart for you to reach between them during harvest.
3. Scare Tactics and Decoys
You can use shiny objects like CDs, aluminum pie pans, or wind chimes to scare birds away. You can also use decoys like fake owls or snakes to deter birds from approaching your strawberry plants.
4. Strawberry Rocks
Paint fruit-sized rocks strawberry-red and place them among your plants about three weeks before your strawberries start to ripen. Birds will peck at the rocks, realize they’re not food, and leave your actual strawberries alone.
5. Alternative Food Sources
Provide alternative food sources for birds, like bird feeders, away from your strawberry plants. This may help to distract them from your strawberries.
Commercial Bird Deterrent Products
There are several commercial products available that are effective in keeping birds away from strawberries. Some of these products include Avian Control, a liquid bird repellent spray, WhirlyBird Repeller, a device that combines auditory and visual stimuli to scare birds away, and Falcon FrightKite, a kite designed to look like a predator bird.
The Bottom Line
While birds play a crucial role in our ecosystem, it’s essential to protect your strawberries from being eaten by them. Using a combination of the methods mentioned above can increase the effectiveness of protecting your strawberry plants from birds. Remember, the goal is not to harm the birds but to deter them from eating your strawberries. Happy gardening!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of paint is safe to use for the strawberry rocks method?
Non-toxic, water-based acrylic paint is safe to use for painting the rocks. This type of paint is safe for the environment and won’t harm the birds if they peck at the rocks.
Can I use any type of netting for the bird netting method?
It’s best to use netting specifically designed for bird control. This type of netting usually has a small mesh size to prevent birds from getting tangled in it.
Where can I purchase commercial bird deterrent products?
Commercial bird deterrent products can be purchased from various online retailers such as Amazon, or from local garden centers or home improvement stores.
Can these methods be used to protect other fruits and vegetables from birds?
Yes, these methods can be used to protect a variety of fruits and vegetables from birds. However, you may need to modify some methods based on the specific needs and characteristics of the plants you’re protecting.
How often should I replace the shiny objects or decoys in my garden?
The frequency of replacing shiny objects or decoys depends on their condition and effectiveness. If they are still in good condition and effectively scaring birds away, there’s no need to replace them. However, if they become damaged or if birds start to ignore them, it’s time for a replacement.