Protect fruit from birds

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Methods of bird deterring include so called „Eye” balloons ( printed balloons that fool birds into thinking there is a predator in the tree, bird netting and spikes, hanging shiny objects that reflect light, as well as electronic noise boxes. Additionally, a lot of people found that placing predator (animal) – like plastic or rubber objects will also scare the birds away. Considering that you probably don’t want to ruin the landscape of your property by using all of these at the same time, which would make your trees look pretty much ridiculous, the good news is that you can choose the method you find most effective and most appropriate for your property.
One of the most popular methods home owners find to be effective includes re-purposing your old CD’s. If there are any albums in your home that you are no longer interested in, and you are experiencing problems with annoying birds at the same, you can hang your old CD’s on the branches. They will reflect plenty of light, which will scare the birds away. If, however, you don’t find this method to be effective, or you simply don’t like it, there are plenty other methods to choose from. Another method you can try is using printed balloons.
Printed, so called “eye balloons” have designs that resemble eyes or contain images of other birds and wild animals. These balloons are quite affordable, and you can find plenty designs and pick those you either like best or think would be most effective. Printed balloons include images of eyes, cats, owls, sneaks, and many other animals that scare the birds. The way in which these balloons work is by tricking the bird into believing that there is another living creature in the tree, be it a person or an animal. However, you can’t find this method to be a final solution to your problems. Pigeons are usually not affected with this method, so it will not work in case you have a pigeon problem.
If you don’t find previous methods to be effective, you can always use bird netting. Bird net is going to prevent the birds from landing on the tree branches. Nets are usually made out of wire mesh that is sirdy enough to endure chewing and clawing from animals and critters attempting to create a hole inside of them and get through. In addition to protecting your trees from birds, netting will also protect them and your property from other animals.
One of the most effective tools in keeping birds away from many different spaces are bird spikes. Bird spikes are, essentially, installations produced out of steel or plastic hat are long and point. These also don’t allow the birds to access a certain area. You can purchase bird spikes in the majority of stores that sell garden supplies. Spikes are also not dangerous for birds. Since birds will not be able to land on them, they will avoid the spot eventually lose interest in roosting there. However, one problem you can expect from using spikes is that the birds will also dump feces on them. If this happens frequently, the feces will pile up and you are going to have to either clean it regularly, or replace the spikes each time this happens.
Another option for you to use are the electronic boxes. These boxes are designed to emit either other species bird calls or predator calls. Home owners have found these boxes to be more effective than false predators as well. While false predators scare the birds away because they resemble an animal that poses a threat to birds, electronic boxes are more effective because they allow the bird to hear the predator call, without actually seeing it. This will scare the bird more than actually seeing an animal. You can find electronic boxes that emit sounds of cats, dogs, owls, as well as other feral animals. However, a downside of using electronic boxes is that they might be as uncomfortable and unpleasant to hear as actual birds. This makes them somewhat inappropriate for industrial and commercial buildings, as well as quiet neighborhoods. This, however, doesn’t make them less effective and appropriate for more solitary areas and spaces, like large gardens and back yards that are not visited by people frequently.

Bird B Gone Blog

If you have fruit trees in your yard then you more than likely have a lot of pest birds. You might be in a war to see who gets the ripened fruit first. Fruit tree protection is needed before the fruit becomes sweet and juicy and before the birds get to it first. There is no need to let the pest birds trespass on your property.

Protecting the fruit should be your chief objective. The second objective is to keep your yard clear of bird droppings. Piles of bird droppings are not only ghastly sites to see, but if permitted to accumulate, over time the droppings could become hazardous to your health. There are over 60 recognized diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Birds will also build nests in the fruit trees and you could easily assume there are nests if the birds are present. This poses a problem as well. Nests are also filled with feces and also insects and bugs make themselves home in the bird nests. This can include the bed bug. You do not want this problem in your home. Parasites and fungus is also known to be present in bird droppings and nesting materials. Fruit tree protection is needed for more than just protecting the fruit.

Netting for Fruit Trees and More

Thankfully there is fruit tree protection that will protect the trees and other areas around the home where birds may be roosting and nesting. There are solutions. Bird control devices are out there that will deter the pest birds. There is bird netting, scare balloons and diverters, and sound deterrents that can get rid of the pest birds.

Netting for fruit trees can be wrapped around the entire fruit tree. The netting blocks them from perching on the branches, and they will fly away to find another place to roost and nest. Netting for fruit trees can also protect the entire garden area. Often times the netting is suspended over the entire garden plot. The netting is attached to posts that are strategically placed around the perimeter of the garden using bird-netting clips that can be purchased with the netting for fruit trees. The netting comes in large rolls and can be cut down to any desired size. It is lightweight and easily maneuvered.

Scare balloons and diverters are a visual distraction that can be strung onto the tree branches. These types of diverters can also be placed around the eaves of the home, which is a highly susceptible area of the home for pest bird invasion as well. Visual scare tactics use the birds scare triggers of predator features and reflective surfaces. Birds do not like objects that the sun can reflect off of.

Sounds bird deterrents are great for large backyards that need bird control. A single sound device can cover over an acre. They work by playing programmed distress calls and predators calls at varying intervals. The birds natural instinct of fight her flight causes them to fly away.

Netting for fruit trees and other bird control devices are safe, humane, and very cost effective.

Keeping Birds from Eating Cherries

Q: Any suggestions on how to keep birds from eating the cherries before they are ripe? We have a huge cherry tree and have never had any ripe cherries left to pick. I tried pie plates and streamers when it was smaller to no avail. It is too big to net. Advertisement

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Thanks,
Betty from Middletown, NY

A: Betty,

Because your tree is so big, short of a propane cannon, you’ll probably have to rotate among the usual arsenal of scare tactics. You might try setting large (plastic) birds of prey (owls, hawks, etc.) or several scarecrows among the branches in your tree. You’ll have to move them around to keep the birds from getting used to them. There are also balloons with large eyes painted on the sides, plastic snakes, or reflective materials like CDs or silver-colored flash tape. I’ve also heard of people hanging plastic fruit in their trees before the fruit ripens to condition the birds into thinking the real fruit is inedible. One home remedy I’ve read about is to mix 6 packets of grape Kool-aid (no sugar added) with a gallon of water and spray it on the cherries as they are beginning to ripen. I have no idea if it works, but it sounds interesting. If you try it, test it out on a small part of the tree first before covering your whole tree-and let me know if it works!

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Ellen

Answers:

I didn’t have any luck with keeping the birds away either. Fortunately, I had two trees…the birds ate the Bing cherries and I got the Queen Anne. (I guess they liked the color of the Bings better). But then the raccoons discovered my tree and I never got a cherry off of it either, so I gave up and cut them both down. I got tired of raking all the leaves just to feed the birds and raccoons. (04/10/2006)

By wendee

Take a light kite string and throw it over the cherry tree. Have someone catching it and throwing it back to you until you have covered the tree on all sides. One or two kite string rolls should do it. It doesn’t have to be a heavy cover of string. The string will bother the wings of the birds when they try to fly in, but won’t hurt them. They’ll stay out of the tree and the cherries are easy for you to pick through the string. It works great. I have done this for years. People just think that you have been tp’d with string instead of toilet paper. 🙂 (04/19/2006)

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By Carol

I let the grass under my tree grow extra long (it gets cut for the first time after cherry season). That way birds can’t tell if predators are hiding and will avoid the tree. (06/12/2006)

By Steve Roberts

I use a long metal stick with shiny strings attached to it, and I put it on a rotating propeller. It is up on a wooden pole and keeps rotating and keeps most of the birds away. (06/20/2008)

By genadiy

How To Keep Birds Out of Fruit Trees

by Phoenix Trim-A-Tree
in Fruit Tree Care
30 Mar 2017

Are you searching for information about “How To Keep Birds Out of Fruit Trees”? The fruit trees in your landscape that produce cherries, apples, oranges and more look just as appetizing to birds as they do people. Without instituting some bird control measures birds in your neighborhood might eat and destroy all of your fruit before you get a chance to pick a single ripe piece of fruit.

Bird Control Measures

While each type of bird control method is effective birds adjust and learn to get past single systems so using multiple methods help keep your fruit in the tree and ripening for you and your family.

Fruit Tree Canopies

The tree canopy can be covered with specially designed bird netting that allows the tree to get sunlight and air, but prevents birds from eating your fruit. Netting should be over the tree and brought in tight against the trunk. Efforts should be taken to tuck fruit in away from the netting to avoid birds pecking through the material. Frames can also be built to support the netting and then place the netting over the frame so it is not in direct contact with the tree.

Streamers & Flash Tape

You can use orange safety ribbon or holographic safety tape that is highly reflective. The extra motion and flashing reflections of light scare birds away and keeps them out of your tree and away for your fruit.

Set Out The Pie Tins

Another common and highly reflective item that will scare bird away from your fruit is pie tins. They are shiny and lightweight. They can be hung from your tree limbs with fishing line and will move in the wind casting bright light that scares the birds away.

Set Up a Soundtrack of Fear

Birds that will ruin your fruit are typically not predatory birds, and will be scared if they hear sounds from the things that hunt them. Predatory bird sounds from speakers that are moved around every few days keeps fruit bandits away.

Put Out a Predator Decoy

Smaller birds are scared of the sound of bigger birds, but terrified of the sight of them. Setting up a decoy like an owl on a post near your trees will keep the birds at bay. If you have some extra money decoys are available with speakers that will play sounds of predatory birds, distress calls, and the sound of flapping wings which is extremely effective.

Set Up Small Windmills

Spinning blades from windmills sound like predatory birds and confuse smaller fruit eating birds. Attach your windmills to pvc pipe and move them frequently to keep birds confused.

Use Balloons

If you are really struggling and they are getting into your trees with the other tips here you can paint eyes on balloons and put them in your tree. Smaller birds can mistake the color of balloons as large predatory birds and if they do come close enough they end up popping the balloons which also scares them away.

Phoenix Are Fruit Tree Care

If you need help caring for your fruit trees in the Phoenix area Phoenix Trim-A-Tree is your source for professional tree care. Our arborist understands the local flora and fauna and can help you get the most out of your fruit trees. Let us help you with the best advice for avoiding pests, and help you get the biggest crop through proper fruit tree trimming, pruning, and fertilizing.

Call us today to get started at 480-962-0701

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Phoenix Trim-A-Tree

I enjoy welcoming birds to my garden. I usually have bird seed available for them and grow a few sunflowers just so they can enjoy their seeds.

What I don’t particularly enjoy is when birds descend upon my fruit trees and start to eat my ripening fruit. Faced with this problem, many gardeners will head to their local garden center and buy fine mesh netting to cover their trees with in order to protect them from birds. BUT, this is not a bird-friendly option. Often, birds can find their way into the netting and get caught without being able to escape and eventually die.

So, are there any options available that won’t harm birds? Absolutely! What is even better – you probably already have what you need to deter birds from eating the fruit from your trees.

Yes, those shiny circles are CD’s hanging from a citrus tree and believe it or not, they do help keep birds away from the fruit. You see, birds don’t like reflective surfaces, like those on CD’s. Pie plates and foil strips also work well when tied in a tree.

When my newly planted peach tree started producing peaches, the birds soon started eating the fruit. So, I headed indoors and grabbed some old CD’s that I no longer listen too and tied them to my tree.

It worked like magic. I never saw another bird near my peach tree and I later had a nice harvest of delicious peaches.

Once you harvest your fruit, remove your shiny objects and save them for the next year. This is a great solution to deterring birds while not harming them using items you already have.

If you don’t want shiny things in your fruit trees, you can try offering them an alternative food source like bird seed in another are of your garden, far from your trees.

How about you? Do you have problems with birds eating your fruit? What bird-friendly methods have you tried to keep them away?

Breaking news

Ripe raspberries are irresistible to humans and wildlife alike.

Fresh tree-ripened fruit is delicious – and the birds know it as well as we do.

Here’s how to beat them to your harvest.

1. Bird netting
Cover rows of berries with rolls of netting draped over hoops before your fruit shows any hint of ripening, or the birds will beat you to every berry. Pack it away again in autumn – letting the birds back in to eat any leftover fruit and bugs and slugs.

SHERYN CLOTHIER Ripening raspberries protected behind bird netting.

* 3 DIY aphid sprays
* Grow your own cherries
* How to grow your own basil

The mosquito nets sold to drape above a bed are another way to protect crops from birds. They cover a small tree nicely and supply an opening for access. Clothes pegs can be used around the base to make them fully bird-proof but just leaving them draped is enough to protect most crops.

SHERYN CLOTHIER The framework of this tree cage keeps the ripening fruit out of range of hungry birds.

Keep the netting away from the tree if you can or birds will eat the fruit through the net.

2. Fruit cages
For a more permanent solution plant particularly vulnerable crops like blueberries, raspberries and cherries inside fruit cages. They are very effective but can be costly and high maintenance.

A design that can be opened to allow off-season access for birds to clean up pests is an advantage.

SHERYN CLOTHIER A purpose-built berry house is a dream for many gardeners.

3. Plastic bags
Ripe figs are targeted by silvereyes and wasps. Cut the corners off sealable bags (for air flow) and fix them over nearly mature fruit. This not only keeps the birds off but helps them ripen. Pick when they’re ready then move the bag on.

For larger fruit use a shopping bag. Simply knot the handles over a cluster of fruit or randomly throughout the tree. The flapping deters the birds.

SHERYN CLOTHIER A ziplock bag makes a mini glasshouse to protect a fig while it ripens.

4. Bird scarers
There are a huge range of bird scarers, nets, water cannons and even poisons for sale.

Home-made spinning CDs, webs of nylon line and other elaborate devices all work – for a while. But hunger makes birds brave, and eventually they get past their fear.

SHERYN CLOTHIER Flapping plastic bags deter foraging birds.

5. Decoy crops
It’s worth planting enough fruit trees to share as birds add life and movement to our gardens and play an important role as pest controllers and pollinators.

Plant alternative fruit and berries that attract birds away from the crops you are keen to harvest for yourself. Mulberries, capulin cherries, American cranberries (Viburnum trilobum), elderberries and hackberries are decoy crops that birds find a tastier alternative to plums, peaches, apples and pears.

SHERYN CLOTHIER A harrier hawk bird scarer flying over an orchard.

Fruit above picking height on large trees can be left for the birds. Commercial growers use this strategy too – simply by planting an extra ring of their crop (in this case blueberries) around the perimeter and leaving those for the birds.

NZ Gardener

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Wildlife friendly netting

Fatal attraction

Native animals, increasingly displaced from their natural habitat by tree clearing and extreme weather, are resorting to flowering and fruiting trees in our gardens.

Tree netting is a popular way to protect fruit from wildlife, particularly in urban areas, but the wrong type of netting can be deadly. Hungry animals are easily caught in ‘bird netting’, which has a mesh size greater than 1cm square. Wildlife friendly netting should have a mesh size of less than 5 mm.

The rescue statistics show that most animals die with horrific injuries or require long term care before release.

Tragic tangles

Birds, bats, lizards, snakes and the occasional possum are the main victims of inappropriate netting. Animals become tangled in large mesh netting and cannot free themselves. While struggling to escape, the net cuts ever deeper into the animal.

Net disposal

Like ghostnets in the ocean, unwanted netting can continue to maim and kill. Ensure that discarded netting cannot become a hazard to wildlife.

Tree netting guide

2 ways to protect your backyard fruit and wildlife

1. Protecting individual fruit.
Search online for ‘fruit protection bags’, look for Green Harvest and The Native Shop for a range of bags and sleeves. Plastic garden pots can also be useful.

2. Protecting the whole tree.
We recommend a densely woven net that will not trap wildlife and doesn’t need a frame, such as the Fruit Saver nets, Hail Guard or Vege Net. These nets are all white – the colour best seen by animals at night. Go to our website for videos about these nets and other ideas.

The right netting

Our ‘finger test’ – choose netting that you cannot poke your finger through. The mesh size should be less than 5 mm.

For smaller trees up to 13m in circumference, we recommend Fruit Saver nets, available in 2 sizes.

For larger trees, buy Hail Guard off the roll from Fernland Agencies www.fernland.com.au and Vege Net in 2 sizes from www.greenharvest.com.au.

3 good nets which pass the ‘finger test’

Fruitsaver
2 sizes for small and medium trees

Hail Guard
Off 6 m roll

Vege net
2 sizes, 6m x 10m and 6m x 20m

Fruit Saver Fruit Tree Nets

This fitted box-shaped net has a long skirt that gathers around the trunk of the tree.

The 2mm woven mesh excludes fruit fly and codling moth as well as birds, bats and possums. It has only a 15% shade factor and is currently best bought online at: www.fruittreenets.info

Helpful hints

Choose a smaller variety of fruit tree that is easy to protect, prune and harvest

  • Use a supporting frame to protect the tree from the weight of the net, and prevent birds pecking fruit through the net
  • Consider how you will access your fruit inside the net, Fruit Saver nets have an access flap for this
  • The base of the net should be secured to the trunk of the tree or to the ground to prevent wildlife getting inside
  • Remove nets promptly after fruiting to prevent damage to new growth
  • Check your nets regularly. If an animal is caught visit www.fauna.org.au to find a wildlife carer in your area.

Leading the way

Some hardware stores in Australia have taken the lead and stopped selling netting that is potentially harmful to wildlife. Ask your local supplier to stock only fruit tree netting that passes the ‘finger test’ – netting that you cannot poke your finger through.

For more information

Visit www.wildlifefriendlyfencing.com and look for the link to the netting page. Get up-to-date information including instructional videos showing how to net your trees in a wildlife friendly way.

Information reproduced with permission from Tolga Bat Hospital

If you’re growing trees that are starting to bear fruit, you’ll want to take steps to protect them from hungry birds arriving this spring–deterrents like bird netting for trees. A wide variety of birds are attracted to fruit trees, everything from bluebirds to woodpeckers. They’ll peck and poke and eat everything on a branch, letting many fruit hit the ground to rot.

Yes, you can scare birds by banging pots and pans or blasting them with a water hose. But they’ll return as soon as you go back in the house. The other problem is that pest birds often poop where they eat, so even if your fruit is un-pecked, it could be covered with bird poop. And as you may or may not know, bird droppings can carry any of 60 infectious diseases–like salmonella. One effective solution suggested by the bird control experts at Bird-B-Gone is bird netting for trees.

Tree Netting for Birds is Effective

Recommended by bird control professionals, bird netting for trees can be most effective in protecting ripening fruit. It keeps bird pests from nesting in small trees and prevents them from pecking at fruit hanging from branches. Keep in mind that birds are territorial creatures. If they nested in your fruit trees last year, they’ll return this year. Bird netting seals bird pests out, physically denying them access to your fruit.

Bird Netting for Trees is Easy to Install

Light and easy to handle, Bird-B-Gone’s Garden Bird Netting is available in 14 x 100-foot and 14 x 200-foot rolls. It can easily be cut down to the size you need using ordinary scissors. The netting even comes in three different mesh sizes. Choose the 1/4″ mesh for small birds, 1/2″ mesh for medium sized birds, and 3/4″ mesh for large birds. With two or more people, the netting is simple to drape over your trees. Bird-B-Gone recommends using their handy bird netting clips to keep the netting taut and in place.

Garden Bird Netting for Trees is Durable and Versatile

Bird-B-Gone’s Garden Bird Netting is fabricated from a durable, UV-protected polypropylene material that will hold up under prolonged exposure to sun and rain. This netting is built to last and virtually invisible (so it won’t impact the aesthetic look of your garden). Its also highly versatile. You can install Garden Bird Netting on a temporary basis if your pest bird problems are only seasonal, or you can install the netting permanently to provide protection all year for your fruit trees.

Keep in mind that the longer you wait to install bird netting for trees, the more you’ll risk pest birds damaging your fruit. The key is to be proactive and block the birds before they settle on your trees.

Bird-B-Gone is the worlds largest manufacturer and distributor of bird control products, providing effective and humane solutions to a bird-free environment. The company provides advice, training and installation services for those who need help with these and other bird control measures.

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