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Birds & BeesPests and diseases

How to Protect Vegetables From Birds

Crop protection bird netting

ird feeding on pumpkin seeds

It’s always nice to see birds and other wildlife out in the garden until they start destroying crops. Shortly after sowing seeds, birds can become a problem in any garden. There are many bird scare methods including the trusty scarecrow that each have varying degrees of success, there is no deterrent that works in every situation. Making it difficult for them to access your vegetable garden in the first place will stop them from destroying it. This is referred to as the barrier method and includes products like bird netting and bird spikes. Psychological methods can be just as useful, hanging various small reflective items like old cds or bits of foil on a line also works as the birds can mistake the glittering for the light shining off the eyes of a predator. However, the birds can become used to them if their positioning and patterns are not changed periodically.

Repellents and Deterrents
There are quite a few bird repelling devices available, these can be placed anywhere in the garden and can cover substantial areas. The best electronic devices are the solar powered variety that emit ultrasonic signals that are uncomfortable to birds, they do not cause any lasting harm whatsoever. There are electronic repellents that quite loudly emit the sounds of hawks and eagles but these can become extremely annoying if required anywhere close to home. Various nutrient based deterrent sprays and solutions are also available. These are sprayed on the foliage of plants to make them completely unpalatable to birds and other pests, look for natural varieties of deterrent that are safe to use on food crops.

Bird scare lineBird Scare Lines
Bird Scare lines are a humane and easy to use bird repellent, they are harmless to crops, birds, and animals and are inaudible to the human ear. Bird scare line is an effective bird deterrent made of polypropylene tape, which keeps birds off crops, fruit and vegetables. It does this by emitting an ever varying sound and vibration that birds won’t go near. The sound it makes varies constantly so that birds and wildlife can not get used to it. It is safe, simple, durable and easy to use – just stretch it between two stakes or posts so that it is close to crops and it will start to emit the vibration as the wind hits it. It also deters rabbits and other pests.

Bird Netting
Bird netting is probably the most effective form of barrier protection for crops. It is a garden mesh protection net that offers excellent butterfly and bird control for your garden. It can also be used to protect garden ponds from birds and leaves. Making it difficult for birds to access your vegetable garden will stop them from destroying it, some netting placed across freshly planted seeds or seedlings will keep them away and give your garden a chance. Bird netting will also prevent butterflies from laying their eggs on your crops, these eggs turn into caterpillars which will decimate cabbage plants etc. The netting can be laid directly on the area that has been planted but it should be placed on supports to raise it off the plants once they start growing.

You can find all of these and more in the bird section of our Pest Control Shop.

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