UCCE Orange County Master Gardeners
University of California
UCCE Orange County Master Gardeners

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Keeping Birds, Squirrels, and Opossums From Eating Blueberries

Hotline Answer:

Recommendations to protect the fruit range from netting the fruit trees or bushes to noisemakers and trapping the birds. It would appear that the most effective way to reduce bird damage to the blueberry bushes is netting.  You can prevent access of birds to ripening fruit by placing 1/4- to 1/2-inch mesh plastic netting over the plant. It is best to attach the netting to a frame that holds it away from the bushes to avoid birds accessing the fruit at the outer edges of the canopy.  Additional details can be found at:  http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74152.html.

If squirrels prove to be a huge problem, they can be managed in several ways: trapping, fumigation and through the use of toxic baits.   The University of California Pest Note on Ground Squirrels provides information and details at: 
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7438.html

Opossums come out at night.   They can be controlled by blocking ways into your garden, trapping them, or through the use of motion activated devices.  The UC Pest Note on opossums can be found at: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74123.html.

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