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

Weeds & Pests

Birds in the garden

Bird damage to strawberry
Keeping fruit and vegetables away from birds can be a difficult task. It is complicated, because birds are beneficial in the garden, eating many insect pests, and should be encouraged to visit. At the same time, we want to discourage them from eating the fruits and vegetables that we want to harvest.

Protective Netting
The most effective way to reduce bird damage to small orchards, isolated trees, and vegetable gardensĀ is netting. Place 1/4- to 1/2-inch mesh plastic netting over the plant or parts of the plant with fruit. The netting can be reused, so is cost-effective.

Frightening Devices
You can also try to frighten birds away by using a combination of noisemakers and visual repellents. Rotate from one type of frightening device to another every week or so, as the birds will become used to it and ignore it. Visual repellents include shiny streamers or other shiny objects attached to the trees. Regular monitoring of bird behavior is necessary, since these will be effective for a short time only.

Read more aboutĀ managing birds in the garden.

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