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Protect Your Garden Against Pest Birds
5/10/2016 8:59 AM
It takes work to till, plant and weed a garden. But the results are worth it—flowers, fruits and vegetables you can proudly share with family and friends. The problem is birds. They like your garden too.
Pest Birds Can Destroy a Garden
Without effective bird controls, pest birds like sparrows, swallows, pigeons and crows can wreak havoc on your garden. Songbirds will show no mercy to your broccoli, corn, green peas, snap peas, apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, currants, grapes, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries and strawberries. You'll know you have a problem if patches of young seedlings completely disappear, or the tops of your young plants are chewed off, or if you notice bites taken out of the berries as they ripen.
Mocking birds, orioles and thrashers, for example, will eat your oranges. Bluebirds, finches, robins and waxwings love to feast on grapes. Starlings will go after your cherries. Regardless of the fruit you’re growing, there’s a bird that will “beat you to the pickin.” Birds also won't hesitate to crater your lawn while they dig for bugs. In times of drought, birds will eat many different fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes and melons.
Lethal Means of Bird Control Are Often Illegal
Some homeowners are tempted to resort to lethal bird control measures. Poisons (avicides) should not be used, since they can be ingested by pets and pose additional hazards to adults and children. These lethal substances are also tightly controlled by the government, and many species of birds are protected, so their use is highly restricted. The use of firearms, even pellet guns, should also be avoided, since they pose harm and possible injury to neighbors, pets and property. Trapping birds is one option, but this method won't stop other birds from invading your garden. If your garden is attractive for roosting and nesting, they'll just keep coming.
The hard truth is that unless you implement some effective bird control measures, you’re just growing fruits and vegetables for the birds. To save your garden, here are some inexpensive and humane strategies the bird control experts at Absolute Bird Control recommend:
Make Your Garden Less Attractive to Pest Birds
To deter pest birds from your garden, start by removing their easy access to food and water—including pools of standing water after rains or sprinkler use. Convince your family (especially kids and grandma/grandpa) to stop feeding any birds. These early “scouts” will bring flocks to your garden. So make sure trash containers are tightly closed, and clean any food scraps around tables, benches and chairs. Finally, deny birds access to nesting and roosting sites around your property by sealing all openings to eaves, lofts, steeples and vents.
Create a Visual Distraction Zone for Pest Birds
To deter pest birds from your garden, create a visual distraction zone around it. Absolute Bird Control offers a number of economical products that will harmlessly alarm or distract pest birds. Here are five you should consider:
- Flash Tape. This tape comes in 50-foot rolls and is made of iridescent foil that’s easily cut into short strips. Affixed to high visibility areas of your garden, the strips snap in the wind and reflect sunlight to make birds too nervous to stay.
- Bird Scare Diverters. These teardrop-shaped deterrents intimidate pest birds with a predator eye on a reflective surface. A swivel attachment allows the diverter to rotate 360° for added effectiveness. Attach to fences, trees and patio covers.
- Bird Scare Balloons. Covered with lifelike reflective predator eyes and markings, these balloons are 16-inches in diameter (about he size of a standard beach ball). Pest birds take one look at those big bright eyes and think they're about to be attacked by a giant predator. Made of UV-resistant and weather-resistant vinyl. Attach to fences, trees and patio covers.
- Hawk Decoys. These realistic-looking decoys stand about 17 inches tall to convince pest birds that a real hawk is standing by ready to strike. Made of heavy duty plastic to ensure its “live” appearance, the decoys can be placed in any high visibility area of your garden. Simply move the decoy from time to time to keep pest birds “on their toes.”