While not all birds are nuisances in the garden, some can be destructive, digging up seeds or feeding on seedlings and mature crops. Protecting your crops from birds and other pests can be a difficult task especially if you are considering natural methods, but there are numerous strategies that may work. Read on further to see which might be the best method for you.
Flashing lights, mirrors and even aluminium foil – things that catch the sunlight will scare most animals away. Loud noises and sounds, for example line tape that hums as the wind passes by can also deter birds. Scarecrows or rubber snakes placed around crops are also great at frightening birds away and some people say birds are usually thirsty rather than hungry, so you could try installing a bird bath or water source near the crop. Remove any access points such as overhanging branches to stop birds or possums having easy access to your fruit and vegies.
Birds, like any other hungry creatures, are usually looking for an easy meal. Try giving them a food source so that they aren’t tempted to get into your garden or crop. You could try:
- Leaving one or two berry bushes or fruit trees uncovered for them to attack
- Grow plants that naturally attract birds like sunflowers, juniper and mulberry – just slightly away from your crop
There are traps designed to lure and kill adult fruit flies. Some traps are used to monitor fruit fly numbers only, indicating if fruit flies are active in your area and when you need to act. Other traps control fruit fly populations by catching females as well as males.
When many gardeners and farmers think about crop protection, netting is often one of the first things that springs to mind. When done correctly, it’s an extremely effective solution for keeping pesky threats away from precious crops. There are many forms of netting on the market, all of various qualities and mesh sizes. From cheap, single strand DIY plastic netting, to double woven nylon to commercial grade fruit fly netting and fauna nets, the size of the mesh will be dependent on the size of the pests you are wanting protection from. There’s netting suitable for protecting fruit trees and vegetables from birds, flying foxes and some insect pests. Safe to wildlife due to the small mesh size, netting is one of the best ways to combat pests attacking your crops. Some specific crop protection nets include:
- Fruit Fly Netting – a commercial netting widely used in the farming sector and ideal for permanent netting structures, it will keep out moths, caterpillars as well as flies and fruit flies. Also offers some protection from sun and wind.
- Veggie Net – for protection of vegetable gardens or to cover fruit trees while they have fruit on them. Versatile and cost effective, these are generally suited to seasonal rather than permanent usage.
It can be frustrating, waiting patiently for your fruit to ripen or for your crops to grow, only to see birds, fruit flies and other pests damaging and destroying them before you get a chance to harvest. Install some protection and you can make sure that you can enjoy your harvest throughout the season. Commercial Netmakers are Perth’s experts in providing Australia with high quality, durable custom made nets. For the best fruit fly netting, veggie nets, fauna nets and safety nets Perth has to offer, contact us today on (08) 9434 6000.