do birds eat pepper plant leaves

A well-balanced garden includes beautiful vegetable plants and the right wildlife to encourage pollination. While youre likely more than willing to welcome bees and worms into your yard to help support your pepper growth, too many birds can be a problem. Some birds will eat pepper plants, especially if there are any insects on or near them. Whats more, even when birds just roost on your pepper plants, the chances of them damaging the plant are high. To stop birds from engaging in this activity, youll want to consider strategies like netting and visual deterrents to keep them away.

Birds eat all types of peppers. In some cases, the bright colors attract birds, encouraging them to peck at the peppers. They tend to be good for a birds health since they are high in beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and potassium. Even if you plant hot peppers, birds are still likely to munch on them. They cant taste the spice of these peppers but benefit from the nutrients in them. Birds like peppers so much that some people plant them to encourage more avian visitors in their yards.

However, from the pepper plant standpoint, birds are problematic. They create small holes in the peppers, causing them to rot long before they are ripe enough for you to pick them. The rotting vegetable also attracts pests, which can worsen the health of the plant. Not planning for the threat of birds is one mistake you can make when growing peppers.

Before you start laughing too much, I had this issue with some sunflower plants last year. The medium-sized seedlings were being eaten, and whatever was eating them was vicious. There was no evidence of snail slime, and the pattern of bites didn’t resemble that of any other pest. Ultimately, it was evident to me when I actually observed the birds eating away while perched on the plants. In fact, there are numerous accounts of finches acting in this manner online if you search for them. I even wrote a letter to our Master Gardeners website asking for advice on what to do with the birds, but it was not answered. I suspect they thought it was a joke.

Is this type of bird damage common? A search on this website turns up nothing. I suppose properly supported netting might work, but that would be a real pain. If anyone has experienced this issue, what remedies work to resolve it?

When it comes to the amount of damage these guys can do at once, they are far more destructive than snails or slugs. Sponsored.

A few days ago, I discovered significant damage on the first pepper I planted—a Shishito that I received from a friend. The entire plant was hunched over and parts of the leaves were not only consumed, but they were also ripped off (i e. kinked). Probably 2/3 of the plant was gone. I staked it, but I seriously doubt it will survive. I suspect it was those same finches. The attack site was a few feet from the sunflowers from the previous year.

Create a protective barrier to keep birds out

Using a barrier is the best way to keep your pepper plants safe. If growing peppers in a greenhouse isn’t an option, think about using butterfly or bird netting instead. You can also use mesh placed around the plants. Chicken wire with small holes can work well. This allows for ample sunlight while limiting birds access. It can be useful to use a tomato stake covered in netting because it gives you easy access to the peppers and doesn’t unduly restrict the plant’s growth.

Use an arch-style barrier with netting over the top if you have a row of pepper plants in your garden to protect the plants. This makes it very simple to let sunlight and water in while keeping other pests out because you can do it all at once for the entire row. Remember that this prevents pollinators from reaching the plants, so think about using this netting technique once your plants have flowered and are starting to produce peppers. Because birds will attempt to get into the netting, it must be securely fastened to the structure and pulled taut. Keep peppers in containers near the house where birds are less likely to visit if that’s how you intend to grow them. The same techniques for netting or wiring can be applied to your container plants.

FAQ

What is eating my pepper plants leaves?

“It could be a couple of different things. Rabbits and deer both love munching on pepper plants. To keep the deer out of your garden, try dusting the plants with sulfur dust. That said, the most likely culprit is the tomato hornworm. I have had some pepper over the years almost totally defoliated by them.”

Are pepper plants toxic to birds?

Certain plants in the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers) may be safe for birds to consume, but pet parents should observe not to feed any part of the plant.

Are pepper leaves toxic to animals?

Some plants that we eat without a second thought can be bad news for our dogs and cats. Did you know that members of the onion family are a no-no? Or that potatoes, tomatoes and peppers have toxic leaves and stems.