how to cover blueberries from birds

I was wondering what other options there are besides expensive net-cage setups that may not be appropriate for certain venues.

For example, has tried paper bags or nylon stockings etc to seal the fruit until maturity for protection, like is done with grapes etc? Do BBs need sun shinning on fruit to ripen? Sponsored

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Preventing damage from birds is best achieved by keeping them out of the area with protective netting. Covering established plants with netting is a laborious task that may even test Job’s endurance. This fact sheet outlines a successful and reasonably simple method for supporting and applying netting on blueberries. I’ll also discuss two other, more recent approaches to preventing bird damage.

The structure should be high enough to accommodate these tall plants and make it easy to walk under the netting while harvesting fruit, as blueberries often grow to be six feet tall or higher. I advise getting 4 X 4 inch pressure-treated posts that are 9 to 10 feet long and burying them at least 2 1/2 feet into the ground. This depth is suitable for strength and to lessen wintertime heaving. Recommended spacing between posts is 15 to 18 feet. The post spacing in my 18 by 36-foot blueberry planting is shown in Figure 1. Cut off the tops of two-liter plastic beverage containers, then cover each post with one of them. This will shield the netting from the sharp edges and top of the posts. In addition to being crossed in the middle, the wire is strung between the posts. I use synthetic and flexible grape trellis wire (Ambergs Nursery, Stanley, NY) but #11 or #12 galvanized wire will also work. After being cut, four pieces of wire are strung to the corner posts.

Each wire length ought to be sufficient to span the space between the posts plus an additional eight feet on either end. Similarly, two wire segments are cut to intersect the planting (Figure 1) To allow for free and easy movement of all wires, all wire is positioned on top of the posts and then loosely fastened with fence post staples. On each wire, one or two bricks are fastened or tied so that they hang about a foot above the ground. The wires will always be taught thanks to this arrangement, regardless of the temperature. Bricks and wires are components of the building’s permanent structure.

Installation of the wire over the blueberries is relatively easy. The netting is unrolled near the planting. Usually, I gather it to a maximum width of three feet. After that, the gathered net is pulled up on the wires that cross the post and pulled along the planting’s length, as shown by the arrows (Figure 1). After that, the net is squared, stretched across the wire and posts, and given room to fall on all sides. In particular, sly and greedy birds will burrow beneath the net if it is not fastened. I protect the edges from these hostile birds by using firewood pieces.

You can use an item straight from the grocery store to keep birds away. Grape-flavored Kool-Aid contains a grape compound called methyl anthranilate. Birds find the compound’s flavor to be extremely repulsive. When the fruit starts to turn color and attract birds, use a solution made from four grape Kool-Aid packets per gallon of water to repel birds from blueberries, cherries, and grapes. Several applications during the season may be necessary. Additionally, this product is offered as an ARe-Jex-It@ bird repellent. Although this is an effective approach, it is advised to combine it with another method if there is a lot of bird pressure.

Has anyone tried sealing fruit until it reaches maturity using materials like paper bags or nylon stockings, as is done with grapes, etc.? Do BBs require sunlight to ripen fruit? Sponsored

What alternatives are there to pricey net-cage arrangements that might not be suitable for some venues?

Spray Plants with Table Sugar

Birds have no trouble breaking down simple monosaccharide sugars like fructose and glucose found in fruit, but many are deficient in the enzymes needed to break down disaccharides like sucrose (table sugar). According to recent research from Cornell University, spraying plants with a sucrose solution greatly decreased bird damage to blueberries. Five pounds of sugar were dissolved by researchers in two quarts of water. It was necessary to first heat the water in order to dissolve all of the sugar. This provided 1 gallon of spray solution. When the blueberries began to ripen, this was sprayed on the plants. It was necessary to reapply the solution after a rain.

Methyl anthranilate and sucrose are effective deterrents. However, it is advised that these be used in conjunction with scare tactics like terror eye balloons to achieve better control in years when bird pressure is high.


How can I keep birds from eating my blueberries?

If not controlled, hungry birds may devour most of the crop. Scare devices are sometimes helpful. However, netting is the most effective way to protect the crop. Netting should be placed over the plants when the fruit begin to color.

What can I use to cover blueberry bushes?

Install Netting or Cages Netting is one of the most simple yet effective solutions for protecting your berries from unwanted pests and animals. However, there are a few common issues you might run into.

What is the best bird netting for blueberries?

Most blueberry farmers use the 3/4″ mesh to protect their blueberry crops. Depending on the birds that are attacking your plants, the 3/4″ mesh should be sufficient.