how to protect strawberries from birds and squirrels

How to Protect Strawberries

We decided to try growing a mini “test” strawberry patch this year, just to see if we could get this thing figured out and I love what we came up with! A few weekends ago, I started insisting that we needed to find some kind of solution for putting a mesh screening over our strawberries ASAP. They were about to start ripening at any moment and I didn’t want to be too late to the game and lose all of our precious strawberries!

Typically, Chris and I have to collaborate on small gardening tasks like this, which means that one of us plays tractor games with Jack in the sandbox while the other has free time to work. I told Chris that this was his top priority that weekend while I played with my tractor because I really just wanted him to build a very basic frame and cover it with some plastic mesh that we already had in the garage, so it shouldn’t have been too big of a deal. Since he creates exquisite covers for strawberries, it goes without saying that he did just that!

He took up some small 1X1 decking pieces and, as I mentioned earlier, used up the mesh we already had. The 1X1 wood is actually pressure treated, but for some reason it looks suspiciously like cedar, and it’s really pretty. Yay for one less item in the garage! .

There are two noteworthy aspects of this image. Among them is the way he constructed a distinct frame for the strawberry cover box’s exterior and interior, then inserted mesh between them to make it extremely secure. If you would rather, a single frame will do; simply staple the mesh to the frame.

We live in an urban setting. It’s an older community with streets lined with trees and well-kept landscaping. You would swear that you are in the country rather than in a city of 140,000 people if you were to stroll around the backyard. We are surrounded by large, old trees and thick hedges. Our neighbors along the fence line are obscured from view by the foliage. It’s a beautiful place, but in those trees lies our enemy. Squirrels!.

Since we haven’t lost any fruit to the tiny, furry rodents, this harvest has been our best one yet. I’m not sure, but I think we’ve finally outwitted the squirrels thanks to our Plan B.

Of course, when we covered the strawberries with netting, we believed that we had outwitted them. But to get at the ripe berries, those cunning little rodents simply reached through the netting—and in some cases, chewed through it. So much for Plan A.

The lids that rest atop the supports are the last components to be constructed. They are wooden frames covered in chicken wire, just like the other pieces. This image shows lids positioned atop the supports. It takes about 15 minutes to assemble the entire cage from beginning to end. It was time well spent, in our opinion, to safeguard our strawberries. I just take off the lids one at a time and harvest by going through that area and selecting ripe fruit.

My engineer husband was not willing to lose the war. After giving it some thought, he concluded that enclosing the bed in a cage would be the best way to prevent the squirrels from getting to the strawberries. In order to keep the squirrels out of the cage, it needed to be covered, but the covering needed to let light and rain through. In order for us to remove weeds, thin plants, and gather berries, it also needed to be movable and disassemble into separate parts. (Moreover, the system needed to be able to be packed up because we didn’t want to keep the cage outside all year.) ).

Tired of birds and other pests devouring your strawberries before you get to pick them?  Here’s the best way to protect strawberries and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

This is only the second time we have ever attempted to grow strawberries, but we are already approximately 10,000% more successful as a result of this trick we used to protect the fruit. When we first planted our little strawberry patch a few years ago, I don’t think we even harvested a single strawberry, and it was all because of those annoying birds that took them as soon as they turned red!

Actually, I think it’s great that there are so many birds on our property. I enjoy listening to them sing in the early morning hours and watching them hop around in the grass. In the spring, I also enjoy seeing tiny bird nests everywhere I look! The only thing about them that bothers me is when they steal my strawberries!


How do I keep birds from eating my strawberries?

The simplest cover is a bird net thrown over some supports in your strawberry patch. The supports can be stakes driven into the soil, jute strung between trellises or from a fence to the ground, or upturned 5-gallon buckets. Just make sure the supports are tall enough to prevent the net from crushing your plants.

How can I stop animals from eating my strawberries?

Squirrels are also a nuisance when growing of strawberries, as they like to feed on ripe berries. For keeping them off from eating berries, wrap netting around the plants during fruiting. Once harvested the strawberries, remove the netting, so the birds can eat any unwanted insect pests on the plants.

What is eating my strawberries at night?

Slugs are often responsible for nibbling holes into fruits. Mary Jane Duford from Home for the Harvest claims they are easiest to observe at night in cool weather and the signs can be obvious, with trails of slime on the plants as well as ‘feeding damage’ on leaves on berries.