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Controlling Pest Birds in the Home Garden

Birds in the Garden - Prevention and Control

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Controlling Pest Birds in the Home Garden

Scarecrow meets a young Beauty in the Garden

BlendImages, courtesy of Getty Images
Birds gobble up insect pests in the garden yet they also eat entire fruits and vegetables or pick at them, making them inedible or totally unattractive for the gardener's table. Therefore, the focus of pest control in the garden is to protect plants or trees from bird predation through physical barriers or by employing methods that cause the potential bird goodies to be less appealing.

Bushes, vines and small trees can be covered with netting, or ground crops with floating row covers. Scarecrows, artificial owls and snakes, mylar balloons with streamers, flashing lights, shiny pie plates and noisemakers such as portable radios can keep out the winged marauders if mounted on a fence or placed directly within or over the crop and relocated every few days.

Birds can be sent packing by pruning trees so that the tree centers near the garden are open and potential nesting sites are removed.

Finally, if you cannot beat them, join them by planting alternative food sources such as ryegrass, holly, blackberry or thistle next to your garden or by allowing a strip of native weeds to flourish beyond your garden border.

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