You can scare birds away from your blueberry bushes by coupling a few repurposed household items with ingenuity and determination. Additional birds may be shooed with the creation of a noisy, disturbing atmosphere. You can’t scare all of the birds all of the time. Backyard growers have heard for years that the only dependable way to keep birds out of their blueberry bushes is to cover the plants with netting. What they don’t always hear is that simply tossing a net over the plants isn’t going to help. The resourceful little beasts simply use such nets as handy perches while conveniently picking at your fruit through the mesh.
Create an impregnable cage around your blueberry bush before fruit begins to ripen. Use a hammer to pound ½- to 1-inch lengths of PVC pipe about 4 inches into the ground every 2 or 3 feet around the perimeter of the plant. The pipes should stand tall enough to clear the top of the blueberry plant by at least 12 to 18 inches to allow for some stretching and sagging net once they’re in the ground. Leave at least 6 to 8 inches of space between the pipes and the plant.
Toss the netting over the tops of the pipes, covering them completely all the way down to ground level. Pull and stretch the netting to eliminate saggy spots. Weigh the ends down with stones, bricks or pieces of firewood. Anything heavy and sturdy will work.
Use nylon ties to secure the netting to the PVC pipes. Anchor it to the pipes at the top, ground level and three or four places in between.
Tie strips of bright red flashing tape to the cage if you’re still nervous about marauding birds. It will flutter in random breezes and dissuade many of them from even landing to check out your homemade blueberry bush barrier.
Remove the blueberry cage after you’ve harvested your crop. Dismantle it and save the materials for next season.
Things You Will Need
- PVC pipe, ½ to 1 inch
- Stones, bricks or pieces of firewood
- Nylon ties
- Red flashing tape (optional)
- Netting is available from gardening centers and home improvement retailers. Chicken wire works well for this application, too.