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How to Protect Strawberry Plants From Birds

By Karen Carter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Birds can do serious damage to your strawberry plants. They run among the berry plants and eat the berries off the plant. It can be unpleasant to find that your strawberry crop has been wiped out by birds. Most birds are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so you can not harm the culprits. The best protection for small fruit plants is netting. A net costs more than other protection measures, but will last 3 to 10 years.

Pound in two wooden stakes 6 inches into the ground with a hammer on each end of the strawberry bed. This provides support for each end of the netting.

Place another stake 6 inches into the ground every 4 feet down the long side of the bed. These stakes keep the netting several inches off of the strawberry plants, which prevents the birds from harvesting the berries through the netting.

Spread the bird netting evenly across the top of the stakes. It is important that all sides of the netting reach the ground. If the netting does not fit, then purchase the size that will fit the dimensions of your strawberry bed.

Anchor the netting to the ground by placing bricks or large rocks every 2 to 3 feet along the edge. Keep the netting tight over the stakes. This will prevent the netting from being blown away by the wind and keep the birds from sneaking in under the edges.

Roll the netting back starting from one of ends when harvesting the berries. Once you reach the halfway point, put the netting back in its original position. Move to the other end of the strawberry bed and repeat the net rolling. Remember to always replace the bird netting to keep the protection in place.

 

Things You Will Need

  • 8 wooden stakes 18 inches long
  • Hammer
  • Bird netting 7.5 feet by 15 feet
  • 12 bricks

Tip

  • Keep your bird deterrents animated as much as possible. Still objects like a scarecrow or an owl statue will only work until the birds discover that they are not a threat. The more lifelike the threat, the longer the bird control measure will work.

Warning

  • Do not place the net directly on top of the plants. The birds will perch on the netting and eat the strawberries through the mesh.

About the Author

 

Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.