can be their own form of pest control
, eating bugs from the garden while plants grow, but once fruit begins to ripen, birds can become a pest in their own right. After waiting all season to find your first tomatoes pecked by birds can be disheartening and aggravating. But even if you're not a bird-lover, you don't want to kill them. Manage birds using organic controls.
Although they have amazing natural instincts, birds just aren't as smart as us. Use that to your advantage. They're only trying to find food, so the best way to deter them from the garden is to encourage them to find food elsewhere. Decoys and homemade solutions keep the birds away and nobody gets hurt.
- Hang fake plastic fruit from trees or on sticks in the garden in spring. As birds start pecking around and find that the fruit isn't real, they will lock it in their memory and not bother with the real fruits when they come in.
- Give the birds their own food. Hang a feeder away from the garden. When birds have options, they'll go for the sure thing---bird seed.
- Moving objects scare birds. Pinwheels or other wind-powered trinkets are easy controls. Place these items near the plants that seem to be most attractive to birds.
- Predator decoys can also scare birds away. A large phony owl or rubber snake will make the birds think twice about landing in the garden. Just be sure to move it every few days so the birds don't catch on.
- Apply Tanglefoot paste to areas where birds roost. This sticky solution will not hurt birds but makes landing spots around your home and garden less comfortable, and therefore less attractive.
- Birds don't like shiny things, like tin foil, cassette tapes or tinsel. Put these around the garden (and on your roof.) The sun's reflection off these items will fool the birds into thinking something is moving.
As you can see, the term "bird brain" isn't far from the truth. Control birds
with simple things to trick their little minds and train them to stay out of your garden.