How to Keep Birds Out of Your Garden
Summertime and gardens go together like peanut butter and jam; they’re quite simply a delightful combination. The only thing more enchanting than caring for a garden in the cool dawns and purple twilight hours of summer is nibbling at the fruits – literally – of your labors. No treats at any other time of year taste as sweet as fresh, crisp peas plucked from the vine or fat, drippy berries consumed by the handful. But, alas, you are not the only creature who enjoys a tasty garden walk; birds of all species adore gardens. The poet Emily Dickenson famously described “hope” as the “thing with feathers,” but surely nothing dashes all your garden hopes more thoroughly than things with feathers. If you want to have any hope at all of enjoying fresh fruits and veggies from your garden this summer, you’re going to need to take steps to keep the birds out.
Bird B Gone understands birds and gardens. We’ve got the products you need to protect your garden plots from greedy, ravenous birds. Our bird control solutions are safe, proven, and effective. Our bird control experts are prepared to help you outsmart your feathered friends with strategies that will send birds packing.
Strategy #1: Scare Them
Birds are skittish, so visual and auditory bird deterrents designed to frighten birds are an obvious first step in any bird control regimen. These deterrents use proven scare triggers like predator features, motion, sound, and reflective surfaces to generate fear sufficient to drive birds away from food, water, and shelter. These scare tactics are ideal for use in gardens; they’re low cost, easy to install, simple to maintain, and do not harm the birds at all. Used correctly and diligently, these kinds of deterrents make birds very uncomfortable.
Bird B Gone offers a variety of deterrents proven to keep birds away from your garden.
Bird predator decoys like red-tail hawks and coyotes send a clear message to birds that your property is not safe.
2. Mock Predator Eyes
The predator eye—a black pupil, yellow iris, and bright red surround—is a time-tested bird deterrent. You’ll find a variety of products designed to include this powerful visual scare tactic. The Bird B Gone Scare Balloon is particularly effective in gardens. This large, beach-ball-size, weather-resistant, vinyl balloon has predator eyes printed around the perimeter of the shiny, reflective surface. The bright colors, predator eyes, gentle movement, and reflective surface confuse and frighten birds and they will leave. The Scare Balloon has an eyelet on top for easy hanging around gardens, fruit trees, and more.
3. Holographic Flash Tape
Holographic flash tape uses light, color, and motion to frighten birds. Bird B Gone carries spools of flash tape that can easily be trimmed and hung anywhere. Inexpensive and effective, one roll of flash tape will go a long way.
The Bird Chase Super Sonic plays prerecorded distress calls designed to communicate danger to birds. Sounds can play at predetermined intervals and times for the greatest effect.
Bird deterrents are successful only when they are able to create fear substantial enough for birds to leave the easy access to food and water offered by your garden. While visual and auditory deterrents do scare birds away in the short term, they do not always scare them away long term. Said another way, scare tactics are a good place to start your bird control program, but they will rarely, especially in high-pressure settings like gardens, be sufficient on their own to control birds. The following tips are useful when beginning a bird control program utilizing these kinds of deterrents:
Visual and auditory deterrents have the greatest chance for success when used at the beginning of a bird problem; once birds get established, it becomes increasingly difficult to frighten them away from their favorite food, water, and shelter sites.
Keep Things Moving
For persistent bird problems, no single deterrent will work long-term. Birds are smart and they quickly learn that the same deterrent in the same location day after day is not a threat to their safety. For long-term protection, use a variety of visual and auditory deterrents. Switch and move them regularly to keep birds on their toes – this is especially true for the Hawk Decoy and Coyote Decoy.
Strategy #2: Irritate Them
Another effective way to encourage birds to leave is to irritate them. Methyl Anthranilate (MA) is an all-natural ingredient extracted from concord grape seeds that is like pepper spray for birds. This non-toxic substance affects the birds’ trigeminal nerve and aggravates their eyes, nose, and throat. While it’s completely harmless, birds absolutely hate it and they avoid it like the plague. You won’t notice it, beyond possibly a mild grape smell, and other animals aren’t affected either, but it will keep birds out of your garden.
Bird B Gone carries a number of products containing MA that can help you keep birds away. MA bird repellents from Bird B Gone come in a variety of strengths and formulations so you can find a solution that’s right for you.
1. AVIAN Migrate
Avian Migrate is an MA product suitable for home gardens. It contains a 14.5% solution of MA as well as a colorant visible only to birds. The smell, taste, and sight of AVIAN Migrate sends all species of birds packing they won’t want to come back. One gallon of AVIAN Migrate treats approximately 16,000 square feet or 1/3 of an acre and can be sprayed using standard equipment. Like all MA products from Bird B Gone, Avian Migrate is non-toxic and harmless to vegetation, including fruits and vegetables, and requires regular reapplication every 7-14 days. You can safely consume any produce treated with MA.
2. Avian Block
Avian Block™ from Bird B Gone is an aromatic bird repellent that disperses MA into the air using passive scent technology and safely and effectively repels all nuisance birds from garden areas. Avian Block is available in 50g granular pouches and 50g molasses blocks that can be hung from fences, trees, and shrubs in bird-infested areas. One unit will repel all species of birds for up to 6-10 feet; multiple pouches or blocks can be hung closely together to repel birds even in gardens where strong attractors such as ripening fruit are present. Both blocks and pouches remain effective for up to 3 months, depending upon exposure and weather.
Tips for Success
MA products are highly effective bird deterrents when used as directed. Combining MA products with visual and auditory deterrents is an excellent strategy; scare tactics and irritants together create a barrier that’s highly effective for keeping most birds at bay. These products are easy to use and maintain and will quickly become part of your normal gardening routine.
Strategy #3: Exclude Them
For particularly persistent pest bird problems, exclusion products are necessary. Completely excluding birds from the entire garden is generally not a viable option, but it is possible to temporarily bar access to specific plants or smaller areas. Garden netting from Bird B Gone is a light-weight, plastic mesh net that can be used to protect fruit trees, berry bushes, and gardens from pest birds. It comes in ¼” and ¾” and in a variety of lengths. In can be used in a variety of ways, including the following:
- To protect small bushes, vines and other vegetables, wrap the blueberry netting around each plant.
- To protect groups of bushes or vines, suspend the plant netting over entire areas of plants from poles placed around the perimeter of the garden or crop.
- To protect young fruit trees, drape the netting over each tree.
Tips for Success
For best success, intervene early; add netting before the fruit is ripe. Allow a four-inch space between the netting and the bush, vine, plant or tree to prevent birds from sitting on the netting and eating the fruit or vegetable through the mesh. And, as always, combine products. Scare tactics, irritants, and exclusion devices together create a powerful deterrent to birds who might otherwise be tempted to make themselves at home in your garden.
Protect Your Garden with Bird B Gone
Bird B Gone’s diverse lineup of garden repellents and deterrents has something for anyone with a bird problem, large or small. Making your space as unattractive and inhospitable to birds as possible is the name of the game and our wide selection of bird control solutions will help you win. We’ve got products and strategies to protect any garden and fit any budget.