Bird Repellent Scare Discs, Tapes, Rods, Gels etc. - How to Protect the Berries?
Berries are great tasting and refreshing fruits, and that is why we grow them - we know that, but also the birds know that too.
Birds can be very useful for every gardener, but when the berries start to ripen, birds can make plenty of damage, even destroy entire harvest.
Bird repellent discs, tapes, rods, gels and similar aids can help keep the harvest for ourselves.
When protecting the berries and other crops in the backyard garden, there are few conditions, IMHO of course, that the bird repellent has to meet:
- it has to be free of harmful chemicals,
- it has to be safe for pets and kids (and adults, of course),
- it has to be easily applied, aesthetically acceptable (to say the least),
- it has to be efficient.
Note: bird nets are excellent barrier and are very efficient. However, bird nets restrict access to the berries to humans, too, so in the period of prolonged harvest, it can be daunting task to pick the berries under/behind the nets - especially for the kids.
Here are few bird repellents that are commonly used and that can be very efficient in protecting the juicy and tasty berries from hungry birds:
Bird Repellent Spikes
Bird repellent spikes act as physical barrier for birds to land. Spikes are usually made of stainless steel and placed on the surfaces where birds tend to land.
Spikes don't have to sharp to prevent the birds from landing on their favorite position.
Nonetheless, personally, I don't like it and I, author of this article, can't recommend them.
But, I have to mention them.
Bird spikes can cause harm to birds, pets, kids, humans - they don't contain chemicals, but accidents to happen and I don't want to have these things in my garden.
Bird Repellent Liquids and Gels
Bird repellent liquids and gels are chemicals that are applied onto different surfaces where birds might land or land near by.
Bird repellent liquids are usually applied by the paintbrushes and makes surfaces tacky and uncomfortable to birds.
Bird repellent gels (most often polybutene gel) are applied in the form of beads and can deter the birds up to year after being applied.
Bird repellent liquids and gels efficiency depends on the environment and the amount of airborne debris and contaminants - if the liquids and gels are covered by, for example fallen leaves, their efficiency can be significantly decreased.
Bird Mechanical Repellers
Bird mechanical repellers are usually electric devices with moving parts that scare away the birds.
Most common mechanical repellers are spinning repellers with moving arms/antennas - as the arms/antennas spin around they scare the birds away.
Although such devices can be very efficient in protecting small areas, they can't protect larger areas.
However, some people combine spinning repellers with bird repellent scare tapes, rods and/or discs with good results.
Ultrasonic Bird Repellers
Ultrasonic bird repellers are electronic devices that emit sonic/ultrasonic sounds that scare the birds away.
Ultrasonic bird repellers often combine both strobe lights and ultrasonic sounds in order to increase their efficiency.
Also, some electronic bird repellers feature scan technology and are active only when they detect the birds approaching protected area.
Although this can cause fault-positive 'alarms' or some birds can even pass unnoticed, sudden burst of light and ultrasonic sound definitely can scare even the bravest birds.
Ultrasonic bird repellers are often combined with bird repellent scare tapes, rods and/or discs.
Bird Repellent Scare Discs
Bird repellent scare discs are reflective discs that are very easy to install - just hang them near the crops, making sure that at least some of them are in the sunlight.
Discs reflect not only sunlight scarring away the birds, but they also distract background where the birds intend to land or at least fly near by.
Repellent scare discs are free of chemicals and can be even very decorative. They don't cause any harm to the birds, pets, humans, crops etc.
Bird Repellent Reflective Scare Rods
Bird repellent reflective scare rods are metallic or holographic, spiral rods that are most commonly hanged around the crops.
Direct sunlight and light breeze with multiple reflection points scare the birds away, not allowing them to adapt to the environment.
Bird repellent reflective scare rods are not toxic and safe to birds, pets, kids and adults.
Also, they tend to be aesthetically very pleasing, especially when light breeze makes them slightly swing on the sunlight - and while you enjoy them, birds don't :)
Bird repellent reflective scare rods can be also stuck in the ground, but then it loses some of its efficiency.
Note: hanging rods are very similar to hanging spirals or rotating pinwheels, but they all have very similar operation and they all can be very decorative, too.
Bird Repellent Scare Tapes
Bird repellent scare tape is metallic or holographic tape that scares the birds by reflecting the sunlight, moving erratically by the wind and by creating sounds when being moved.
Bird repellent scare tape are simply cut off to desired length and wrapped and tied around branches, or above the property we are trying to protect.
Scare tapes come in different sizes and colors, and perhaps the best option is to try few of them - after all, they are rather cheap.
Bird repellent scare tapes are non-toxic and safe to the birds, pets, kids, adults ...
Bird Repellent Scare Kits
Bird repellent scare kits usually contain a combination of several items commonly used to scare the birds, without harming them.
One of the most popular is the combination of reflective rods, tapes, and sound making devices.
Such combination of scare repellents are usually more than enough to keep the birds away.
Even if you don't have garden, placing a reflective tape (or reflective owl) near the windows can save the birds by preventing them of hitting the windows at full speed - large number of birds die every year this way.
Long Story Short: If Your berries are good for the birds, chances are that they are good for you, too :)
Using non-toxic, chemical free bird scare repellents can save the harvest and keep these lovely pests (but still pests!) away, at least until the harvest is done.
There is no foolproof protection from the birds, except the bird protective nets. But, using bird repellent scare liquids, gels, tapes, rods etc. can save plenty of berries from hungry birds.
If possible, combine several methods and find what works for You best.