Birds and Fruit

Birds love fruit as much as we do and if you are not careful birds can get all the fruit off a tree or bush before you do. There are several ways you can ensure that you have ample fruit from your garden leaving surplus for the birds to finish off.

Many types of fruit can be picked when they are near ripe to ripen indoors. Much of the fruit sold has been picked at the near ripe stage which gives the suppliers a longer shelf life.

Fully ripe fruit can be held longer in the fridge but in doing so often the sugar levels and flavour is reduced.
Bird netting is another way to reduce bird damage but can be difficult to put over and take off many trees. Ideal for smaller fruiting bushes where you can make a frame over the bush to support the netting.

From America we have the imported ‘Bird Repeller Ribbon’ which is a highly reflected ribbon with holograms imprinted into the ribbon. The ribbon is strung between branches with twists to it so it will move more in the breeze. The light reflected from the ribbon is startling and very off putting to the birds. Over time the ribbon will fade and birds will become accustomed to it so it pays to only use it when the first sign of damage is noticed and remove it as soon as the crop has been harvested.

By using two or three of the above you should have ample fruit for your needs.

Another gardener told me that spraying Neem Tree Oil over the fruit can also deter birds.

If this is so it would be that the oil has a foul taste and an oily smell which could be off putting to our feathered friends. You would only need to wash the picked produce under a running tap to remove the oil.

Likely regular sprays about 5 days apart would be needed if it was to work.

Farming gardeners have reported that regular sprays of Neem Tree Oil have kept possums off their roses and other garden plants.

Another farmer told me that he uses the oil for fly strike in sheep and reports that it works as well as the chemicals and more pleasant to use.

One comment on “Birds and Fruit

  1. Petrina on said:

    Hi Wally,

    Iv been doing a bit of reading on Neem Oil and am rather excited about it, however I do have a reservation on one aspect and needed to ask about it. As Neem Oil can affect fertility and has been tested as a contraceptive, could its traces on/in our fruits and vege’s build up and reduce human fertility over time?

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