How To Protect Commercial Blueberry Farms From Birds

cartons of blueberries

If you’re an experienced blueberry farmer, you know the struggles of invasive birds causing problems for your crops. There are many solutions that can aid in the protection of your blueberry bushes. Below is a breakdown of the most common solutions for blueberry bird control, so you can learn more about how to keep birds away from blueberries. 

Scare Tactics

One of the most common solutions for farmers is to use predatory statues. Falcons, hawks, owls, and even snake figures are one of the first lines of defense because birds will avoid an area if they feel it is unsafe.

Statues have one fatal flaw in that over time, birds will realize they are not actually in danger. Birds will start to ignore your predatory deterrents if they are not moved often. If you choose to go this route, be sure to change their location or change the statue out for another predator from time to time.

Some farmers choose to employ a local falconer or wildlife expert to introduce a bird of prey into your property to deter birds. While this tactic is more effective than predatory statues, it is much more costly to do consistently. Consider contacting local wildlife experts to see what tips they have to protect your blueberry bushes. 

Cages and Netting blueberry Bush

When it comes to figuring out how to keep birds away from blueberries, some farmers choose to surround blueberry bushes with netting or cages to prevent birds from eating the fruit. Netting must be installed properly to ensure birds can’t get too close, or get in below the netting once bushes are covered. 

The most effective way to install netting is to plant stakes next to bushes. Ensure the stakes are tall enough to completely cover the bushes from top to bottom. Make sure your netting holes are the proper size for the birds you are trying to deter as well.

The cage installation process is much more simple, forgoing the use of stakes with each net. Keep in mind that for large fields, it may be best to steer clear of cages, as the cost will be much more expensive than if choosing to use netting. Even so, netting is much more labor-intensive and can still be quite costly if you need to scale your preventative measures.

Related: Pros and Cons of Fruit Tree Netting

Audio and Visual Deterrents

Another popular method for deterring birds is to use noise machines or visual deterrents. Some of the most common devices include: 

  • Pyrotechnics
  • Propane cannons 
  • Hanging reflective materials such as pie tins, CDs, or ribbons
  • Scare balloons
  • Predatory bird kites

While some of these solutions are not very costly, they can be an eyesore and in some cases, very noisy. If you chose to go this route, be considerate of any neighbors. 

New advancements in the field include laser deterrent systems that are designed to shine lasers near birds when they are in range of your system. The upside is that there is no noise, but it is not without its faults. These systems work best during dawn and dusk hours. During the day, when the sun is brightest, laser systems have been less effective at deterring birds. While the ongoing costs are minimal, the upfront cost to install one of these laser systems may leave you hesitant to invest in this solution.

Liquid Bird Repellent 

The most effective way to deter birds from any crop is a liquid bird repellent like Avian Control or Avian Migrate. These FDA-approved repellents are non-toxic to birds and humans. With Avian Control, you can reduce your crop losses due to birds by up to 87 percent. 

Want to know more about how to keep birds away from blueberries? Contact our sales team today at 888.868.1982 for more information.

How To Protect Commercial Blueberry Farms From Birds