How to keep birds away from fig tree
How to Protect Figs from Birds [4 Top Methods]
Fig trees are best protected with a physical barrier like netting or bags on figs. These techniques will make it physically impossible for birds to eat your fig crop. However, additional solutions like distracting bird feeders or pinwheels can also be employed. Some gardeners even recommend decoy bird ornaments and backyard pets as protection. A combination of these techniques may be used to protect your fruit trees.
Table of Contents
4 Ways to Protect Figs from Birds
Protecting figs from birds mostly requires a physical barrier of some sort. Below, we’ll get into the most common methods of protecting your trees:
Placing bird netting over your entire plant is a good way to protect ripening fruit. Simply drape the netting over the tree. Then, secure the netting in place by tying it to the branches and/or trunk with soft string or twist ties. Use this bird netting for quality fruit tree bird protection. Small netting openings are ideal to prevent sparrows and other tiny birds from sneaking through the barrier to eat your figs.
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Organza bags can be used to protect budding fruit from pesky birds. These organza bags are an inexpensive way to protect your figs. Simply place the bag over a cluster of figs, pull the drawstring tight, and tie it. The organza bag only has to cover individual limbs or small clusters of fruit. The bag method provides protection from birds but doesn’t require you to cover the entire tree. This can help your fig tree get as much sun as it needs.
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You can sometimes distract birds from the ripe fruit of fig trees with a bird feeder. Free bird food can redirect the birds’ attention from your fruit to the freed feed and save your crops from birds. However, wild birds that really love figs will still go for fig plants over alternate feeding solutions. So depending on your local bird population, this may prove ineffective.
Colored pinwheels scare birds away with flashing lights and noise. These tools are often dependent on the wind to work effectively, however. Stake these pinwheels into the ground within 3 feet (1 meter) of your fig trees to scare hungry birds away. Unlike audio deterrents—which can be disruptive to you and your neighbors—visual bird repellents drive away scavengers without creating another nuisance.
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Will Birds Eat Figs?
Many birds love to eat figs. In fact, it may be the most popular fruit for birds to eat. Birds love to eat sweet fruit when they get the chance, and figs have a high sugar content. If you don’t protect your figs, it’s likely that some bird will try to eat them.
- Birds will absolutely eat figs.
- Birds love unprotected sweet fruits.
- If you don’t protect your figs, it’s extremely likely that birds will eat them.
To distract birds from your fig trees, try placing some halved, ripening figs farther away from your trees. These figs will act as decoys. So, birds will eat the decoy figs instead of your growing crop. However, this does run the risk of training your birds to seek figs, which could easily backfire if many birds are drawn to your property.
Do You Need to Protect Figs from Birds?
You don’t have to protect your figs if you don’t want to harvest the fig crop. Birds may do some damage to your fig trees while eating, but this damage is usually minimal. However, you’re unlikely to get any edible figs from a tree ravaged by birds.
- You only need to protect your tree from birds if you want to harvest the figs.
- Birds will do little to no damage to the fig tree itself when they eat the fruit.
- If you don’t protect your figs, do not expect to get any figs for yourself.
Unprotected fig crops will be decimated by hungry birds. So if you were hoping to harvest your figs, you’ll want to protect your fruits from birds in any way you can.
How to Keep Birds from Eating Your Figs
Protecting your fig plants from birds requires a physical barrier. Other options can work but they are usually less effective than a barrier. Here are some tips to effectively protecting your fig plants:
- Drape bird netting over fig plants to protect the whole tree.
- Secure organza bags over clusters of figs growing on your tree.
- Install a bird feeder so birds get their fill from bird seed, instead of your figs.
- Install pinwheels near the base of the tree to scare wild birds away.
It may require a combination of techniques to keep pesky birds away. But as long as you keep at it and use these tips, you’ll protect your crops from birds. This way, you’ll be able to grow delicious figs without fear that they’ll be stolen before you can taste the fruit.
the two most effective methods – The Fig Commons
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Protecting your fig trees from birds can save endless frustration, since birds can easily decimate a very large portion of your season’s fig crop. There are a couple of main methods used to prevent birds from eating your figs, each of which having benefits and drawbacks. Effectiveness, cost, and effort vary dramatically, and how you balance these concerns will dictate the method you choose. Here we will discuss the pros and cons of the following measures commonly taken to protect fig trees from birds: fruit protection bags (aka organza bags) and bird netting.
Protecting figs from birds with organza bags
- Effectiveness: Usually effective against birds
- Cost: Inexpensive (approx 10 cents/bag)
- Time investment: 10-20 seconds per fig
- Bonus feature: Also protects against some insect pests
- Unfortunate drawback: They make visual inspection of figs tricky, so you may need to feel figs to determine ripeness
Organza bag overview: When it comes to keeping birds off of my precious figs, my personal favorite is the use of organza bags, sometimes simply called “fruit protection bags.” Taking 10-20 seconds per fig, this is a high-touch but very effective method that is great for newer fig growers who aren’t dealing with a huge number of trees. It’s not a good choice in larger orchards because you must individually bag each fig, and keep a closer-than-usual eye on them because it makes visually identifying ripe figs a bit harder. This is very difficult with hundreds of trees and thousands of fruits, but absolutely doable with up to a couple dozen fig trees provided you don’t let them get over ~7 feet tall. Note that organza bags work well for birds and flying insects, but not so much for squirrels and other rodents who will simply chew through the bag.
How to use organza bags on figs: To use organza bags for fig protection you simply slip a bag over each fig, pull the strings tight, and tie the strings with a quick overhand knot. When it’s time to harvest your figs, you don’t have to untie the bag on the tree to remove the figs. Instead, you can pull the whole thing off, fig and bag, since it’s much easier to untie the bags when they’re off of the tree.
Which organza bags are best for figs? You want to be sure to use the right size of organza bag, since there is the potential for the fig to grow larger than the organza bag, making it impossible to remove. A larger bag also allows better airflow and evaporation, a concern in humid locations. I find 4×6” organza bags such as these to be the perfect size for fig protection. Choosing green colored bags helps to camouflage the figs and might trick birds into thinking there is nothing worth inspecting, although any organza bags will be bleached by the sun within a season or two.
Protecting figs from birds with bird netting
- Effectiveness: Highly effective against birds
- Cost: Relatively pricey
- Time investment: 5-10 minutes per tree
- Bonus feature: Can be used on taller trees than organza bags
- Unfortunate drawbacks: Heavier grade netting can be unsightly. Not a tenable option for very large trees.
Bird netting overview: An effective and lower-effort method of protecting fig trees from birds is the use of bird netting. Bird netting is just what it sounds like: a big net that is placed over the fig (or other fruit) tree, which keeps birds from being able to get to the fruit. Bird netting is among the simplest and most effective options, but is also often the most expensive. It can be a bit of work to get set up, but once installed, bird netting is extremely easy to manage. If care is taken during setup and take-down, the netting can be used for a couple of seasons before sun degradation renders it unusable. Unless you build a frame to suspend the netting around the tree you’ll very likely lose any figs that are close to the net, although that will be a small portion of a tree’s fruit.
How to install bird netting on fig trees: At the risk of stating the obvious, if you plan to rest the bird netting directly on the tree you should install it after a good amount of springtime leaf growth has occurred, but before your fruit begins to ripen. Installing the netting before leaves have grown in gives it no structure, and installing it too late means birds will get to the fruit before you do. You will also want to wait for a calm day to install, since bird netting can be a tangled nightmare to handle during even moderate winds.
Next, determine the size of the piece of netting you’ll need. Measure the width and height of the crown (this is the top part of the tree with branches and leaves), rounding up to the nearest foot. Add those two numbers (height in feet + width in feet), then multiply by 2. This gives you the length and width of the piece of bird netting you’ll need.
Example: if you have a fig tree whose crown is 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, you add those together to get 10 feet, multiply by 2 to get 20 feet. 20 feet is the figure for both the length and width of the piece of netting. This means you’ll need a 20×20 foot square of bird netting to cover that tree.
When conditions are right, lay out the bird netting in a single, unfolded, full-size piece, since working with an unfolded net is much easier. Using a box knife or shears, cut a square of netting large enough to cover the entire tree crown (see above), plus another foot or two all around. The extra netting ensures you’ll have enough material to allow it to sit loosely on the tree.
Depending on the size of your fig tree, you may need the help of a friend to place the netting over the tree crown, then gather it around the trunk below the crown. Secure in place with plant tie tape, ensuring that there are no gaps that a bird could sneak through.Steps to install bird netting on fig trees
Which bird netting is best for fig trees? The answer to this question will have more to do with the size of your fig trees than any other variable. The second variable, as with most garden products, is durability.
- For smaller potted and pruned trees, I’ve been impressed by De-Bird Heavy Duty Bird Netting. One package includes 7.5 x 65 feet of material, enough to cover around 8 smallish fig trees. It’s a sturdy, high-quality mesh that comes folded rather than rolled, making it much easier to work with than less expensive options. In the long run, this high quality option will likely save money due to its reusability.
- For the budget-minded, CandyHome Anti-Bird Netting comes in 13 x 33 foot pieces, and includes 100 zip ties for securing the netting. This will protect almost as many fig trees as the De-Bird netting for roughly half the price, but it is harder to work with — it tangles easily — and the lighter material will get holes more easily.
- For larger trees, Bird-X Protective Netting comes in 14 x 14 foot and 28 x 28 foot sizes. Because they’re a square rather than a roll, you simply buy the right size for your large fig tree and skip the cutting step. It’s pricey, but worth it for large trees that yield a lot of figs, plus it’ll last for a few years.
How to get rid of birds in the area: the best tips for scaring away
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We tell you how to repel pest birds with homemade devices and modern sound devices.
With the appearance of birds in the summer cottage, the harvest of berries is under threat. Birds bring many benefits, as they destroy pests, but besides this, they are not averse to eating ripe cherries or strawberries. If crop raids have become constant, it's time to think about buying bird repellers for your summer cottage. By the way, some of them can be made with your own hands from improvised means.
Ways to scare birds away from the site
4. Shiny objects
5. Destruction of nests
our grandparents. The garden scarecrow was made several centuries ago and is still considered an effective method in the fight against intruders. If you do a little research and find out who visits your garden most often, it will be easier for you to build an effective repeller. For example, starlings really dislike the color blue, if it is they who ruin your plantings, be sure to use this shade in scarecrow clothes.
What else can you make a garden guard out of? Everything will be used: old pillows, cotton wool, unnecessary clothes and hats, adhesive tape, sticks, straw. Especially useful are empty metal cans, mirrors and any other sources of glitter and noise - they are the most effective. First you need to make the so-called skeleton: connect the sticks crosswise and securely wrap with tape. A pillow or a straw bundle is suitable for the head. You can put on an old hat or other headdress on your head. All this should be put on a stick.
Wrap the body with rags or straw, put on old clothes. Your harvest guard is ready. But it will not be very useful when it is motionless - sooner or later the pests will understand that this item is not dangerous. What to do? This is where old cans, mirrors and any objects that make sounds come to the rescue. Hang all this on a stick-hand mockup so that it flutters in the wind and frightens with the brilliance and sounds of thieves.
Experienced summer residents say that birds do not like their own kind very much. You can sew or construct from unnecessary things a large bird with wings and, which is very important, with big eyes. It is they who will scare away thieves. To make such a stuffed animal, glue two round pieces of Styrofoam or wrap an old pillow with foil, glue on big eyes, build wings and hang it at the very top above the trees.
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When answering the question of how to deal with birds in a summer cottage, many people name another equally effective method. They need to be attacked. You can do this on your own, making noise every time a flock arrives. Most of all, the raiders are afraid of their predatory relatives - the hawk, the falcon. Having such a predator in your house is certainly not a good idea, so try using the sounds it makes.
By the way, many sharp and loud sounds are unpleasant for birds. You can put a gas gun or buy a ratchet. The first option gets rid of pests within a kilometer radius, but be careful and be sure to coordinate the purchase with your neighbors - except for winged ones, many people do not like loud sharp sounds.
Country question: is it possible to keep chickens on the plot?
If the presence of birds does not bother you, but you are worried about how to save the berries from birds in the country, choose a suitable net made of plastic or viscose fibers. By the way, as an option, you can use a fishing net. You just need to throw it on a bush or tree, covering the berries. For small seedlings, you can use an ordinary thread, wrapping it around the crown in the same way as a caterpillar weaves a cocoon for itself.
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We've already said that winged thieves don't like anything shiny. You can save the crop by using a variety of stretch marks: for example, hang a rope between trees and place various metal covers, old disks, foil, mirrors on it.
The second way is to make it look like a disco ball. Make a ball out of papier-mâché, wrap it in foil and maybe even stick pieces of a mirror. The only negative is that such balls are needed for each tree.
When birds have already settled on your site and established their nests there, all of the above methods may not be effective. In this case, there is nothing left but to fight for the harvest, destroying their habitat - the nest. In order not to bring the situation to this point, try to close all the cracks under the roof, keep sparrows and pigeons out of the house and eliminate all niches.
If nests do appear, a cat will help you. Feed the neighbor's if you don't have one. A few cat raids in the attic are enough - and the nests will be empty.
How do pests know in which area they have something to profit from? Naturally, they make introductory sorties. To prevent the birds from staying with you, you need to install spikes on the fence and cornices. The winged ones will have nowhere to sit, which means they will fly around your dacha. Spikes are made from different materials, for example, plastic ones are suitable for different types of birds, from crows and pigeons to the smallest ones. They are attached with the adhesive that comes with the kit. Metal ones are more powerful, but also massive, they will be powerless against small species, but they will help a lot in the fight against pigeons.
We have already said above that birds do not like sharp loud sounds like a shot or the cry of predatory brothers. Based on these data, an ultrasonic repeller was invented. He drives away uninvited guests with the help of high-frequency vibrations that are not audible to humans, but cause serious inconvenience to birds. Unable to put up with this sound, they leave their homes. This device is also safe for animals.
There are different variations of such repellers, but for a standard garden, the cheapest option with a range of 6 acres is suitable.
Also a very effective method, but it has a number of serious drawbacks. The device uses a laser beam to control pests - and this is its main disadvantage. Unlike ultrasound, which the human ear does not perceive, a bright green beam is visible to everyone - pests, people, and pets. And this causes discomfort. But in the event that your house is located in a deserted place, we recommend paying attention to such a device. It works in different modes.
- Reaction directly to the presence of the pest. The sensor in the device monitors the movement and fires a beam when an intruder arrives.
- Preventive repellent. The laser turns on every 10-15 minutes, regardless of whether there is a danger or not.
- Manual control. The owner decides when it's time to scare off the thieves.
Since the beam is best seen in the dark, the most relevant time to operate the device is at night.
This is a kind of acoustic repeller with a more precise method of action. The bioacoustic repeller can imitate the voices of predators and it is precisely because of this that it effectively fights pests. The device has a drawback: these sounds do not belong to the category of ultrasounds and are perfectly distinguished by the human ear, which can cause serious discomfort to you, your neighbors, and also pets. That is why, if you have neighbors, be sure to consult with them before buying.
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Features of bird scaring or protection from birds on objects
It would seem that scaring away the birds - what could be easier? He clapped his hands - and the birds flew away! Yes it is; or you can shoot a clapperboard or just wave your hands sharply.
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Birds are shy animals and it is often more difficult to tame birds, make them not be afraid of people than to scare them... Everyone knows this. But what if you need to not only scare away the birds once, but force them not to visit a particular place where they are not needed? And there are many such places. These are shopping centers, garbage storage sites, food-related industries, and the facades of buildings and various engineering structures, where bird droppings not only spoil the view, but also destroy the foundation. How to be here? Yes, you can stand near the object and clap your hands or wave your arms, or you can install some kind of automation to scare away birds - special bird repellers. These are devices or objects that frighten birds in various ways. Propane guns are special repellers that imitate the sound of a shot, the good old stuffed animals that are still placed on the beds, various stuffed birds of prey, as well as their cries and distress cries of the target birds themselves, played automatically. All of the above are bird scarers. In addition, you can add a whole arsenal of various unusual and bright items that scare away birds that are afraid of everything new. This property of animals is called neophobia - literally "fear of the new."
Bird-repellent product "Soaring Eagle" (manufactured by "Agrocon")
Inflatable balloons with imitation of eyes, shiny objects shimmering in the sun and moving in windy weather, and much more are widely used. They are also bird scarers. Some birds, unlike us, hear ultrasound. But there are few such birds and they do not include the main species that annoy us: corvids, pigeons, sparrows, starlings, gulls. Therefore, the scope of ultrasonic repellers is very limited.
Anti-collision bird stickers with transparent and merging objects "Two Eagles" (manufactured by "Agrocon")
There is no universal bird repeller suitable for all occasions. Just as each disease is treated with special remedies intended for the treatment of this particular disease, each specific problem of repelling is solved by its own specific set of repellers. The analogy can be extended further: the wrong treatment can aggravate the disease, and not cure the patient, so it is with birds: the wrong deterrents can, on the contrary, attract birds. For example, distress calls in corvids can gather birds to the broadcast site, since this species has a characteristic collective defense behavior called mobbing - "shouting".
Bird repeller in open areas "Blesk - 4" (manufactured by "Agrocon")
The same effect, and even with a good portion of bird droppings, can be obtained with this approach to repelling fieldfare thrushes.