How To Keep Birds Out Of My Fruit Trees

Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Susan Levitt

Hey there, fellow fruit tree enthusiasts! Are you tired of seeing your hard-earned harvest being pecked away by pesky birds? As an avian control specialist, I have seen my fair share of frustrated gardeners seeking advice on how to keep their fruit trees bird-free. Luckily, with a few simple techniques and a little bit of patience, it is possible to successfully protect your precious crops.

Firstly, it’s important to understand why birds are attracted to your fruit trees in the first place. Birds love fruits for their sweet taste and high water content – it’s like a natural candy store for them! However, this also means that they can quickly decimate whole branches if left unchecked. In this article, we’ll explore various methods ranging from physical barriers to sound deterrents which will help ensure that both you and the birds can enjoy the bountiful harvest from your fruit trees.

Understanding The Behavior Of Birds

Birds can be a real menace when it comes to fruit trees. They will swoop in and feast on your fruits, leaving you with nothing but disappointment. But fear not! As an avian control specialist, I have seen it all. By understanding the behavior of birds, we can take practical steps to protect our beloved fruit trees.

Firstly, bird behavior analysis is key. Different types of birds exhibit different feeding behaviors. Some are ground feeders while others prefer perch feeding. Knowing how they behave can help us develop appropriate strategies for deterring them from accessing our fruit trees. Additionally, seasonal changes affect bird migration patterns which means that at certain times of the year, we may experience increased bird activity around our gardens.

Secondly, physical barriers such as netting and mesh can be used to keep birds out of your fruit trees. Netting acts as a barrier between the tree and the birds preventing any direct contact with the fruits. Meshing works by denying access to branches where most birds like to perch while feeding or resting.

Lastly, remember that prevention is always better than cure when dealing with pest problems like birds. Therefore, understanding their behavior and implementing effective preventative measures go a long way in keeping them away from your precious fruit trees.

With this knowledge about bird behavior and physical barriers in mind let’s move onto discussing specific ways of using netting and meshing techniques to safeguard your fruit trees without harming these winged creatures.

Physical Barriers: Netting And Mesh

Netting and mesh are effective physical barriers that can prevent birds from accessing your fruit trees. There are different mesh types available, such as nylon or polyethylene, which vary in their durability and price range. It is important to choose a mesh that is sturdy enough to withstand bird pecking but also lightweight so that it does not damage the branches of the tree.

Installation tips for netting and mesh include ensuring that the barrier covers the entire tree canopy and extends all the way to the ground. This prevents birds from entering through gaps at the bottom of the barrier. Additionally, securing the edges of the barrier tightly around the trunk of the tree with clips or ties will help prevent birds from finding a way inside.

Maintenance is essential when using netting or mesh as a bird deterrent method. Regular checks should be made to ensure there are no holes or tears in the material. Any damage should be repaired immediately to prevent birds from gaining access. Durability varies between different types of netting and mesh, so choosing one that is long-lasting will save you time and money in replacement costs over time.

When considering physical barriers like netting or mesh, it’s important to remember they only work if installed correctly and maintained properly. In addition, while these methods can effectively keep birds out of your fruit trees, they may also limit pollination by bees if not used carefully. The next step in avian control would be visual deterrents such as scarecrows and reflective tape, which we’ll discuss more below.

Visual Deterrents: Scarecrows And Reflective Tape

I’m an avian control specialist, and I suggest using visual deterrents like scarecrows and reflective tape to keep birds out of your fruit trees. When installing, it’s important to consider the design, durability, and effectiveness of the deterrents; also, movement, noise, color, size, and placement are all factors to consider. To ensure optimal protection, the deterrents should be weatherproof, visible, and easily maintained. Finally, cost is a major factor to consider when selecting a deterrent.


As an avian control specialist, I highly recommend using visual deterrents such as DIY scarecrows and reflective tape to keep birds out of your fruit trees. Scarecrows have been used for centuries to protect crops from birds. They are easy to make with materials found around the house, making them a cost-effective solution.

When it comes to scarecrow effectiveness, placement is key. Place the scarecrow in the middle of the tree so that it can be seen from all angles. Make sure it’s at eye level or slightly higher for maximum visibility. It’s also important to move the scarecrow periodically as birds may become accustomed to its presence over time.

While DIY scarecrows can be effective, they should not be relied upon solely. Combining visual deterrents like reflective tape alongside your DIY scarecrow will increase their effectiveness dramatically. Birds are scared away by bright flashes of light reflecting off surfaces, which makes reflective tape an excellent option.

In conclusion, using a combination of DIY scarecrows and reflective tape is crucial when trying to keep birds out of your fruit trees. Remember that placement and movement play a significant role in their effectiveness. By following these tips, you’ll successfully deter pesky birds and enjoy your delicious harvest come season!

Reflective Tape

Now that we’ve discussed the effectiveness of DIY scarecrows in keeping birds out of fruit trees, let’s talk about another visual deterrent: reflective tape. As an avian control specialist, I highly recommend using reflective tape alongside your scarecrow to increase its effectiveness.

Using reflective tape to deter birds is a great option because it creates bright flashes of light that scare them away. Compared to other visual deterrents like flags or balloons, which can become less effective over time as birds get used to their presence, reflective tape continues to work effectively.

To use reflective tape as a bird deterrent, simply tie strips around the branches of your fruit tree. Make sure they are placed at eye level or slightly higher for maximum visibility. It’s also important to periodically move the tape around so that birds don’t become accustomed to its location.

In conclusion, while DIY scarecrows can be effective on their own, combining them with reflective tape is crucial when trying to keep birds out of your fruit trees. Reflective tape offers a long-lasting and visually stimulating way to deter pesky birds from damaging your crops. By following these tips and incorporating both methods into your bird control strategy, you’ll be able to enjoy a bountiful harvest this season!

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Sound Deterrents: Bird Distress Calls And Ultrasonic Devices

When it comes to keeping birds out of fruit trees, sound deterrents can be an effective solution. Two types of sound deterrents that are commonly used are bird distress calls and ultrasonic devices.

Bird distress calls work by emitting sounds that mimic the alarm or distress calls of other birds. These sounds signal danger to nearby birds, causing them to fly away from the area. Ultrasonic devices emit high-pitched frequencies that are difficult for birds to tolerate, so they will avoid the area where the device is located.

Effectiveness evaluation suggests that both bird distress calls and ultrasonic devices can be successful in deterring birds from fruit trees. However, their effectiveness may vary depending on factors such as tree size and species, as well as location and population density of nearby bird populations.

Cost comparison between these two options shows that bird distress calls tend to be less expensive than ultrasonic devices. Additionally, some models of bird distress call systems allow for customization based on specific bird species present in the area.

Incorporating sound deterrents into a comprehensive avian control plan can help protect your fruit trees from damage caused by birds. However, keep in mind that no single method is foolproof and a combination of tactics may be necessary for optimal results. In the next section, we’ll explore another type of deterrent: taste deterrents like spicy sprays and sticky substances.

Taste Deterrents: Spicy Sprays And Sticky Substances

After exploring the use of sound deterrents and ultrasonic devices, it’s time to delve into another strategy for bird control: taste deterrents. While spicy sprays are a popular choice among gardeners, there are some alternative options that may be more effective.

Firstly, consider using garlic or onion spray. These pungent odors can mask the scent of your fruit trees and deter birds from approaching them. Simply chop up some garlic or onions, soak them in water overnight, strain the mixture and add it to a spray bottle. Apply to your trees every few days until birds stop bothering them.

Another option is hot pepper wax. This product contains capsaicin, the compound responsible for making peppers spicy. Birds find this substance unpalatable and will avoid any tree coated with it. Hot pepper wax can also protect against insects and fungal diseases, making it an all-around beneficial solution for fruit tree care.

Sticky substances like Tanglefoot have been used as bird repellents for many years. However, they can be messy and difficult to apply properly without damaging your trees’ bark or foliage. In addition, some species of birds may not be bothered by sticky substances at all if they’re persistent enough to continue trying to access your fruits despite being trapped.

Overall, while these taste deterrents can be effective in deterring birds from feeding on your fruit trees; companion planting might help you keep those pesky avians away without having to resort to harsh chemicals or other methods that could harm both animals alike – humans included!

Companion Planting: Choosing Bird-Unfriendly Plants

Looking for a way to keep birds out of your fruit trees? One effective method is companion planting. By selecting certain plants that are unappealing or even harmful to birds, you can create an environment that discourages them from hanging around.

Companion planting involves choosing beneficial pairings of plants that enhance each other’s growth and health. But beyond this, it can also be used strategically as a bird-control measure. For example, many birds dislike the smell or taste of strong herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage. By interplanting these herbs among your fruit trees, you may be able to deter birds from landing there.

Another key factor in plant selection for bird control is color. Birds are attracted to bright colors like red, orange, and yellow – which just happen to be some of the most common hues found on ripening fruits! To counteract this effect, consider planting companion species with duller foliage or flowers nearby. This will help draw attention away from your fruit trees and towards more attractive targets elsewhere in your garden.

Incorporating these principles into your overall landscaping plan can take some time and effort, but the results can be well worth it if they save your precious harvest from being devoured by winged invaders! Keep reading for more tips on how to protect your fruit trees from avian pests.

As important as plant selection is when it comes to keeping birds away from your fruit trees, timing is also crucial. Even if you have planted all the right companion species and taken steps to make your yard less attractive to birds, all these measures could still fail if you wait too long to pick your fruit. As soon as you see signs of ripeness (such as softness or color change), begin checking regularly for readiness – then act quickly once the moment arrives!

Timing Of Harvest: Picking Fruit Before Birds Can Reach Them

One way to prevent birds from eating your fruit is by picking them early. When fruits are still ripening, they have a lower sugar content and are less attractive to birds. You can also use a refractometer to measure the brix level of your fruits. A higher brix level means sweeter fruit, which will be more appealing to birds.

Early picking not only keeps birds away but it also allows you to enjoy ripe fruit at its best quality. Make sure to check on your trees regularly so you can harvest as soon as possible. This method may require some patience since you’ll need to wait for the right moment before harvesting.

Another option is setting up bird feeding stations away from your fruit trees. By providing alternative food sources, birds will be less likely to go after your fruits. Place these stations in an area that’s easily accessible and visible so birds know where to find them.

By using these methods, you can protect your fruit while still giving back to nature by creating alternative food sources for our feathered friends. In the next section, we’ll discuss how building nesting boxes can further help promote healthy ecosystems for both humans and wildlife alike.

Creating Alternative Food Sources For Birds

As an avian control specialist, I understand the frustration of having birds constantly pecking at your fruit trees. However, instead of resorting to harmful methods such as pesticides or bird netting, consider creating alternative food sources for the birds.

One way to do this is by increasing plant diversity in your yard. By planting a variety of plants that produce fruits and seeds throughout different seasons, you can provide year-round sustenance for birds. This will decrease their reliance on your fruit trees and reduce the likelihood of them causing damage.

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Another method is through the use of seed bombs. These are small balls made up of soil, clay, and native wildflower seeds that can be scattered around your yard. They will sprout into flowers that attract insects which birds feed on. Not only does this help create a diverse ecosystem, but it also provides natural food sources for birds.

By implementing these alternative food sources, you can not only deter birds from damaging your fruit trees but also contribute to biodiversity in your local environment. It’s important to note that adjustments may need to be made based on the species of birds present in your area. Monitoring and adjusting accordingly will ensure optimal results without harming any wildlife.

Transition: Now that we’ve discussed ways to create alternative food sources for birds, let’s explore how monitoring and adjusting our methods can lead to even better outcomes.

Monitoring And Adjusting Your Methods For Best Results

As we continue to protect our beloved fruit trees from pesky birds, it’s important to monitor and adjust our methods for the best results. Think of it as a game of chess – each move must be strategic and well thought out in order to gain an advantage over your opponent.

One method that can be effective is using decoys. These are fake birds or other objects placed near the fruit trees to deter real birds from landing and causing damage. However, it’s important to switch up the type and placement of decoys often so that the birds don’t catch on to your tactics.

Another way to keep birds at bay is by adjusting frequency. This means changing when you scare them away or use noise deterrents like horns or bells. If you consistently do these things at the same time every day, birds may start to become accustomed to the routine and ignore your efforts altogether.

It’s also crucial to regularly assess the effectiveness of your methods. Keep track of how many fruits are being lost despite your efforts, and make adjustments accordingly. What works for one tree variety may not work for another, so take note of what techniques seem most successful on each specific tree.

Remember, bird control is an ongoing process that requires patience and persistence. With careful monitoring, adjustment, and experimentation with different methods, you’ll eventually find what works best for keeping those feathered fiends away from your precious fruit harvest!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Best Trees For Planting To Deter Birds From Eating Fruit?

As an avian control specialist, I highly recommend planting prickly plants around your fruit trees to deter birds from eating the fruit. The prickly texture of these plants makes it uncomfortable for birds to perch and feed on nearby fruits. Additionally, scare tape is a great option for scaring away birds as they are frightened by the reflective and shiny material. When strategically placed near your fruit trees, this can be an effective bird deterrent without harming any wildlife. Remember that prevention is key when it comes to protecting your crops from bird damage!

Can I Use Fake Owls Or Snakes As Visual Deterrents?

As an avian control specialist, I often recommend using decoys such as fake owls or snakes to deter birds from fruit trees. These visual deterrents can be effective in scaring off birds that may be looking for a quick snack. However, it’s important to note that these decoys need to be moved around frequently and placed strategically for the best results. Another option is bird netting, which physically blocks birds from accessing the fruit on the tree. Whichever method you choose, remember that consistency is key in keeping those pesky birds away from your beloved fruit trees.

Do Different Bird Species Have Different Preferences For Fruit Types?

As an avian control specialist, I can confirm that different bird species do indeed have varying preferences when it comes to fruit types. Some birds are particularly fond of sweet fruits like cherries and blueberries, while others may prefer tart fruits such as apples or pears. Understanding bird behavior and their particular fruit preferences is key in developing effective strategies for keeping them away from your trees. By identifying which birds are causing the most damage to your specific fruit trees, you can tailor your approach accordingly and increase the likelihood of success in protecting your harvest.

What Should I Do If Birds Have Already Started Eating My Fruit?

If birds have already started eating your fruit, don’t panic! There are a few options you can try to prevent further damage. Using netting is one effective method for protecting your trees and fruits. Simply drape the netting over the tree or create a tent-like structure around it. This will physically block the birds from accessing the fruit. Another option is bird repellent, which can be sprayed onto the fruit or surrounding areas to deter birds from landing and feeding. Be sure to use products that are safe for both the birds and your fruit trees. With some perseverance and patience, you can successfully protect your fruit from unwanted avian visitors.

Is There A Way To Attract Beneficial Birds To My Garden While Keeping Pest Birds Away From My Fruit Trees?

To attract beneficial birds to your garden, consider setting up bird feeders with seeds and suet that are known to be favorites of these feathered creatures. Not only will this provide a food source for them, but it can also encourage them to stay in the area and help control unwanted pests like insects and rodents. However, if you’re concerned about protecting your fruit trees from pest birds, it’s important to keep these feeders away from those areas or use specialized netting or repellents designed specifically for bird control around your trees. By taking a proactive approach and being mindful of where you place bird feeders, you can strike a balance between attracting beneficial birds and safeguarding your crops.


Well, folks, that’s a wrap on keeping birds out of your fruit trees! As an avian control specialist, I highly recommend planting certain tree species like sour cherries and crabapples to deter pesky birds from munching on your fruits. Additionally, visual deterrents like fake owls or snakes can be effective in scaring off unwanted feathered guests.

It’s important to note that different bird species may have varying preferences for the types of fruit they consume. So if you’re experiencing trouble with a particular bird species, do some research into their diet habits before implementing any prevention methods. And if birds have already started snacking on your fruit, don’t fret – there are ways to salvage what’s left and prevent further damage.

Remember: it’s all about finding a balance between protecting your crops and promoting biodiversity in your garden. With a little bit of effort and know-how, you can keep those pesky birds away while still attracting beneficial ones to aid in pollination and insect control. Happy gardening!

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