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Keeping Birds from Eating Figs

Question:

How can I keep the birds from eating the figs from my trees?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

CC from Texas

Answer:

Covering your fig tree with bird netting is the only way to guarantee birds won't fly off with your fig crop. Netting is widely available online and at garden centers and hardware stores.
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Depending on how high your fig tree is you could also try erecting a teepee over your tree made out of monofilament line. Some studies suggest erecting a pole near the center trunk of your tree and running monofilament line (fishing line) from the top down to stakes on the ground is enough to give birds the impression that there is an impenetrable barrier around the tree. The line is run down from the top of the pole at two-foot increments all around the tree to create a sort of teepee effect. Personally, I think throwing a net over the top of the whole thing seems easier.

I've also seen a garlic spray advertised (www.garlicbarrier.com) that is supposed to be effective at repelling birds, insects and various small critters from fruit and nut trees. I have not personally tried it, but I think it looks interesting. Let me know if you decide to try it and it ends up working. If you can figure out the ratio of garlic to water perhaps you could make or own. Mylar streamers, CDs, eye balloons and cats are other short term measures effective at warding off birds.

If you don't already feed them, I would suggest setting up some feeding and water stations for birds and squirrels in a part of your yard away from your tree-at least during the time your figs are ripening. This might be your best overall strategy. Animals and birds will almost always choose easy food and water over having to work for it, thereby leaving your trees alone.

Ellen

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