The Q&A Archives: Deterring Birds from Tomatoes

Question: How do I keep birds for eating my tomatoes? Pat Culpepper Winfield, AL

Answer: There are two tactics you can use to keep birds from eating your crops: scaring them away and using barriers around your plants. Products such as the Great Horned Owl sentry (an owl-shaped flag made of mylar) from Gardener's Supply company wave in thebreeze and scare birds away from your plants. You can also fashion your own flags using strips of reflective, lightweight fabric. It's best to wait until your tomatoes are ripening before installing the flags so the birds don't have a chance to get used to them beforehand. You may also need to alternate between different scare flags for the same reason. Barriers such as bird netting can be draped over your plants to make the tomato fruits inaccessible to birds. Gardener's Supply also sells such netting in varying sizes. Again, you can wait until the fruits are ripening or until the birds become pests. You can reach Gardener's Supply at or (800) 863-1700.

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