Strawberries - Knowledgebase Question

Rockwell City, IA
Avatar for sammey_19
Question by sammey_19
May 31, 2006
Dear Whom it may concern,
I need to know somthing about strawberries is there anything I can do to keep Robins out of my strawberries. Is there a chemical that won't poison them or us when we eat them? What is the recomended product?
Sam Falk

P.S., Thank You for your help!

Answer from NGA
May 31, 2006
If birds are a problem in your strawberries you can try several approaches to deter them. I do not know of a chemical spray solution to this problem.
One way is to cover the bed with bird netting laid over hoops (to raise it above the plants so the birds can't reach the berries through it) and peg it down thoroughly around the edges.

Another is to lay out oversized fake strawberries that they will peck at and (hopefully) decide the rest of the berries are just as bad. You can sometimes purchase these by mail order, but if the berries are ripe now you could try painting some old ping pong balls red and set them out in the garden as decoys.

Some gardeners also report success using nylon fishing line strung randomly over and across the beds to confuse the birds' depth perception. The old standby scarecrow might also help, or you could try the flashtape sold at nurseries. You can also try recycling old cd's and aluminum pie pans strung on a line as flashing bird scarers. Or, you could try placing a few rubber snakes and a fake owl silhouette (sold at garden centers) to try to scare them.

You can also try setting out a shallow pan of fresh water at some distance from the strawberry beds in case they are pecking the berries for a drink.

Make sure you are picking your ripe berries at least once a day, too. I hope this helps.

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