How to Keep Birds Away from Strawberries (Organic!)

how to keep birds away from strawberriesFor any home gardener, birds can be a problem.  Berries of all sorts disappear down the beaks of our feathered foes.  Unfortunately, strawberries are not exception.  Frustrated people ask fairly frequently how to keep birds away from strawberries.  Well, fret not, my friends.  I have full faith that you can out-smart the flying fiends.  Most folks know that birds aren’t brilliant.  In fact, they are quite mentally diminutive.  However, they do learn quickly where the fast food may be found.  If you have already surrendered a crop of strawberries to the neighborhood aviators, this method might be more difficult to pull off.  If you haven’t, you might take a subtle satisfaction at tricking the fluff-brains into leaving your harvest alone…

How to Keep Birds Away from Strawberries (with trickery!)

As previously mentioned, birds have great instincts, but small brains.  Some birds of more intelligence (like parrots, crows, and ravens) may not be fooled as easily, but your average yard bird can potentially be tricked into leaving your strawberry patch completely alone.  The method is both simple and fun.  You simply trick the foul fowl into forgetting about foraging in your strawberry bed by turning tasty strawberries into beak-fracturing false berries.  If you have already accidentally trained your local birds as to the location of your patch, this might be the only thing that works for you, however.

Ok, ok, I give.  Enough blathering.  I know you want to know how to keep birds away from strawberries.  Here is a great organic method to use to protect strawberries from birds: paint strawberry-shaped rocks to look like strawberries and then evenly distribute them throughout your strawberry plants.  The bright red will attract your local avian thieves to the location looking for some free food.  Fortunately, a few pecks will prove the ruse and foil the birds’ plans.  Not wishing to be duped continuously, they will soon learn that the “strawberries” that their brain says should be delicious are actually quite inedible.  Once the lesson has been learned, they will leave your strawberry bed alone.  As long as the strawberry rocks are painted well in advance of the time your plants actually start setting their real fruits and aren’t obscured by your growing strawberry plants, the birds will remember your first trick and fall hook-line-and-sinker for your second by leaving the fresh fruit alone and in full view!

Now that you know how to keep birds away from strawberries creatively, you likely want the practical steps to see your flying feathered friends frustrated fantastically, right!?  Well, you are in luck.  A step-by-step tutorial has been created by Lee Wismer.  It can be accessed here: Strawberry Rocks Tutorial.  When cabin fever sets in this winter, prepare this “home remedy” with the children or grandchildren.  Then, deploy it when the strawberry plants exit dormancy in the spring!  Good luck!

4 thoughts on “How to Keep Birds Away from Strawberries (Organic!)

  1. How do we deter tree rats, ground hogs, bunnies, and other mammalian varmints? I’ve tried the cayenne treatment for other crops and mammal aversion, but the tree rats keep eating, or seem immune to the capsaicin…

    • Tony greenish-thumb
      You could try a dish soap solution as a taste deterrent also (obviously you’d need to reapply after wet weather events). Trapping and removal would be an option as well, but if your strawberry bed isn’t too large, you can use this to create a barrier. Good luck!

    • John,
      Ah, yes, the tree rats can definitely be a nuisance. You can try spraying the strawberries with a cayenne/soap spray to keep the squirrels at bay. Good luck!

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