Stop Birds from Eating Grapes

aspen0(z5 MI)August 26, 2012

Yet again birds devoured all of my grapes before they will fully ripe and I could enjoy them.

What is the best way to stop birds from getting my grapes in a small scale back yard where I have grapes trained along a fence?

I've read some people paper bag the clusters, but paper bags outside in rain wouldn't work well to me.

Others put netting all over their vines entirely, this may be an option for me, but I've got other plants and trees nearby and intertwined and it may not fully work.

I would think a nylon, or other synthetic material, mesh bag would work, but have been unable to find a source for such a bag (grape cluster sized anyways).

Maybe old Nylons? Or would they be too tight?

Looking for any ideas people have.

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    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 5:45PM
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I use cotton hardware bags with drawstrings tied to the vine itself to thwart the racoons which cause 10 times more damage than the birds here in Illinois. I tried netting first but the racoons just kept pounding the grapes til they broke loose. The birds are the major culprit with the blueberries. Netting or caging blueberries is necessary here if you want a taste.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:48PM
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How about mesh drawstring bags? Something like this:

You may need to hunt around for an appropriate size. Or, you could buy some tulle (the sort of stuff for bridal veils), which comes in a variety of mesh sizes, and make up some simple bags. Cheaper than already made, but more work.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 11:31PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I used zip locks this year for the first time and they did a good job at keeping the black rot (my main problem in past years) off. The clusters I left un-bagged as controls had black rot just a few weeks later (early July).

But, animals still got them a few days ago. They were just starting to turn ripe. I found most of the zip locks on the ground (empty). I found one still on the vine, but torn open. I'm not sure what got them- maybe squirrels?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 11:55PM
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Net is the only way for me to stop the birds from demolishing my fruits, Grapes, figs, peach, Apricot. that why I insist on planting only dwarf trees. I have one Apricot tree which is not dwarf but I make it by vicious pruning, As for the squirrels I bought a PP gun I don't kill any body just a stick in the butt. Also my two tiny jack Russel terriers are great for chasing them out of the yard.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 1:31AM
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I use bird scare. Will not work on other critters but the birds don't like it. It comes on a roll like tape and looks like xmas tinsel. You cut long strips (20" or so) and tie it on (blows in the wind)and when done, just un-tie and save again for next year. I also use it on my fruit trees. Large farms use it central California. I purchase it at home depot.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Bird tape, as suggested by campv. you can either stretch it across the yard, or let it fly. UPick Blueberry farms use it heavily.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 3:18PM
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Bird tape worked for my cherry tree. The cardinals got most of them last year, but this year I used the bird tape and got a lot of cherries. Squirrels are another issue. They seem to get their share no matter what you do.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:04AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

We used tulle for our blueberries this year and it worked like a charm. Didn't lose one berry after. You can buy bolts of the stuff cheap at places that sell fabric.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:14AM
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Anthony Nguyen

I tried this bird tape but it didn't deter the mockingbirds that went after my blackberries and grapes. I literally had the tape next to grapes, with a decent breeze, and the mockingbirds would land 1 feet away from them and get the fruit. Next year I will try making those mesh bags you guys suggested and putting them around each grape cluster.

I know peach and plum trees need full sunlight on the fruit to properly ripen. Does anyone know if grapes are too shaded from the mesh, will they not ripen properly?

Here is a link that might be useful: Bird tape

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:22AM
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