Birds, squirrels, and other animals can be common garden pests when growing blueberries. These animals are easily deterred by netting, fencing, repellents, and noisemakers. Which of these deterrents you choose to use to protect your garden is up to you. Each has pros and cons though netting is generally the best way to prevent bird damage. Try a combination of these solutions until you find what works best for dealing with your berry pests.
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6 Ways to Protect Your Blueberry Bushes from Animals
Pests are attracted to eating each ripe berry that grows in your row of bushes. Protecting your blueberry crops requires a combination of safety fencing or netting and repellents. Below, we’ll get into the effectiveness of the most common pest deterrents to protect your juicy blueberries.
Bird netting is one of the most effective and reliable ways to protect your berries from birds and other pests. Simply cover your blueberry bushes in netting after fruit appears. Once they’re protected, animals won’t be able to get to the berries. Use this netting to enmesh your blueberries in a protective layer and prevent bird damage.
Fencing is another solid option for protecting blueberry plants from animals. Not only can fencing protect your blueberries from birds, but it can also keep ground animals away from ripening berries. Surround your garden with this reusable fencing to protect blueberry bushes from both large and small pests. We chose this 13-foot (4 meters) mesh because it is tall enough that deer cannot jump over and invade your garden. You can also bury 6–12 inches (15–30 cm) of mesh underground to keep burrowing gophers and rabbits away from your blueberries.
Repellents help prevent pests from getting near your bush in the first place. Bird tape, aluminum foil, and various sprays can all help drive away various pests from your berry plants. This peppermint repellent is excellent for driving away rodents, such as squirrels. By using repellent scents, you can keep your blueberries safe from predators without going to the effort of building a fence.
Noisemakers, pinwheels, bird bangers, and other lawn ornaments that act as deterrents can drive away pests. Though generally not as effective as blueberry netting systems, they can work well at protecting plants from birds. However, they generally don’t work as well on ground animals.
Depending on how menacing your local pests are, you can always consider getting an outdoor dog or cat. These animals can easily scare away birds and smaller rodents. However, they cannot scare away bears or skunks. The scent of a dog or cat will often scare off rodents. Most small animals will choose to make their home a safe distance away from predators.
What Animals Eat Blueberry Bushes?
The biggest menaces to berry bushes are birds and squirrels. Hungry birds like thrushes, doves, and bluebirds will happily eat all the berries on your blueberry plants. Squirrels will eat the berries but will also damage the leaves and branches.
- Birds and squirrels are the biggest dangers to blueberry bushes.
- Some other mammals can pose a threat too including deer, chipmunks, and rabbits.
Bears, chipmunks, deer, foxes, rabbits, and skunks may also pose a danger to your blueberry patch. These pests are not as common to every region though. Depending on where you are growing your blueberries, you may even have to ward off wild boars, which can be very destructive to plants and fences.
Do You Need to Protect Your Blueberries from Animals?
If you want to harvest blueberries from your berry patch, then you will need to protect your blueberries from birds and other pests. However, if you don’t care about harvesting your berry patch, it’s generally fine to let animals eat your berries. So, you can choose whether to feed yourself or the local wildlife with your blueberries.
- If you prefer to feed local wildlife with your blueberries, you don’t have to protect them.
- To prevent damage to your plants and get a blueberry harvest for yourself, you must protect your plants.
- In some regions, berries attract dangerous pests you don’t want near your home.
Unprotected blueberry plants may attract dangerous animals. If you live in a region where bears, boars, or skunks are common, you should protect your berries to prevent a run-in with these animals. Protecting blueberries from certain animals can help keep you, your family, and your pets from harm.
How Do You Protect Blueberries from Animals?
Finding the right deterrent to protect your bushes from wildlife can be a challenge. It all depends on what pests are damaging your bushes and berries. Here are some important things to remember when deciding how to protect your blueberries:
- Netting is the best way to protect your bushes from birds.
- Fencing often works well for protection from deer and larger pests.
- Visual and scent repellents can drive multiple pests away.
- Noisemakers will scare off birds and smaller animals.
- Pets can be used to deter pests in some circumstances.
- You don’t have to protect your blueberries if you are okay with animals feeding on your plants.
Remember that it may require a combination of these options to fully protect your bushes. Just be patient and keep trying things out until you find which solutions keep your bushes safe.