fig bird
fig bird
(Image credit: fabioski)

When it comes to pests, one you really want to protect fruit trees from is birds. Birds can do so much damage to fruit trees, especially once the fruit ripens. There are plenty of things you can do to protect a fruit tree from birds and the damage they can cause. By providing fruit tree bird protection to your fruit trees, you will harvest more fruit.

How to Keep Birds Off Your Fruit Trees

Fruit tree pest control is best done before the fruit ripens. Understanding how to keep birds off your trees is not so difficult. If you want to know how to keep birds off your fruit trees, you need to realize there are various forms of fruit tree pest control. You can trap the birds, you can use bird netting for fruit trees to keep them from getting at the ripening fruit, and you can use chemical repellants to keep the birds and other pests away from your fruit trees.


Trapping the birds, especially blackbirds and starlings, can be done when they first show up for the season and up to about 30 days before the fruit ripens. All you do is bait a trap with water and any sort of food that would be attractive to the birds. This is a good form of fruit tree bird protection because once you capture the birds, you can release them. Check with local laws in your area before killing any birds though, as most birds are considered protected animals and it is illegal to kill them.


When it comes to bird netting for fruit trees, you want to use about 5/8-inch (2 cm.) netting. This can prevent the birds from reaching the fruits as they ripen. Wire can help you keep the netting away from the fruits, so you don't damage them while providing fruit tree pest control.


Chemical repellents are useful in fruit tree pest control, often helping to protect fruit trees from birds and other pests. Methyl anthranilate is one chemical that can be used. It will have to be repeated if you find that bird damage is continuing. Hinder is another chemical pest control that can be used. Simply dilute it 20:1 with water and apply it every three to ten days. Also, make sure to reapply after heavy rain. Electronic fruit tree bird protection is also available. These electronic devices will keep the birds away by emitting a sound that frightens them. As you can see, there are many different ways to provide fruit tree bird protection. The purpose of growing your fruit trees is to harvest the fruit. Sometimes sharing the fruit with the birds is inevitable, but you don't want them to get all the fruits of your labor.

Kathee Mierzejewski

Kathee Mierzejewski was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, writing many of the site's foundational articles.