Posts

Crop Cover (Row Cover) is a Gardener’s Best Friend

Crop Cover (Row Cover) is a Gardener’s Best Friend

            In Horticulture, row cover (or Crop Cover) is any material used to cover plants as a protective shield primarily against cold and frost.  It is also used to protect against wind, rain, snow, sun, bird and insect damage.  American Nettings’ row cover is called Crop Cover, not to be confused with cover crops, which are vegetative crops that are planted to protect soil from wind and water erosion in between planting of a cash crop.  Crop Cover is know by many different names including: frost cover, row cover, frost blanket, frost protection, reemay, garden fabric, non-woven garden fabric, spun-bonded fabric, over-winter fabric, plastic row cover, plastic mulch, field cover, and floating row cover.

Crop Cover acts as a protective greenhouse that keeps plants warm and guards against frosts, while allowing sunlight and moisture to pass through.  This creates all the perfect conditions to increase the growth of your plants and produce bigger, better and earlier crop yields.  There are many different types of Crop Cover.  The three main Crop Covers (or row covers) that we will discuss are non-woven spun-bonded fabrics, plastic row covers, ribbon-knitted shade covers.

Non-woven Spun-bonded Fabrics:

The most commonly used Crop Cover is the non-woven spun-bonded fabric. Fabric Crop Covers are lightweight blankets made of spun-bonded polypropylene which is sunlight, rain and air-permeable.  American Nettings carries a lightweight and a medium weight crop cover.

The Medium crop cover weighs .9oz/yd (30gm).  It has a 70% light transmission and is UV Stable.  It protects from frosts down to 26°F and has a life expectancy of 2 years.  It’s great for extending the growing season by planting early in the spring and continuing to grow and produce late into the fall.  They also makes and excellent wind break for young transplants.  This row cover is ideal for over-wintering strawberries, herbs, small fruits, tender landscape plants and just about any perennial.

The Lightweight spun-bonded crop cover weighs .5oz/yd (17gm).  It has a light transmission of 85% and protects from frost down to 28°F.  Its life expectancy is 1 year.  The light weight crop cover, also know as floating row cover, is great for promoting seed germination.  Lightweight crop cover can be used all season long to defend some crops such as carrots or onions against birds, insects, harsh rain and light hail.  Other crops that require germination such as squash and tomatoes should be uncovered as soon as they start to flower.  In hot climates Crop cover may have to be removed to prevent excessive heat build up.  Lightweight can be double layered in the spring to have the same effects as the medium wt and then a layer can be removed when it warms up.

Non-woven Spunbonded Fabric

Non-woven Spunbonded Fabric

Plastic row covers: 

Plastic row cover is made out of clear plastic (polyethylene).  This type of Crop cover must be carefully managed because it is much less forgiving and more labor intensive then fabric covers.  Temperatures under plastic can be as much as 30° higher then the outside air.  You can Vent them on warm days and close them at night and on cold days.  Plastic row covers that are slitted don’t require venting but you also can’t close them up at night.  For those gardeners that live in Warmer Southern areas can use Colored or shaded plastic.  The coloring blocks out some of the sunlight, reducing the heat inside the tunnel.   Plastic cover should be suspended over the plant and not touching the delicate foliage

Plastic crop cover

Plastic crop cover

Ribbon-knitted Shade Cover: 

Knitted shade cover is made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and is a knitted fabric. It is strong and can last up to 8 years. This material comes in different shade effects from 20% to 90%.  When used as a row cover less shade effect is desirable.  If there is too much shade the plants will grow slowly. This product is forgiving in that it allows natural airflow and rain and water penetration unlike plastic. It also protects from light frosts, strong winds and hail. It will not hold as much heat in as the fabric cover but it will allow excess heat to vent better then plastic.  Works great for warmer areas that are more concerned with protecting plants from sun rather the protecting plants from cold.

Ribbon knitted shade

Ribbon knitted shade

Crop Cover is Easy to Use:

Crop Cover is so versatile. The possibilities are endless.  A whole book could be filled with technique for using Crop Cover.  Lets talk about three easy ways to use crop cover in the garden.  One way is to create a Crop Cover tunnel over rows.  The Second technique is to drape Crop Cover over a trellis row.  The third way is to use crop cover as a floating row cover.

A protective tunnel formed with row cover is sometimes called a cloche. More often, a cloche, or bell jar, refers to a covering made of glass or plastic, placed over individual plants to provide similar protection as row cover.  You can make the tunnel supports with Just about any material such as 9-gauge wire, rebar and wood.  My favorite hoop material is 1” PVC pipe.  It’s strong, lightweight, inexpensive and easy to get.  Pound a 2’ piece of rebar 1’ in the ground and leave 1’ sticking out on either side of the row.  Slide one end of the PVC pipe over one rebar.  Then bend and push the other side of the PVC over the top of the other rebar.  Voilà, You have your first hoop.  Repeat this process every couple of feet all the way down the row.  Suspend the Crop Cover over the hoops and you have a tunnel.

Crop Cover Tunnel

Crop Cover Tunnel

Drape Crop Cover Over a Trellis Row:

Urban gardeners to grow on trellis rows in order to produce more in small spaces and to get higher yields per plant then growing on the ground.  It just so happens that trellis row is perfect for draping Crop Cover over.  You don’t have to do any extra work. The trellis itself becomes the framework for the perfect little microenvironment under the Crop Cover.  Drape the Crop Cover over the top wire of the trellis and pin the bottoms o the ground like a tent formation.  Easy as Pie.

crop cover trellis row

crop cover draped over trellis row

Floating Row Cover:

The first two techniques are great but I’m a big fan of keeping things simple and over the years I have come to realize that there is always stupidly simple technique for doing just about anything.  For Crop Cover this technique is called floating row cover.  You can cover newly seeded beds or transplants with light to medium weight fabric crop cover.  Leave plenty of slack in the material to allow for growth.  Seal and secure the edges and leave it alone.  The plants will grow and lift the crop cover up with them as the go.  That’s what I call low maintenance.  There is no need for elaborate structures or hoops, which leaves more time for the good stuff in life.

crop cover directly over plants with no supports

crop cover directly over plants with no supports

 Secure the Edges:

No matter which technique you use you must secure the edges of the Crop cover in order to seal in the warmth and moister as well as to seal out the sneaky birds and insects.   Bury the edges to make a seal.  Then you must secure the edges from being blown up by the wind or burrowed up by pests.  You can use any number of materials that you have lying around the house such as brick, rocks, 2×4 and old tires.  You get the drift.  Be careful because rock with sharp edges can tear the fabric and let unwanted guests in.  One really clever way that I have seen is to fill old water bottles with water and lay them around the edges of your fabric.  My favorite way technique is to pin down the fabric with plastic fabric pins from American Nettings.  The pins have a loop handle on top, which makes it so easy to push them in and take them out when you need to work with your plants.  You can use them year after year and they are not very expensive.  They also help your garden look neat and tidy verses looking like a bunch of debris blew in on a windy day.

Handling Crop Covers (row cover)
Working with fabric row covers may seem awkward at first.  Lightweight fabric tends to blow around while you’re putting it in place on windy days. The fabric can also tears easily on sharp edges.  But, with a little time you will get the hang of it.  Here are a few tips:

  • The fabric can be cut with scissors to fit over rows or used as-is for wide-row plantings.
  • You can purchase Crop cover in small convenient pieces or you can buy large roll and continue to cut off of that same roll year after year.
  • At the end of the season, shake the covers to loosen dirt and debris, and make sure they’re dry before you put them away. Fold or roll them up and store them in a clean dry place
  • Save all the cut or torn pieces of cover, cut them up into small pieces for patching larger sections of cover that have small holes. You can use waxed dental floss to sew them.

Conclusion:

It’s rare to find gardeners that are satisfied with the length of the growing season.  Luckily, Crop cover can provide a solution for the irresistible urge to go out and start planting as soon as possible.  Crop Cover fabric is a good tool for all gardeners because it is versatile and has an extremely low cost and huge benefits. Spun-bonded Crop Cover Fabric is the favorite choice.  They create a barrier that keeps the wind, cold and pests out, while allowing water, air, sunlight and soluble fertilizers to pass through. Wow!  They can increase your production as much as 25% while decreasing your labor and stress.  That’s why the commercial growers use it so much.

Knitted Bird Netting Enclosure

The following instructions for a Bird and Deer Proof Netting Enclosure were written by one of our dearest customers by the name of Marvin Nuaman.   So thank you Marvin for the great idea sharing.

Knitted Bird Netting Enclosure

 This Garden Bird & Deer proof Cage was constructed by first getting some used well pipe from a well driller, clean & painted it, drove the next size bigger size well pipe (Stakes) into the soil to act as sleeve’s for the net poles (well pipe). Corner & sleeve joints are panted PVC Fittings. Then added 4′ high fence material (for deer & rodent protection) at the base. Then we put American Bird Netting over the top and sides over lapping the fence 1-2′ for a bird proof fit. We used American Netting Clips to attach the netting to the fence for easy assembly and removal each Spring & Fall. We added a modified metal gate from a farm supply house for easy human access. We love it.

One NOTE: This started out as a good neighbor thing. One finding better ways of doing something. We both tried various things. first to keep the deer out. and then the birds. This garden has a Bird side and a deer side. Things escalated with the growing deer population. I decided to cover the whole garden with PVC pipe and stitching small netting together from a local store. Then my neighbor like it so well. he copied me using metal well pipe. The PVC pipe worked ok for 3 seasons but required maintenance and would bend and was a pain. so I took my neighbors idea and improved on it even more especially in the joints and adding real farm gates. One I modified by making it higher and adding bird proof wire and it makes a bird proof fit to the pipe frame (no welding or drilling was done on the gate modification). My neighbor loves it so well he’s modifying his rig this summer.

While we were at it. we moved 5 very established Blue Berry plants, and added 1-10 yard dump truck of 5 & 1 soil mix. Our Raised beds came from used treated decking that my neighbor was rebuilding for his son.

The raised beds really made a big difference in our very healthy crop this year. we were amazed. Even our relocated Blue Berries that had been pruned at least 50% for the transplant gave us a healthy plentiful crop.

 

5 Great Ways to Attract Birds into Your Garden

It’s not just nice for you to have birds visit your garden, it is also good for your garden as well, the reason is that most varieties of garden birds have a great appetite for insect pests that populate your garden and cause harm to your plants and shrubs.
If you want to make your garden bird friendly and attract birds to your garden you have to consider the following things.
Plants
A good selection of native plants and shrubs with things like berries, and big seed heads will tempt the birds to come and feed.
Trees and Hedges
If you have the space some native trees and hedge line will provide natural nesting sites.
Nesting Boxes
If you have a smaller garden you can build or buy some nesting boxes in different sizes to provide a home for a nesting bird.
Water
Garden birds will also need a water source, so a bird bath is a perfect addition, if you don’t have one a large shallow saucer left on a patio will also provide a great place for birds to drink, bathe and splash around in. Ponds are also a good source of water for birds and it also attracts insects for them to feed on.
Food
Obviously its important to leave food out for your birds, this is the biggest factor for attracting birds to your garden, a stable bird table is great for offering nuts, seeds and fat balls to the birds. Squirrel proof hanging bird feeders are great of feeding the birds, its also very entertaining watching them pecking out the seeds.
While we’re on the subject of bird feeders can I ask you to please not buy the bird food in plastic netting that you can buy from market stalls and some supermarkets, these are very dangerous for small birds as they can get trapped in the netting and can break their legs very easily and even loose them all together. Some bird species have hooked tongues and can also become trapped in these net feeders. If you lean one thing from this article please remember this, it can save your garden birds a whole lot of suffering, and there are so many great bird feeder designs you wont have a shortage to choose from.
So, the simple rule for attracting birds to your garden is to provide what they are naturally looking for in the wild, give them a safe place to feed and they will return time and again. Enjoy it!

Andrew Lawrence runs a webiste all about birds and bird feeders which is full of usful tips and articles like this one, please visit GardeningYear.com for more info.

http://bird-feeders.gardeningyear.com/

Got Pest Birds? Here’s How to Scare Birds Away

While bird populations in North America have dropped considerably in the past 40 years, birds tend to nest or rest on the nation’s coasts where nearly half the U.S. human population lives or works. Most birds serve an important role in the ecosystem, but three species of birds in the U.S. are considered pests. Birds categorized as pests include the pigeon, the house sparrow, and the starling. As pests, they can be legally controlled with no justification other than the property owner’s displeasure. Of course, there are many other reasons to scare birds away.

Besides being a nuisance and defacing homes, boats, buildings and monuments, pest birds also pose a serious health hazard. Because of their easy and far-reaching mobility, they can vector an alarming variety of serious diseases. Among these are histoplasmosis (a lung disease that can be fatal if untreated), salmonella, ornithosis (a lower or upper respiratory disease resulting in fever, chills and headache), pseudotuberculosis (causing fever and abdominal pain), and several other diseases, including West Nile Virus via

parasites (like fleas and mites) that live on their bodies or grow in their droppings.

If you want to scare birds away, it helps to know a little about the birds we regard as pests. The first of our fine-feathered friends is the pigeon. Initially introduced from Europe as pets, pigeon populations have expanded almost exponentially and are now considered by many to be pests. These birds congregate in huge numbers and contaminate public areas with their droppings. They deface both stone and metal monuments, and present a serious risk to aircraft.

Next up is the starling. An imported species not native to North America, starlings nest in roof soffits, electrical boxes, and structural crevices of buildings. Young starlings often gather in huge flocks where their droppings deface and damage structures and monuments, park benches, playgrounds and other areas.

Finally, there’s the sparrow. These small birds build fancy nests in gutters, electrical boxes, roof soffits, door housings, and other man-made openings. Sparrows often create expensive problems when they clog rain gutters and downspouts. Their elaborate nests in electrical equipment can cause electrical shorts and fires.

So how to scare birds away?

For pigeons and large birds, one proven and highly effective methods is the use of Bird Spike strip. They look menacing, especially to pest birds, but they won’t harm them. The spikes simply discourage birds from landing. Some bird spikes are made of rigid unbreakable polycarbonate. Others employ flexible stainless steel. Another option is the Bird Spider. The spider arms flagellate with the breeze to scare birds away. Spiders are available in a wide range of diameters to deter different bird sizes and cover wider and wider areas. They require little or no maintenance and they won’t harm birds.

One of the most economical ways to scare birds away is through the use of Bird Scare products. These flashy, twirling objects and banners use iridescent reflective foil and shiny tape to create an “Optical Distraction Zone” that discourages pest birds from landing. An unusually effective bird scare product is the inflatable balloon with lifelike reflective predator eyes. These scare-eye diverters are easily attached in areas frequented by birds. Some even feature glow-in-the-dark backsides to repel birds at night. Bird scare products can be easily set up in and around patios, vineyards, pool areas, overhangs, gazebos, boats and other troublesome areas.

A more technical approach to scare birds away involves the use of Electric Shock Bird Repellers. Ideal for pigeons, seagulls and larger birds, these repellers use electrified tracks to impart a mild electric shock when birds try to land. The pest birds are not injured; the mild “jolt” just changes their roosting habits so that they move on. The tracks are easily mounted on signs, ledges, rooftops, and flat or curved surfaces. Some manufacturers offer low profile tracks that are virtually invisible from ground level. Other manufacturers offer electric tracks with a flow-through design to prevent water from damming up on rooftops and other surfaces.

Imagine the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard and you’ll get an idea of what our next category of bird scare products sounds like–at least to a bird. Known as Audio Bird Deterrents, they produce ultrasonic sounds that annoy birds. Ideal for walled-off or enclosed areas like sheds, parking garages, and overhangs, these audio devices will scare most birds away–birds like pigeons, sparrows, starlings or seagulls.

There’s also a category of products that use chemicals to scare birds away. Known variously as Foggers or Misters, these bird deterrents utilize an aerosol delivery system to disperse a food-grade, non-lethal aerosol of methyl anthranilate. Approved by the EPA, this chemical irritates pest birds and deters them as they fly through it. Ideal for large areas, many systems feature multiple remote spray units that can cover areas up to one square mile. These environmentally friendly systems won’t harm birds and won’t affect electrical equipment.

Finally, there’s the family of motorized products that work quite effectively to discourage pest birds from landing. These bird repellers utilize rotating arms to scare birds away. Ideal for parapet walls, roofs, signs, billboards, or any flat surface, some are battery powered, others use a plug-in power source. And some are even solar powered.

Protect your Seedlings From Animals and Birds

No matter how much people try to encourage the wildlife to visit and live in their gardens. There will always be occasions and/or parts of the garden where we do not welcome them. This being mainly when we are planting young seedlings or a crop of edible plants is getting close to harvest. So we have to strike a balance between encouraging the wildlife as well as being able to discourage them at other times or from certain particular places.

There are four ways of protecting your plants or crop from the ravages of birds and animals; these methods include fences, scarers, covers and sprays. Here we will deal with suggestions for the last three of these ideas.

Most of these ideas though will only provide a temporary solution, because most times the birds or wildlife, while scared off at first will eventually stop being frightened and will return and ignore or bypass that method in future. So it is an idea to only use each idea for a short time, and then later switch to a different system of control.

Scarers

Scarers usually rely on something to surprise the wildlife’s vision or hearing, to frighten them into leaving.

Bell Scarers

If you have some small cheap bells lying around or you can pick some up cheap, then string them along a length of twine over your plants.

Bottle Top Scarers

String a series of metal and or plastic bottle tops between stakes driven into the ground at the outside of the area to be protected. Make sure that they can move easily in the slightest breeze or at the gentlest touch. It also helps if some of them can rattle together to add a bit of noise.

Tie one off every so often so that it cannot move, this will stop them all migrating to the lowest point of the length of string.

Drink Bottle Rattle Scarer

Partially fill some drink bottles with a fairly light product like rice or dried peas, put enough in to make it into a rattle. Then tie them along some twine tied over your young plants. If animals tap them or the breeze is blowing they will make a noise, to frighten the small critters away.

Drink Can/Bottle Scarers

Tie some cans or bottle along some twine so that they can bump together to make a noise if tapped or moved by a breeze, to frighten the small animals or birds.

Whirligig Scarers

If you have one of those little whirligigs that have a blade that goes around in the breeze, why not set it up near your plants it will scare the birds away as long as the wind is blowing.

Hawk Scarers

Unless you are fairly good at both art and woodcraft and can make one yourself, you will probably have to go out purchase one of the commercially made Hawk scarers and set it up following the directions in the pack, to frighten away the birds.

Kites

Here you can either go out and purchase a small cheap kids kite or look at making your own kites.

To cover your kite, you can use anything from material through to old foil wrapping paper, kitchen foil or even plastic shopping bags.

Even kites made to be only a few inches across, can be an effective scarer, if you hang them to blow in the breeze.

Ribbon Scarers

Rip or cut some scraps of brightly coloured or reflective material into small strips. Tie them to twine over the plants to be protected, leave enough dangling to flap around in the breeze, to scare the birds.

Scarecrow

Have a go at making a Scarecrow, it may or not be effective at scaring the birds, but it almost be guaranteed to become a piece of landscaping art and a talking point around the neighbourhood.

Silver Foil Scarers

Aluminium foil or used Foil wrapping paper or bags (eg Chip bags), which is cut into strips to hang on twine through the area will scare the daylights out of any creature which moves it, or sees it moving in the breeze.

Or try wrapping polystyrene or ping-pong balls in the foil, and hang these through the area.

Water Hose/Sprinkler Scarer

Position a garden hose either up into a strong branch of a fruiting tree. Or tie it to a garden stake in the middle of your young plants. Leave a few feet loose above the top point at which you tie it off. When you notice birds descending on your plants. Turn the hose on as hard as you can. This will result in the end of the hose flapping around rather wildly gushing out a strong stream of water. This is usually enough to frighten anyone let alone the local wildlife.

Repeat this a few times and the birds or wildlife will soon not bother coming back.

Wind Chimes Scarers

Why not try and hang your old wind chimes in the area that you want protected.

Wine Cask Bladder Scarer

Take the nozzle out and use like a box kite. Or blow them up like balloons.

Tinsel Scarers

Use some of your old tinsel, or buy some up cheap in the post Christmas sales.

Allow plenty of loose material to permit the tinsel to move around in the breezes.

Sails/Pennants

Material, foil or plastic set up to flap in the breeze like either a sail or pennant, can be an effective scarer.

Windsock Scarer

Try your hand at making your own miniature version of an Airport’s Windsock to frighten the birds and animals

Clothesline/Airer Scarer

If you have the type of family that has clothes drying on a clothes line most days, then place your young plants in pots around the base of the clothes line or set up a movable clothes Airer near your delicate plants filling the lines with clothes and linen which will flap around a bit will also be an effective bird and small animal scarer.

Plastic Snakes

If you have an old plastic snake at the bottom of the old toy box, why not try putting it in amongst your plants. While I have never tried this method myself, I have heard of others who swear by this scarer. Move it around every so often.

Toy Animal Scarers

What about the idea of strategically placing a realistic looking toy dog or cat near your young plants. The theory being that the birds or small animals will already have had experience with real cats and dogs so will avoid any area with them.

(This is theoretical suggestion, which I haven’t seen tried but is based on the supposed success of the plastic snakes). So if anyone has the opportunity to try this one, let me know the results, please.

Protective Covers

Whereas putting a cover over or around the plants physically stops the animals from reaching the plants.

Glass/ Hard Plastic Covers

If you have a pane of glass or an old window that is not being used put it over your young plants, lift it above the plants using whatever is available to you, eg bricks etc.

Milk/Yoghurt Container Covers

Cut the top and bottom out of cardboard or plastic containers and slip these over young plants to stop birds and other animals from digging them out till they are established. It helps to bury the bottom of the container slightly.

This idea works just as well with any round or square material that will go round your young plants, from drink bottles to small sections of plastic plumbers pipe. But always cut them down one side to make removal easier once the plants have grown a bit.

Plastic/Shade cloth/Bird netting Covers

Make a framework of stakes around the plants that you want to protect, and place over this a shade cloth/plastic or bird netting cover. Shade cloth or plastic can be purchased by the foot/metre from nurseries or hardware stores. Or you can even just throw the shade cloth or bird netting directly over the plants/shrubs or small trees, if the plant is strong enough to support the weight of the material.

Stick and String Covers

Whether you are trying to protect a pot of seedlings or a bigger area out in the garden. Make up a framework of sticks or garden stakes around the seedlings, and then tie them loosely together by weaving some string, cotton, wool or twine between the sticks/stakes.

Wire Mesh Frame Covers

Wire Netting Covers

Support some of that light flexible fencing wire, mosquito mesh or even plastic mesh over your seedlings of fruiting plants, and support it with garden stakes to keep the birds away from your plants.

Hard Wire Frame Covers

Try supporting some hard wire mesh over your young plants to protect them from the ravages of birds or animals. You can use things like light concreting mesh or fencing panels, or whatever else you can access around the place.

Support them up off the ground with garden stakes, bricks or even soft drink bottles filled with water.

Sprays

The reason for applying a spray is to make the animals think that the targeted plant or fruit is not as tasty as they at first believed it should be. But it usually takes a bit of experimentation to find what will work with particular pests. As each have their own likes and dislikes even within the one species.

But try mixing hot or unpleasant but safe ingredients together to make a spray diluted with water to spray over your seedlings or fruiting plants. Try to avoid spraying fruit that you will eat, or rinse such produce well before consuming.

Some ingredients you might try include,

Tabasco sauce

Garlic

Onions

Chillies

Etc.

The above list of ideas should be enough to provide you with at least a few alternatives that you can try to combat those ravenous critters that are bombarding your young charges.

The Bare Bones Gardener is a qualified Horticulturist and a qualified Disability Services Worker. He hates spending money on stuff which doesn?t live up to the promises given. So he looks for cheaper, easier, simpler or free ways of doing the same thing and then he passes these ideas on to others.


Garden Blog – http://barebonesgardening.blogspot.com/

Getting Rid of Pest Birds

For many people, their home is their greatest asset.  It provides shelter, equity, and sense of accomplishment so it is without surprise that most people will do whatever it takes to protect the value and aesthetic properties of their home.  Unfortunately, humans are not the only creatures who seek refuge in a house.  Pest birds such as pigeons and sparrows find most any house to be a suitable nesting location. Once a bird begins construction on a nest, it is next to impossible to get rid of them.  The solution: Solve the problem before it begins.  Factors such as disease and property damage further encourage homeowners to get rid of birds to avoid any potential problems.

Birds are very simple creatures but can present some complex problems when nesting on a home.  They will seek out any nook or crevice that will provide sufficient shelter.  They prefer to be near a food source, so it is always good to check and see if there is any available food.  If there is one, get rid of it.  This includes bird feeders, trash, pet food, etc.  Once birds have established a viable food source, there are very few things that will deter them.  After eliminating any potential food sources, getting rid of birds will be much easier.

When attempting to get rid of birds on a home there are three basic kinds of deterrents.  These include physical, visual, and sound deterrents.  Each different type of deterrent has its place in keeping a home “bird free”.  By examining these three types of deterrents, one will have a better understanding of how to get rid of birds on a home and hopefully avoid any potential problems.

First off, physical bird deterrents are always the best way to get rid of pest birds.  By completely blocking off they’re nesting or perching areas, it forces them elsewhere.  The most common types of physical bird deterrents are bird spikes and bird netting.  Of course, there are other types of physical deterrent, however the majority of the time either netting or bird spikes will do the trick.  To understand this, one must have an idea of where the most common nesting and perching areas are on a home.  Beginning with the top of the house, birds will often times perch on the roof peak of the structure and the chimney.  These areas are used more as a lookout post rather then a nesting area.  When encountering this, it is best to install bird spikes along the edges of the roof along with the chimney area.  Another option for this situation would be the application of Bird Gel.  Bird Gel is applied with a caulking gun and creates a sticky surface that pest birds can’t stand.

After discussing the potential damage pest birds can cause along with solutions, it is easy to see why household bird control is growing in popularity.  When it comes down to it, no person wants any animal defacing their home, especially when it comes with the risk of disease.  By getting rid of pest birds, one can ensure the aesthetics and equity of their home and more importantly the safety of those living there.

Bryan Donoho has been involved in the bird control industry for the last 7 years.

Want to Make Birds Go Away? There Are Many Ways To Go

Homeowners and commercial enterprises spend millions of dollars every year trying to play catch up with the damage and nuisance inflicted by pest birds. If only there was a way to make birds go away. No one really wants to harm our fine feathered friends, we just want them to find a nice tree in the park to call home.

Perhaps no one wants to make birds go away more than commercial  building owners. For pest birds can lead to a myriad of costly problems. Their droppings not only seriously detract from a building’s appearance, but the acidic secretions produced by the fungi that live in these droppings can mar paint and other surfaces. Bird nests and droppings can clog gutters and down pipes, causing rooftops to leak; this debris can be sucked into ducts, grilles and vents, jamming air conditioning and heating units. It can get into rooftop turbine ventilators and ceiling windows, causing them to seize up. Cleanup and repair costs can go through the roof. Of course, there are many other reasons why commercial building owners want to make birds go away.

When bird droppings gather at building entrances they create a slippery surface resulting in huge slip and fall liability to commercial property owners. Bird droppings around loading bays and storage areas can mar the appearance of costly finished goods, as well as the cardboard packaging of these products.

Restaurant owners know fair well the problems pest birds can create. The offensive odors and noise can discourage customers. And bird droppings accumulated on signage  can ruin the image of even the most popular eatery. Pest birds can also be a health hazard, carrying and transmitting any of 60 known diseases. The mantra, just make birds go away is oft repeated in the commercial industry.

Today’s cash strapped homeowners are no less anxious about ridding their domiciles of pest birds. They don’t need to replace window awnings, air conditioning units, spa covers, solar panels and satellite dish antennas annually, thanks to bird droppings. Nor do they want their children exposed to the diseases carried by bird droppings left on patio tables and chairs.

Fortunately, for both homeowner and commercial building owner, there are a number of ways to make birds go away. And stay away.

Among the most popular is the bird spike. Ideal for pigeons and other large birds, these are available with rigid unbreakable polycarbonate spikes or stainless steel spikes. A cousin to the bird spike is the bird spider. These have proven effective for awnings and patio covers, since the spider arms flagellate  with the breeze, preventing pest birds from landing. The spiders also come in a number of diameters. Spikes and spiders are easy to install and while they appear menacing, they won’t harm birds.

A surprisingly simple and effective way to make birds go away, the bird slope is widely used by both homeowners and commercial applications. The angled, slippery PVC panels cause pest birds to simply slide off when they try to land. Bird slopes are ideal for eaves, ledges, beams and other 90-degree areas where pest birds tend to nest and roost. Another favorite bird deterrent is bird gel. It’s easy to apply with a standard caulking gun and leaves a sticky surface that pest birds hate to land on, yet it’s safe for birds (except swallows) and people. Gels are ideal for ledges, I-beams, parapet walls, conduit, pipes, and flat or curved surfaces.

To make birds go away from large commercial garages, airline hangars, courtyards, and other expansive areas, there’s bird netting. Netting can control all species of birds and is even prescribed by architects. Netting comes in U.V. stabilized, flame resistant and rot and waterproof varieties, as well as a number of mesh sizes to deter starlings, sparrow, pigeons, seagulls and larger birds.

Another family of products that will make birds go away from large areas are bird misting systems. Humane and effective, these bird-hazing systems release an ultra fine mist that really annoys pest birds. The mist typically contains methyl anthranilate, a grape extract that naturally occurs in concord grapes. Safe for people, pets, plants and birds, this chemical has been widely used for decades to deter a wide variety of pest birds including, sparrows, pigeons, starlings, crows, blackbirds and geese.

Making pest birds go away in a hurry are the electric-track bird repellers. Ideal for deterring pigeons, seagulls and larger birds in mostly commercial applications, repellers deliver a mild electric shock that’s harmless to birds. Easily mounted on ledges, signs, rooftops, and flat or curved surfaces, some repellers are low profile and virtually invisible. When choosing electric repellers, you should select models with a flow-through design to keep water from damming up on rooftops and other surfaces. Opt for corrosion-resistant tracks that resist alkali and acidic environments.

If you believe there’s nothing like movement to make birds go away, you can try motorized bird repellers. They’re ideal for keeping birds off AC units, rooftops, awnings and that covered boat you have sitting in front of the garage. Some newer models even run on energy efficient solar cells.

Those who prefer high-tech deterrents have a whole family of bird scare products to choose from. These include supersonic sound systems, which play distress and predator calls for up to 22 types of birds. The calls can be heard for up to one acre and will keep birds from invading  backyards, garden areas, pools, patios, gazebos, rooftops and other open spaces.

Finally, there are a number of “bird scare” deterrents for those on a budget. These have been proven effective in keeping birds from landing on trees, overhangs, gazebos, patios, eaves, near pools, and other areas. There’s iridescent reflective foil or flash tape, which creates an “Optical Distraction Zone” birds don’t like. There’s also the inflatable balloon imprinted with lifelike reflective predator eyes and markings. The best thing about these bird deterrents is how easy they are to set up in virtually any problem area. Some bird repellers even have iridescent foil eyes to scare away birds by day, and glow-in-the-dark graphics to keep pest birds away at night.

So, as you can see, if you want to make birds go away, there are many ways to go.

Alex Kecskes is a freelance writer focusing on humane bird control.