What is the best way to protect highbush blueberries from birds and other critters?


I have highbush blueberries that I protect from birds and critters by netting. A couple of times in the past decade, a bird has gotten inside the netting and could not find its way out and died. Would hanging cds on the bushes work to protect the blueberries from the birds and critters?


Katherine Garland, Horticulturist

I’m very sorry to hear you’ve had bird fatalities in your netting. CDs and other moving/reflective materials in the garden can be helpful, but netting is your best insurance. To keep your crops protected and reduce your risk of harming birds, use netting with small mesh (1/2″ or smaller). Penn State has a nice bulletin that outlines the issues you’re facing and offers some more suggestions on some scare tactics that might be something to consider as part of your management strategy. https://extension.psu.edu/controlling-birds-on-fruit-crops