Keeping Vineyards Safe from Hungry Birds

Grape growers everywhere are familiar with vineyard pests, especially pest birds.  The most common vineyard problem birds are robins, starlings, finches, orioles, mockingbirds, and grackles.  A study conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs determined that a flock of 5,000 starlings can consume up to one ton of food over a 10-day period.  This kind of crop loss can cost grape growers and vineyard owners thousands of dollars a month.

As wine-making and grape growing become more popular, vineyards are growing in size and prevalence, attracting even more pest birds to the area.  Fortunately, there are several ways to repel pest birds from vineyard property.

Pictured: Irri-Tape being used in a vineyard

Visual Scares

Visual scares and predator decoy products are simple, cost-effective and easy to install.  Irri-tape holographic foil bird tape is extremely popular in grape-growing regions like Napa Valley.  Irri-tape’s iridescent material shimmers in the sunlight and makes metallic noises in the wind, frightening and intimidating approaching pest birds.

Predator decoy balloons are another common bird control product used to solve vineyard pest problems.  Scare-Eye Balloons are 3D balloon eye replicas that move with the wind to repel pest birds.  Terror Eyes is a larger, more detailed predator balloon with holographic eyes that give pest birds the unpleasant sense that they’re being followed.

Electronic Bird Control

Electronic bird control devices are also an effective tool for vineyards, especially when paired with visual scares.  Sonic bird control devices emit bird distress calls and predator cries that frighten pest birds in large outdoor areas.  Ultrasonic bird control devices are great for smaller spaces and use high-frequency sound waves that are nearly silent-to-humans, but extremely irritating to birds.  The BroadBand PRO combines sonic calls that reach up to 6 acres, ultrasonic frequencies and three visual scares for a highly effective multi-sensory attack.  BroadBand PRO is an excellent all-in-one solution for grape growers and vineyard owners.

Bird Netting

The most comprehensive singular vineyard bird control solution is bird netting.  However, installing bird netting can be a large undertaking and is certainly more costly than using visual bird control products or electronic repellers.  But if the goal is to keep birds away from the crops entirely, bird netting will work.  It is best to install the netting slightly elevated above the vines – if the bird net is draped over the vines, birds may still be able to peck the grapes through the small holes in the netting.

Are you a vineyard owner or grape grower who has used these products?  Let us know what you think!

Questions? Contact our dedicated team.

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