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Terror on the wing

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Justintime

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Last season I lost the better part of my crops to birds. I tried hawk and owl decoys and reflective scare ribbons. I need a more effective solution. It is amazing how fast cardinals, painted buntings and blue birds can wipe out a crop. Maybe I should lease the place out to bird watchers
 

Minnesotamaker

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Birds seem to communicate. Once one finds the grapes, they come by the flock. We started netting and find that if you can stop the first bird, the others don't come either. The flickers have long beaks, so they will still reach through the netting and get the grapes closest to the net.
 

wildhair

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I don't have problem with birds on the grapes - the cherries, yes. The owl decoy works pretty good on them. I net my strawberries & nothing seems to bother my black raspberries. But the stupid bald face hornets and bees get to my grapes JUST before they are truly ripe. They suck the juice out and leave an empty shell behind. If I want any grapes at all, I have to pick before they are fully sweet.
Anybody got a solution for THAT?
 

TonyR

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Yes, kill the hornets. There are poisons that you can use that they take back to the nest. Onslaught Insecticide at least I think it works, sure seems like the population of wasps around my place droped after I started using it. And no it doesn't kill the honey bees if you use it in traps. I have 3 honey bee hives in my yard, my bee problems are from bears.
 
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Justintime

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I don't have problem with birds on the grapes - the cherries, yes. The owl decoy works pretty good on them. I net my strawberries & nothing seems to bother my black raspberries. But the stupid bald face hornets and bees get to my grapes JUST before they are truly ripe. They suck the juice out and leave an empty shell behind. If I want any grapes at all, I have to pick before they are fully sweet.
Anybody got a solution for THAT?
I am not familiar with bald face hornets. We have red wasps, and yellow paper wasp by the millions. It is a constant fight with those things. Sorry but it is good to hear someone else has a problem. Good luck with them.
 

dwhill40

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The mylar bird tape seemed to keep some birds away. Bird netting worked except for mockingbirds which required some heavy metal. I have to figure out how to keep the small black bumble bees at bay. One flew in my beer last year and stung me in the mouth. I have a vendetta with them now.
 

wildhair

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Onslaught Insecticide at least I think it works, sure seems like the population of wasps around my place droped after I started using it. And no it doesn't kill the honey bees if you use it in traps.
I've used traps with limited success - caught (drowned) hundreds of hornets but there seems to be a never ending supply. I just use sugar water in the traps - they climb in and drown. Honey bees feed on flowers - nectar and pollen - so they wouldn't be affected by insecticide sprayed on ripening grapes. The hornets feed on the fruit juice - cut open the grape and suck' em DRY!

But I have an aversion to spraying chemicals on my food just before I harvest it. So I'll probably just put out more traps this year.

These are the bald-faced hornets - I hate these #!@&ing things! They do give a nasty sting.
http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/facts/bald-faced_hornet_712.html
 

Sage

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I've also had good results with onslaught. You have to get them early. They feed on one thing in the spring and change mid summer to another. Seems like cat food works part of the year and fruit juice another. Water supply is another good bait site for wasps. I live in a dry area and they are super attracted to water.

Birds: best luck I've had so far is a kite type owl decoy on a very long PVC pipe. Any breeze and they appear to be flying. Move it (actually several) around. Don't leave it in one place very long. Birds ignore stationary decoys

Deer: A motion detector hooked to a cheap boom box. Tune it to a loud talk or rap station and put the volume high. They get used to repeated regular noise like a cannon but not the radio. Works day or night. All is quiet when they start coming then BOOOM they run for cover. If you have a pesky deer that hangs close, I have an electronic varmint call, turned loud and run a couple minutes of cougar screams. They will leave the area for a day. Coyote howls work fairly well too. (neighbors dogs, or yours, will not like it either and get agitated)
 
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