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Birds

Pigeons and other birds can quickly strip the tender parts of crops, demolish berries and pull up sets. Severe attacks can leave you with no crop but, before you make your allotment a bird-free zone, don't forget that birds are a vital part of integrated pest control.


Symptoms

  • Brassicas and peas stripped leaving little but the tough stems and veins
  • Bush fruit such as currants and tree fruit, especially cherries, either removed completely or left half-eaten.
  • Onion sets pulled from the soil and left scattered about

Prevention & control

  • Where birds are less of a problem, scarecrows and other scarers (models of birds of prey, humming lines, CDs/other shiny things waving in the wind) may suffice, but change them regularly as birds soon become used to them.
  • The dry tips of onion sets can be snipped off, giving birds nothing to grab onto, and any which have been lifted can be replanted
  • Netting is the only guranteed control but it needs to be held rigidly well away from leaves as pigeons are quite happy to sit on it and nibble plants through the holes.
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