Possums, birds, bats and rats

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Spidermonkey, May 19, 2015.

  1. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    Hi guys,

    Several times since we bought our new place we have been beaten to the fruit by something, I'm not sure what. We saw our grapes vanish just before they ripened, same with the peaches and we only just managed to save a few figs before Christmas but there was a couple of half eaten ones on the ground. One method may be to net around these areas or make frames covered in chicken mesh.

    When I was at Zaytuna Farm doing my PDC I didn't see any nets or mesh but the fruit and veg was going great and there was no sign that they were losing harvests to the wildlife. How do you protect your fruit and veg?
     
  2. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    I net my peach(birds and bats) and mandarins(cockatoos) everything else seems ok so far Though parrots love red things still plenty left behind
     
  3. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Rats, possums, snails, dogs, cats, birds etc.

    Some years nothing, other years everything.

    Full exclusion is the go if you are having issues, bagging individual fruit if there isn't too much.

    Anti-aviaries are the rage now, only allow bees in.
     
  4. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    sounds like you need a critter camera to figure out what is raiding.

    i've seen dogs in the videos for Zaytuna, so there is some territorial marking going on there which might keep many raiders at bay. perhaps walking around and "marking" your territory once in a while would help?

    we fence the main veggie gardens and that helps keep most critters out (but not all). sometime if i upgrade the fencing i'll add electric to it.

    i also overplant and have multiple layers of defenses or sacrificial plantings for gardens outside the fenced areas.
    the critters sometimes can get the whole crop that ways. last year i had so many strawberries that i couldn't keep up and the critters couldn't either. called others to help pick and had several groups over to pick but still had some go to waste. this year i'm adding yet another strawberry patch as the first is getting old enough to be refurbished or rotated to other plantings for a few seasons.

    the air rifle gets used once in a while, as much as my own philosophy doesn't like it, but some animals get to be too many and we have no natural predators left to control them all. feral cats help a little.

    i used netting on the grapes a few times to keep the birds and raccoons off. for a single or limited planting that worked fine as it only needed to be on a few days/weeks.
     
  5. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    I have a very fat robin hanging out all day long waiting for the blueberries and the grapes to ripen. The deer broke through a rusty part of the chicken wire fence and went straight for the grapes.

    But I don't like netting because I've had bad experiences with it. Snakes get caught in it, good and bad. It took me an hour down on my knees with tiny scissors, and a garbage can lid over the head of a good snake (so I wouldn't have to listen to the hissing) that went through more than a dozen holes and got trapped. Bats get caught in it. A loose piece of netting, that doesn't show up well on a gravel driveway or the ground, or weeds, wrapped itself around my rear axel. It was only when someone sitting on a bench at the store I was at pointed it out to me that I knew about it. I had to crawl under there in the parking lot with scissors and cut it loose. Luckily it didn't wrap around the brake line and pull it loose.

    Sheer white polyester curtains work really well. They are cheap, even when new, lightweight, store easily, and flap on their edges, which also discourages the birds.

    :)
     
  6. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Our dogs do most of the guarding, but now that we have a new blueberry patch going in outside the fencing, I will either use netting or one of those blowup owls to discourage pilfering of the blueberries.
     
  7. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Ive lived and have had gardens in Sydney, Northern NSW and Perth but I've never experienced the level of destruction to my gardens, from the wildlife here in QLD. I now have a fully enclosed the garden with chicken wire and since then, the destruction has stopped. Some varieties of plants Im noticing they will not touch but anything they go for, is now is planted inside the enclosure.

    My neighbour tried an interesting experiment. He found a possum skull and placed it in his garden that was getting smashed by possums, apparently it warded them away for a few months. Eventually started to raid his garden again but it did seem to work for a little while.
     
  8. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Aside from fencing and a fedge, I have no other protection.

    The deer go to my neighbors property, they get scared by his dog around 2am, they rest on my property and graze up to my eastern and higher in elevation neighbor where he feeds them by hand and calls them all "Buddy."
     
  9. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. I now suspect that most of the fruit goes missing at night but I still don't know for sure who the thief is. I suspect possums so next time I go there I'm going to hunt for droppings. I have noticed that as a bird scaring tactic some people suspend old CDs from pieces of string. I don't know if this would bother bats or possums but it might be worth a go. I have also read that some people have put plastic around the trunks of some of their trees which helps to stop the possums from climbing them but they are still able to jump to around 1.5m (or so I have read). I agree that netting might be the most practical solution if all else fails, especially for the grapes.
     
  10. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    There are anti-possums sprays that you can make up.

    Quick google netted me this one but I'd do more research:

    Sounds like someone needs some possums or other marsupials over there. You can take ours if you want. Brush turkeys are beautiful, handsome animals that really complement a garden too. Their light scratching enhances most beds.
     

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