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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Reader Question: Strawberry Thieves

Question: I'd like some advice on maintaining a berry patch that doesn't get nibbled on in the middle of the night by rodents! It seems like those critters come along and ruin every ripe berry before I can get to it! It's maddening! Aside from covering the entire plot in netting do you do anything to protect those precious berries?

Answer: We have never had issues with rodents in our strawberry patches. Birds seem to be the main culprit in our garden. We use netting to keep the birds at bay and I wonder if this might help with strawberries.

Luckily we have a large group of readers that have probably had the same problem. If you have had rodent problems with your strawberries, what have you done to keep them away from your strawberries.

~ Michael



Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty.
If you don't want a cat to do the job please consider scare tape. The gentlest of breezes makes it move a scare off the skiddish varmints.
A snake might work too.

Hen said...

We use Red Fox Urine. It seems to keep the squirrels out of the tomato and strawberry patches, which they destroyed last year (though it doesn't keep the chickens out, another issue altogether). Just put 2-3 drops every 6 feet along the edge of your beds. Reapply every week or two.

Anonymous said...

We are big fans of scare tape as well. It works on all our fruit trees and in bushes too. Another thing is to take your dogs out on a leash and have them urinate close to, but not on the actual plants. The scent scares away some of the smaller critters. Eww, but hey, it's natural.

Mellonee said...

Our berries always had bite marks out of them that looked as if rodents were gnawing on them, but then we found out it was rolly polly bugs. (the bugs that roll up into a little black ball when you touch them) If you have an abundance of them that might be the issue. We got some organic pellets that you put on at night when they are feeding, that seemed to help.

Donna said...

We have the sweetest little kitty that has the most ferocious hunting talent. Seriously. I've never tried the scare tape but in our fruit trees I run thread around it and hang old, used canning lids with a hole punched to thread it through. THey catch their wings on the thread which they can't see and it spooks them.

Kristina Seleshanko said...

I agree it could be bugs. In addition to laying down pellets, you can remove any mulch to deter pests.