Thursday, 22 August 2013

Pest control

Here on the east  coast of  N.S.W we have a major pest. The Indian Minor Bird.
It makes such a mess everywhere,.When we put out dog biscuits for our furry friends they come in droves and raid it, they have no fear at all and then  they leave their white filthy poop every where they go.
They  nest in a huge palm tree up in our back yard(after hunting any nice birds away, they steal their nests and raise their own dirty noisy babies.We bought the owl on the table(supposed to scare them), what a joke, they hang round it all day.
I peg my wash up under here often, and am forever finding streaks of bird poop all over everything.
We recently re-oiled our back wooden table that we love to use all the time,  but within 24 hours it was covered. The poop  seems to have an acid in it as it marks the table badly and is very difficult to remove.
So we had no alternative to cover  it semi-permanently, and only remove if we know we are going to entertain. You can also see in this photo a previous attempt at control.We placed a piece of fishing line across the top of each chair so that they couldn't land on them(they used to sit on the top of the chair and poop and it would run down all over the chairs) This technique stopped them for about 6 months.The cover is ugly, but we have no choice.
The  other major issue we have with them is the garden.
They always strip our strawberry crops, and they pull out any seedlings and new plants that you put in the garden. Brian has had enough, they are the worst this year that they have ever been(we think it's because we spend so much time away(and so does the dog) that they are getting more and more brazen.
This  time when he re-dug the strawberry pants, he decided to at least cover one bath tub full to see how it goes.
We used some black poly drip irrigation tube which we cut to 1.1 mtre lengths and teck screwed to the sides of the old tub in a hoop. We used 4 of them and then covered with bird netting. Simple but hopefully effective.
We had such big help on this project, I thought I would add a picture of them.

Brian  also prepared the beds for corn,cucumbers  and beans while he was home this time. He has planted 2 beds of corn, 3 beds of bush beans and one bed of bush cucumbers.
As soon as he planted the seeds, those rotten Indian Minors were there , scratching and digging, trying to find the seeds....So I looked for a solution.I had read on a few of the canning sites that I frequent that the extra canning rings that we accumulate are a good bird deterrent, We strung up a few lengths of fishing line with rings hanging off them, and some aluminiun foil strips hanging off that to wave in the breeze.
Did that deter them? not likely, so then today we moved onto stage two,covering all the beds with bird netting and placing lots of whirly windmill things and shiny tinsel and twisty things, to hopefully scare them away. Tomorrow we will see it it worked( but I am not holding my breath)
We don't have this issue at the farm, the Indian Minors  thank god  haven't made it out that far west yet.......but they will eventually.
So until next time I will be on Bird patrol.
All the best to everyone,

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