How to Protect Your Fruit From Birds


How much is it worth to get ripe mangoes from your tree?

We have a mango tree in our front yard that is small enough that we can pick the fruit fairly easily. The problem is that the birds always get to them before we do.

That wouldn’t be so bad (I don’t mind sharing,) except that they eat the fruit a day or two before it becomes fully ripe. They take a couple bites, and then the mango won’t get ripe, wasting it for all of us.

A solution is to put paper bags around the fruits. Labor-intensive, yes, but worth it.

Then the problem becomes, how do you see when the mangoes are ripe enough to pick them, since the paper bags are not see-through?

I came up with a method that would let me see when the mangoes were ripe, without opening the bags to look at the fruit. No, not x-ray vision!

mango bagged

Tie a paper bag around the mango

I tied a loop of twine (actually, electrician’s fishing line–they use it to pull wiring, or “fish” it, through walls and such.) to the bag and the branch. When the mango is ripe, the twine goes taught, and I can easily tell that mango is ripe.

Here’s how to do it:
Place a paper bag around the mango. Tie around the neck of the bag (not too tightly) with one end of the twine.

mango branch

Tie the other end to a branch

Tie the other end to a sturdy branch nearby. Usually that’s the part of the branch the mango is on the end of.

mango with loop

Seeing the loop means the mango is not ripe yet

Be sure to leave a loop of twine. When the mango gets ripe, it naturally falls from the tree. It takes the bag with it, causing the string to go slack.

mango ripe

When the string is taut, the mango has fallen, ripe.

This will only work on fruits that fall off on their own when ripe. Otherwise, the fruit will just hang there on the tree and rot in the bag.

But it’s so worth it, to have unblemished, uneaten mangoes from your tree!

I’m not sure if this will also work for stopping the fruit flies, or whatever but it is that stings the mangoes and fills them with worms. But it’s working great to keep the birds off.

Then you can use those delicious mangoes in this recipe for Mango Frozen Yogurt. There are also recipes for Mango Ice Cream and other combinations with other fruits, in my book, The New Scoop: Recipes for Dairy-Free, Vegan Ice Cream in Unusual Flavors (Plus Some Old Favorites.)

4 Responses to How to Protect Your Fruit From Birds

  1. Africanaussie on May 17, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Oh gosh what a great idea! Can you think of a way to stop the flying foxes eating my lychees? Our tree is waaay too big (we might prune it back this year) and we cut all we can reach, but then every night is filled with the sound of flying foxes fighting over the remains.

  2. 4alina on May 17, 2012 at 7:11 am

    No, I don’t know what you can do. You could bag the fruit, but you wouldn’t be able to see it get ripe, and lychee doesn’t fall when it’s ripe, either.

    All I can say is I wish we got lychee on our tree. We get a little every couple of years, but people steal it because it’s so expensive to buy, and what’s left gets stung by something.

    Enjoy what you have!

  3. 4alina on May 17, 2012 at 7:13 am

    On the other hand, since bats rely on echolocation to find their food, can you hang something that might confuse them–like taught strips of ribbon, so that when the wind blows, they make a whirring sound?

    I have no experience dealing with bats; our local bat is only on the outer islands. Just brainstorming…

  4. Rago on December 21, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Fruit bats are no bats but Flying Foxes. They are not related to insect bats (it is suggested they are rather close to primates). They have NO echolocation but very good eyesight (even in the dark) and find blossoms and fruit by smell. Only netting the tree will keep them away or plenty of flowering native trees, as they prefer them over introduced fruits (we looked after Flying Foxes for years, that’s how I know).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Vegan Ice Cream Cookbook

Greens Reusable Fabric Tote

Fun Animal Poems, Facts, and Activities for Kids

Learn about Hawaii while you draw

A Gratefulness Journal with Prompts


I am affiliated to the products on this website. That means that if you click on a link and buy something, I may get a small amount of money. Thank you for helping to support me and my blog!