Homemade metal screen fruit protectors

Continuing the discussion from Bagging fruits on the tree, for insect and disease protection:

This is regular screen door material from the hardware store. Just cut some squares, fold over into a pouch and staple them shut over the fruit.


@hoosierquilt, the pouches pull apart pretty easily up by the stem. The pouches are reusable.

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Awesome, Clint. Will try this. Good to know it’s just regular staples that pull apart easily. This will keep ground squirrels and rats out of the fruits unless they yank everything off the branch.

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Interesting idea. I had some luck with cotton drawstring bags, they were a lot more chew work for the squirrels than plastic but the persistent squirrels would still go after them. I expect desperate squirrels would also pull some of these down, but if its metal its going to take them a lot longer to get the goodies out.


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Rodents are after an easy meal, these pouches are way too much work for them. I found one or two pouches on the ground with chew marks on the edges in the first year, but never again and never any loses.


Sounds like a great idea! I am having trouble visualizing how you close the side. Do you fold it twice? How big of a square do you start with? I wonder if the screen would be fine enough to stop the SWDs?

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I first posted the finer details of this on another message board awhile back:
Pomegranate Security

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You’re right about the rats, Clint, but the ground squirrels are horridly persistent, and we have a LOT of them. I stopped putting birdseed out in my feeders for now, until after fruit harvest, as that attracts the stupid things. So, have seen far less of both rats and squirrels, but, they know when the fruit is ripening, and they will appear. I am going to bag or screen bag some of my more special fruits. Not sure if I’m up for doing everything - that would be a hell of a lot of bags - but, certainly on the trees I’ve been waiting for, and are first season trees with fruit.

Yes, all gardening is local. Rodents are pretty shy here due to red-tailed hawks, barking dogs, feral cats and such. Most of my trees are fine with just BirdBlock, but in one area I need the pouches to keep out squirrels and in another spot I need the pouches to deter rats. They work equally well on both here.


@MrClint: Do your screen Tacos keep out most insects in addition to squirrels? Many thanks for this idea, may be the magic bullet to my squirrel problem. Does fibreglass screening also work as well as metal? Is the metal screen you use aluminum? Do you ever include a nearby branch or twig in the Taco so it’s harder to pull off?

The screen pouches do a pretty good job of deterring leaffooted bugs, which can be a pest on poms here late in the season. I can’t speak to how well they would keep out a multitude of other bugs or how well other screening materials would function.

I do try to keep one branch per pouch as the squirrels tend to work around the branch entry point. Introducing a second area for them to work on doesn’t seem like a good idea. You want them to get frustrated and leave and hopefully never come back.

Feel free to experiment and determine what works best for you.

Thanks Clint. Has anyone reading this tried this with fiberglass screen material?

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No but I’m going to try out a few this spring. Bill

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I tried plasticscreen material. Works as good as metal screen m


I checked Lowes, they have 100 ft x 36 in roll of fiberglass screen for $45. If the square is 12 in x 12 in I could get 300 “screen tacos” out of the roll, or 15 cents each. Told some apple friends about this but they said sounds like too much work. So they will continue to get zero apples as they won’t spray Surround or use net or trap (their trees are too small to limb up to 5 ft). I can make a bunch this winter so stapling them on the tree should be pretty fast.

I mainly use it on peaches against the squirrels which is effective, zero lost, few bags were tore, but fruits were still inside. Can image how angry the squirrels were. I use the pet protect screen which is stronger. Metal ones work fine too, but it unravels, and not soft and easy to work with as the plastic ones. I posted pictures on other thread. if you look at the beginning of this thread you can find the thread name of that discussion

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IL Is this what you used:

I’m wondering if these will stop Crows.They were probably responsible for tearing the ripening fruit off an Asian Pear that were enclosed in plastic sandwich bags. Brady

Should be similar. I just bought at local menards

I would think it is strong enough against crow. my Asian pears mostly were eaten by racoons