It is terrifying to see birds hanging dead in nets, hopelessly entangled in flimsy plastic cloth. Many gardeners use bird nets to protect their plants. Unfortunately, most bird nets available for protecting vegetables and fruits are death traps and should never be used in your garden. There are bird-friendly options to keep them in.
In principle, there are only two types of nets that are safe for birds. It can be a soft net with holes smaller than your finger, or a stiff net to keep birds from getting entangled.
Find out why netting is safe for birds and 8 great nets to use in your garden.
Why the Right Net Matters
Most bird nets you can buy are made of flexible plastic with large holes, which are very dangerous to wildlife. Wing fractures, leg injuries, skin lacerations and strangulation are common consequences. Even if the bird does not sustain any physical injury, the stress of being caught (even for a short time) can be fatal.
To keep birds from getting tangled, choose a net that:
- The holes in the net are at most 5mm x 5mm.
- The net is strong enough to prevent birds from getting entangled in it.
If you can put your finger in the net hole, don’t use it.
Advantages of anti-bird net
Besides keeping birds safe, there are many other benefits to choosing a bird-friendly net.
- long lastingA high-quality anti-bird net will last a long time.
- Increased biodiversityA healthy garden is full of birds. But luring them into deadly traps with the wrong net is cruel.
- better for the environment: Most bird nets are made of non-recyclable plastic, but the right net can last for years. Flimsy bird netting tears very easily, and non-degradable plastic clogs landfills and can pose a danger to even more animals.
- Protects more than birdsSafety nets protect all animals, not just birds. Bats, lizards, snakes, possums and other animals can also become entangled in poor quality webs.
Drawbacks of bird-friendly nets
Unfortunately, bird-safe nets have some drawbacks.
- ExpensiveHigh-quality, wildlife-safe nets can be quite expensive depending on where you get them.
- hard to findMost stores sell nets that are not garden-safe, so you may have to do a hands-on search for the right one (and you’re very likely to order online). .
In many parts of Australia, it is illegal to use nets with holes larger than 5 mm, so many wildlife-friendly anti-bird nets are made underground. Two companies to check out are Polygro and Bunnings, but thankfully they’re starting to become more readily available around the world.
8 bird-friendly nets for your garden
In our opinion the disadvantages do not outweigh the advantages. We went where birds ate our berries for several years before we found a good safety net. prosperous.
Here are some of the best garden nets that are safe for birds and wildlife.
1. Roll netting
Many bird-friendly nets come in long rolls that can be conveniently wrapped over and around berries. They come in a variety of heights and lengths, but a common size is about 10m x 10m (33×33 ft). is.
Many manufacturers sell their nets in rolls, but remember that they must pass a “finger test” to be safe for birds and other wildlife! Stake the ends to keep the net taut, as birds are more likely to become entangled if it is loose and drooping.
If you have a very large section that you would like to cover, consider purchasing Orchard Nets, which are usually offered in very large rolls ordered for a particular operation.
2. Tree bag
If you only have one or two trees, consider wrapping the entire tree in a large mesh bag.
- There is a high degree of freedom in planting locations.
- When to put the mesh according to the pollination and harvesting requirements of different plants.
- No need to deal with bulky nets and cages all over your garden.
Fruit Saver has some really great stuff. In addition, a variety of bird-friendly nets are also made.
3. Fruit bag
Instead of covering the entire tree, why not put a mesh bag just above the fruit on the branch? Especially useful.
Discover Aussie Gardener fruit bags.
Fruit bags are very easy to make yourself. In dry climates, try using old laundry bags or paper bags.
4. Sturdy safety fence
Sometimes called a “snow fence,” you often see safety fences installed at construction sites or along roadways. It’s a sturdy plastic fence with about 2cm to 3cm holes, but the plastic is very hard so birds won’t get entangled.
It’s usually a very striking orange color, but sometimes it’s also available in green. This is readily available at hardware stores such as Home Depot. It usually comes in rolls that are 50 or 100 feet long and 4 feet tall and works very well in cages and frames.
5. Elk Fence
A real moose fence looks like a safety fence, but is 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.2 m) tall. Again, the holes won’t pass the finger test, but the hard plastic is very safe for birds.
Be careful when buying a moose fence. Because many products with such labels are very flimsy and very dangerous to wildlife. Get the real thing like this here. They may be available free of charge from your local Fish and Wildlife office.
This is what I use for a teepee style frame around my berry bushes and it works great.
6. Poultry netting
Poultry nets, more commonly called chicken wire, are made of flexible metal wire and are very easy to work with. A 1 inch opening is recommended as it keeps most birds out. Available in a variety of heights and lengths to suit the project you’re working on.
Again, poultry netting has not passed the finger test, but it is hard and very safe for birds.
7. Butterfly net
Insect nets are used to prevent insects from infecting crops, but they also prevent bird infestation. Sometimes called floating row covers at garden centers, they come in a variety of sizes depending on your needs.
This net prevents pollinators from reaching the flowers, so the timing of installing the net is important.
8. hail protection net
Hail nets are used to protect solar power plants, orchards, and car dealerships from the devastation of hailstorms, and protect bushes and trees from birds. You also get the added bonus of hail protection.
bird and garden
Birds are a sign of health and biodiversity and we love to have them in our gardens. We’ve tried many different types of bird protection, but a solid bird-friendly net is the best way to protect your valuable crops and enjoy the birds singing while weeding. .
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not a substitute for formal, individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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