Netting to Control Birds in Vineyards

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; gcjohn@udel.edu

Vineyard managers should take care to control birds at this time when sugar contents are peaking in grapes, making them a highly desirable food source. Netting is probably the most effective control method, followed by scaring devices.

It is possible to completely exclude birds from the grapes by netting the vines. The initial expense of the netting is quite high, but when amortized over the life of the netting (5-10 years) it becomes much more affordable. Applying and removing the netting are labor-intensive tasks. However, a number of bird netting implements have been designed that dramatically reduce the time and labor required to making bird netting more feasible. If the netting is just draped over the grapevines, birds have a knack for finding ways to get under the netting to feed. Therefore, it may be necessary to pin the ends of the netting together under the vines

Multiple layers of hay bale net wrap has been used as an alternative to the expensive bird netting. It is inexpensive and can be replaced each season.

 

Bird netting in grapes.

Bird netting in grapes.

 

Applying multiple layers of hay bale wrap as bird netting in grapes.

Applying multiple layers of hay bale wrap as bird netting in grapes.

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