Why Bird Netting
by Alex A. Kecskes
Let's face it, pest birds can cost you a lot of money. Especially when they gather, nest and poop in airplane hangars, canopies, garages, factories, warehouses, eaves and other covered areas. There are many ways to humanely get rid of pest birds. One of the most effective is bird netting. But before getting into why bird netting works so well, we should look at why doing nothing is not a good idea.
When pest birds make their home in warehouses, their droppings can ruin expensive products awaiting shipment in loading bays. We all know that pest birds like to invade covered areas in large numbers. And that means lots of bird droppings. Droppings that can freeze up forklifts, chain-driven power lifts, loading dock doors, windows, and access panels. Droppings that can cover and damage electrical panels and outlets. Another problem is that bird droppings can create slip-and-fall hazards for workers and visitors. This can become a huge legal liability to both public and private concerns. One begins to see why bird netting could be indispensable.
Birds in aircraft hangars can create all sorts of problems. Clinton Air Force Base in Oklahoma had six hangars with 200-300 house sparrows in each hangar. Lockbourne Air Base in Ohio had 2,000 to 3,000 house sparrows between three hangars with an additional 2,000-3,000 starlings. Bird droppings, accumulating on the aluminum skin of airplanes, can corrode the metal and eventually weaken the structure itself. Another serious concern is that if droppings, feathers, and other matter get into the engines, critically important parts must be cleaned as they could stop an engine during flight. Cleaning an aircraft engine is very expensive and time consuming.
Pest bird droppings can also pose significant health risks, carrying and transmitting any of 60 known diseases. Sparrows and Feral Pigeons can carry bacteria causing Salmonellosis. Feral Pigeons carry Ornithosis, which is similar to viral pneumonia. Birds, bird droppings and their nesting materials contain insects and mites. These insects can damage property, foods and fabrics stored in warehouses. More reasons why bird netting is so important.
Bird netting has been shown to be an effective and humane bird control solution for a growing variety of commercial applications. It comes in a number of colors, including white, stone and black. Black bird netting provides natural U.V. protection and won't discolor when it gets dirty and dusty. Installed properly, this type of bird netting is almost invisible.
You can get bird netting in several mesh sizes to control pest birds without trapping them. For large birds like pigeons and seagulls, a 1-1/8” to 2” mesh size is recommended. For smaller birds like sparrows and starlings, smaller sizes are available. Some netting is U.V. stabilized, flame resistant and rot and waterproof to last longer. Heavy-duty bird netting is made of high strength polyethylene. Then there's knotted polyethylene bird netting, which is available in U.V. treated twine for extended life and comes in burst strengths of up to 40 pounds. Many of these nets are flame resistant and have a high melting point. Ideal for hot enclosed areas.
If you want to cover an airplane hangar, warehouse or other large area with sufficient bird netting, you'll need thousands of square feet of netting and special lifts and power equipment to hoist it into place. To ensure a proper installation, a cable should be set up around the perimeter of the area being netted, and the netting should then be attached to this cable. A big job like this usually requires a professional bird control installer. Keep in mind that if bird netting is not properly installed, it will sag and droop, creating gaps that allow pest birds to enter.
If you're a facilities manager in charge of a hangar, warehouse or other large building, and you can't afford the problems of pest birds invading your space, it's easy to see why bird netting is such a viable solution.