Insect Netting for Pest Protection

What Is Insect Netting?

Insect netting is a protective barrier mesh usually made of woven poly. It is meant to exclude pests from valuable market crops, trees, and flowers. Pests can cause direct damage to the leaves and the fruits of crops, cause disease, and lead to lower yields.

Insect netting is designed to keep out pests, while still allowing for proper airflow and water permeability through the small mesh openings. The netting provides protection from insects, deer and rodents, and damage from weather.

The mesh varies in size depending on the insect that you wish to exclude or what pests are common in your area. Mesh is measured by the number of holes in one linear inch of the netting. A common size used for row crops is between 40 and 50 mesh.

Insect Netting Bootstrap Farmer

Insect Netting Features

Insect netting protects plants by exclusion. Some nettings can also contain additives that help to increase their effectiveness against pests. Newer mesh netting can include optical additives- such as aluminum strips for light reflection.

This type of technology acts as an added layer of defense for your plants without the use of harmful pesticides. Aluminum strips are added to netting to act as another layer of defense. The strips diffuse the light, which blinds the pests before they can penetrate the netting.

This reflective feature also cools the plants with shade and light diffusion. UV stabilizing and anti-dust additives are often added to protect the netting from degradation. The same additives are also added to high-quality poly plastic greenhouse coverings.

Protecting Row Crops with Insect Netting

Insects weaken and damage market crops. Adding insect netting into your operation's pest management program can help lower or even eliminate the need for chemical insecticides.

Netting is laid out over rows and anchored with dirt or rocks while avoiding any gaps for insects to penetrate. Row cover support hoops can be added for better results.

Insect netting can also be used to contain pollinators and beneficial insects within a row. This is helpful for those growing for seed production as cross-pollination is less likely.

Using Hoops to Install Insect Netting

Row cover support hoops help to keep the insect netting secure and snug on the rows. The added structure helps during the season as you are continuously removing and replacing the netting during harvest and regular weeding. They act as a guide for the netting while protecting the plants against netting snags and plant damage.

The hoops are usually made out of fiberglass or a heavy-gauge wire. They are designed to stick into the dirt on either side of the row, in an arch shape. The hoops provide structure for the netting to rest, preventing damage as the netting and the plants have a buffer.

Insect Netting for Greenhouses

Insect netting can be installed in a greenhouse using a spring and lock channel system to provide a mesh screen at any openings such as vents, doors, and sidewalls.

Install the netting on the inside of the structure, at the baseboards to the ridge, or as part of a vented sidewall. When installed on the sidewalls, the crank will roll up the plastic to allow air while the screen of the mesh remains to exclude insects.

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