Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Protect your plants AND the animals!

Many people now use plant netting as a way to keep animals from eating or otherwise destroying their bushes and plants. Many of these are sold under such names as “Bird Be Gone”. This seems like a very humane way to keep animals away from your plants.
It is certainly better for the environment than many chemicals that get sprayed on plants.
But, what those companies do not tell you is that those nets can be and are often deadly to those animals and others that you may not have even thought of.
We get dozens of calls every year about snakes caught in these nets, cut to shreds by the netting with no hope of saving them. They are also a danger in taking off the entire legs of the birds they are protecting your plants from.
I realize that to many people, their gardens are extremely important, sometimes their way of just getting away from the world and communing with nature. But I find it hard to believe that most would put these nets on their plants if they knew what they were going to wake up and find in the morning.
As we’ve seen with plastic being dumped in the ocean and caught on dolphins’ noses, plastic is almost impossible for animals to get free of, and if they do manage to get free, it is often times with the loss of a limb.
If you really need/want to protect your plants, please find another solution. Finer mesh netting is better than what is sold for this purpose. Remember when looking at netting, the width of a snake or a hawk’s leg. Can they get caught in the net you are looking at? If so, please move on and try to find something more humane.
The snake depicted here was not caught in this netting, but does show how small a net it would take for a snake not to be caught by this type of netting.

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