Tag Archives: Bird Netting

February 27th, 2017

Balcony Netting Quality

Balcony Netting is a wide term; balcony screen, pigeon mesh, bird mesh and even balcony cloth are used sometimes to express the need. Regardless of what you call it different people have different concepts of what balcony netting should be.

When it comes to pigeons on balconies they need to be denied from having access to the balcony floor, railing and the floor ledge outside of the railing, otherwise they will not stop from coming back. This can only be achieved by blocking/excluding them physically. Such a barrier that stops pigeons from having access to your balcony should be:

  1. Lightweight.
  2. Flexible.
  3. Low profile.
  4. Neat looking.
  5. Affordable.

Solid or rigid materials cannot be used for balcony enclosures for the purposes of keeping pigeons away. For example welded wire mesh or the so called chicken wire are inappropriate, because they are very hard to work with, look awful and cannot be mounted to the building adequately. Patio or mosquito screens aren’t ideal either, because they require solid, wooden or steel frames and completely block your view. Both of these ideas are also very expensive due to labor time involved, not to mention aesthetics or the potential of lawsuits if some of these heavy and sharp materials fall from the balcony and cause injury to someone on the ground.

Now that we established that the best compromise for balcony netting is to use lightweight materials that are durable and relatively easy to install we can conclude that the best material available to fulfill this purpose is netting. Netting is available for different purposes, such as safety netting (used on construction sites to catch falling debris or falling workmen), sports netting (used in arenas to protect the spectators) or agricultural netting for fishing or protecting trees. Before bird netting was invented these were the only options. The reason why bird netting was invented is because these other types of nettings were not suited for the structural applications, requirements of professionals; architects and engineers. One cannot for example install a thick, hockey net on a beautiful building facade because it will look ridiculous and get the property manager fired. For the same reasons hockey net shouldn’t be used for fishing or to protect the fruits on the trees or fishing net used to catch falling workmen on construction sites.

Bird netting is not a joke, it is specifically made for applications where a lightweight, flexible, low profile, neat looking and affordable material is needed. This is precisely what bird netting is.

Naturally there are big cost differences in between these netting types. Safety and sports netting is obviously extremely strong, thick and knotted twine, therefore very expensive. Agricultural tree protection and fishing netting is less strong, non-knotted with smaller squares/holes so that they can be easily handled. Bird netting is stronger than agricultural netting, knotted but weaker than safety netting and their cost is more than agricultural netting but slightly less than safety netting. Also bird netting is a specialty product which comes at a premium.

Generally balcony netting costs anywhere between $180 and $350. The cost depends on the quality of the netting used for the job and the size and type of the balcony. So why would any company use materials that is not suited for the purpose? Because they can offer you a cheaper alternative, like using agricultural, tree netting for example. This type of netting is very lightweight and very thin and usually this is where you get tricked. It is also very weak and breaks easily. These types of nettings are made of polypropylene plastic and are molded. Polypropylene netting is rigid, it doesn’t stretch and is molded, not knotted. Bird netting (and safety/sports netting) is polyethylene (or kevlar), flexible and knotted for extra strength and longevity. Bird Netting is also UV treated, flame resistant, rot resistant, doesn’t absorb water and has a much higher breaking strength than inferior molded nettings.

Below is a comparison side by side of low quality, agricultural, 3/4″ molded netting and high quality, 2″ square, professional bird netting for bird exclusion purposes. These two installations were done at a long term client of us, where we are continually replacing the cheap, broken netting that the management wasted money on. You can clearly see on these photos how vulnerable the thin, molded netting is to abrasion and breakage.

Professional grade bird netting is extremely long lasting. There are netting jobs we did 17-years ago still intact. Our balcony netting comes with 6-years material and labour guarantee. If you want your balcony netting to last longer than a year, do yourself a favour and use quality materials – they look better and last longer.

As the saying goes: “If you think its expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”

July 17th, 2016

Balcony Netting Process

I’ve been installing balcony netting for 17 years and I thought it was time to recap the work process, so that you understand at least the basics, which can help you when considering having one installed to keep pigeons away.

  1. Pigeon netting requires a mounting method that is firmly attached to the building structure. Without this the netting cannot be installed. One of the easiest way to tell whether a netting job was done by a professional or the multiman superintendent is to look at the netting support component. If it’s 2X4s, wooden sticks, velcro, cable ties, conduit pipe, ceiling hooks or curtain rods, it was the super or the next door handyman. Professional perimeter netting support is usually done by using aircraft cable that is attached to the building through tie wire wedge anchors that are drilled into the walls/railing/floors: Photos 1-5.
  2. Larger turns/corners should have a vertical support cable to facilitate a nice, clean turn of the netting: Photos 6-7.
  3. The netting should be installed taut, free of wrinkles, in a straight line: Photos 8+.

As far as the netting is concerned I’ve seen it all, tried it all and here is what I can tell you:

  • Use polyethylene, knotted netting for longevity. Polypropylene, extruded/molded netting won’t last!
  • Use black netting. Light color is more noticeable and it darkens over time and it also degrades prematurely.

Click here to find out the price for your balcony netting using our balcony netting quiz!

April 24th, 2016

You should’ve called Pigeon Busters – Part 1

Yonge and Eglinton area in Toronto has long been famous for having lots of pigeons. This bank just north of Eglinton is one of the greatest failed bird control jobs I’ve ever seen. Not quite sure who did this work, but these kinds of jobs are the reason why many property owners and managers distrust the work we do and products we use, such as bird netting and bird spikes.


On these photos we can clearly see at least three separate attempts to resolve the pigeon problem on the entrance roof and building ledge. Even after three different products installed the problem still isn’t solved. At this point we have to ask the question, how silly the Company-Client relationship has to be to reach this bottom and for someone to allow this to happen without any consequences? What happened to the warranty, why is this eyesore not repaired and how come nobody cares? We may never know the answer, but this is what we can see:

1. Some company installed bird netting over the roof of the entrance thinking that it would prevent pigeons landing there. Mistake: Bird netting applied to horizontal surface without elevating the netting high enough; using 3/4″ mesh size, which is for sparrows/small birds. Even if the netting would be elevated it would look ridiculous on a flat, entrance roof top, it would show too much and pigeons would still be able to land on it, because the top of the netting would still be horizontal. Don’t think that pigeons cannot land on bird netting, they can! That’s why bird netting should only be installed vertically whenever possible. At completely exposed areas it would be fine to create a horizontal top, but at sheltered areas of a building – such as this on the photo – pigeons can land on the netting along the wall and continue to nest and roost.

2. We can see two more failed products on the photos: bird spikes and electric tracks with a solar charger on the wall. Mistake: Both products are installed inadequately and incorrectly. The ledge of the roof is probably very wide and we can only see one (half) row of spikes. This is imply not enough! Wide ledges require multiple rows and full surface coverage, otherwise pigeons can find foothold and land. For the electric track system installed we can only guess the same, not enough rows/coverage – we can see two pigeons hanging around in between all this mess. We can be sure that the electric tracks are there, because we can see the solar charger mounted on the wall, which powers the tracks. Unfortunately to no avail.

3. On the other side of the building we can see a fairly wide, recessed, steel ledge with needle-type spikes installed with pigeons nesting in them. These needle-type spikes are quite dense and sharp and as we can see on these photos they accumulate debris and nesting material very easily. Not to mention that they cannot be glued to the surface, only using mounting screws that penetrate the surface and cause leaking. But the bigger issue is that only one row of spikes were installed – as we can see on one of the photos – a pigeon is walking between the spikes and the wall.

At both areas either electric tracks or bird spikes could have been used effectively. Multiple rows of either product would have worked and from the aesthetic point of view the electric tracks would have been the ideal solution as they would not have shown at all. Due to their low profile and variety of colors available they are very hard to see.

Let me reassure you: Bird Netting works, Bird Spikes work, Electric Tracks work. If properly installed. Be sure to get product literature from your contractor before you make a decision and ask for manufacturers’ installation instructions. Read them and compare to the proposal from your contractor. Ask questions and at least a 2-year warranty, but 5-years should be no problem from a professional. Ask for references and visit the sites and see how the products look. A reputable bird control company should voluntarily provide these right from the beginning.

June 3rd, 2015

Drill or no Drill – Balcony Netting Drilling Facts

Drilling concrete.“The Building Management says we can’t drill to install balcony netting, because it damages the concrete and the structure of the building.” We hear this often from customers who are eventually left to cope with their balconies full of crap.

The statement is simply not true, drilling into the concrete of the building doesn’t cause any damage whatsoever, provided that it is done professionally, the way it should be. Continue reading