Insect Nets

Insect net was first used commercially in the UK in 1994 to control Cabbage Root Fly on organic leafy brassicas. The net provides a physical barrier that the insects cannot penetrate but it allows through approximately 90% of natural light and rain and 75% of natural airflow which creates an ideal protected micro climate for the crop to grow in.

Insect nets only increase temperature by 2 to 30C but they give the crop a significant level of shelter from wind, rain and hail which boost growth. They also give protection to other pests such as birds, rabbits and deer.

In 2003 Birlaine an organophosphate insecticide used on swede to control cabbage root fly was banned which created a major problem for UK growers.

Other methods of control were tested but they were dependant on weather conditions and moisture levels.

Insect net was proven to be by far the most effective way to control Cabbage Root Fly. Creating a physical barrier it worked regardless of temperature, moisture levels and the proximity of the field to other susceptible crops and pests.

Crop quality and tonnes packed per Ha are hugely increased by using net and in some instances the increase was by as much as 40%.

During the past 12 years we have seen a huge increase in the use of insect net on many other crops such as baby leaf, cabbage, radish, spring greens and organics.

1.3mm

Will last 10 to 12 years, mainly for control of Cabbage Root Fly and Carrot Root Fly.

0.8mm

Will last 10 to 12 years, mainly for control of Flea Beetle and Leaf Miner but also gives improved control for Cabbage Root Fly. Popular with organic growers.

0.6mm

Will last 8 to 10 years and will control most small winged insects. Popular with organic growers and fruit growers.

0.3mm

Will last 8 to 10 years and mainly used for Thrips and smaller insects.

Our insect nets are made out of High Density Polyethylene HDPE which contains UV inhibitors to protect them from sunlight which stops them degrading and becoming brittle.

We expect our insect nets to perform well for 8 – 10 years. These nets will last for at least 15 years but as they get older and with normal wear and tear the level of insect control is greatly reduced.  At the end of their useful life they can be recycled.

Our wider nets are joined together using our unique 4 layer double stitched seams making them the strongest nets on the market. We developed our own industrial sewing thread to make sure it would outlast the nets and be resistant to most pesticides and fertilisers. Our oldest nets have been is use for 14 years which is testimony to their quality and strength.

Insect Net Mesh Sizes

Net Mesh Size Grams per M2 Shade Value
1.3mm Insect Net 1.3mm x 1.3mm 65g 11%
0.8mm Insect Net 0.8mm x 0.8mm 70g 12%
0.6mm Insect Net 0.6mm x 0.6mm 45g 14%
0.3mm Insect Net 0.3mm x 0.3mm 55g 15%

Recommended mesh sizes for different insects:

Insect 1.3mm 0.8mm 0.6mm 0.3mm
Aphid Yes Yes
Cabbage Root Fly Yes Yes
Cabbage White Butterfly Yes
Carrot Root Fly Yes Yes
Flea Beetle Yes
Leaf Miner Yes
Organics Yes Yes
Swede Midge Yes
Turnip Root Fly Yes Yes
White Fly Yes Yes
Spotted Winged Drosophila Yes Yes

Standard widths are 3.65m, 13m and 25m

Other widths available to order depending on quantity include:
7.2m, 13.6m, 14m, 15m, 16.5m, 17.75m, 18m, 20.5m, 21.25,m, 26m, 27m, 28m and 37m

Standard lengths are 50m, 100m and 200m

We carry a large range of stock but most of our nets are made to order.

Lead times vary from 10 to 25 weeks depending on mesh size and time of year.

It is vital to plan ahead and order your nets at least 4 months before you need them on farm.

The net should be placed directly over the crop before it crop emergence otherwise the insects can become established under the nets.

Unlike fleece it does not stretch so sufficient slack needs to be left from crop growth and securing it at the edges.

The net can be secured by plastic pegs or sandbags but we recommend ploughing in the edges with soil to create a seal so that insects cannot penetrate. The method used will depend on the growing system and if the net needs to be removed for other work e.g. weeding in organics.

Once the net is in place it should be left on the crop until harvest or until there is no further risk from insects. In the case of CRF in the UK this tends to be September or October when the adult flies become dormant.

To remove the net pull out the pegs or pull out the edges if they have been ploughed in and roll the nets up with a crop cover rolling machine or it can be done by hand if it is a smaller area.

If the nets get damaged or torn they can be repaired by hand using our Industrial Sewing thread which will last 15 – 20 years. Some growers have tried using cable ties but as they have no UVI they will only last for a couple of years.

Unbeatable protection from insects, wind, rain, hail and other pests including rabbits and deer.

No harvest interval required, simply lift the nets and harvest.

Increased pack outs and more uniform crops providing higher returns.

Better quality clean crop will greatly reduce labour and increase output in the pack house.