Safe netting of your fruit trees

With the ripening of figs coinciding with a heat wave, native flying foxes are finding their way into suburban backyards to feast on figs. Your choice of netting to protect backyard fruit trees can cause serious harm, not only to bats but to many species of native wildlife. The size of the mesh is an important consideration for wildlife-friendly netting. Nets which are pulled tight cause serious entanglement if the mesh is too large. If you love your fruit and care about our precious wildlife, remove your nets and purchase a net with mesh as fine as a fly screen. Fine mesh excludes more animals and other fruit pests (such as fruit fly) from destroying your fruit and doesn't get entangled on your tree. Fine netting means that wildlife don't get entangled. Rule of thumb is if you can squeeze your little finger through the net, then it’s unsafe. It's also important that any netting used is tied off at the base of the tree, or fixed at the sides so animals aren't trapped underneath. If you come across an animal entangled in a net, never attempt to to release it. Call Sydney Wildlife immediately. We will send a professionally trained bat rescuer to help you. For more wildlife-friendly netting and fencing advice visit www.wildlifefriendlyfencing.com

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