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PO Box 2130
CA, 95448
United States
Penny Davies


Are Pest Birds Eating Your Grapes, Crops, and Seeds?

The Falcon FrightKite by Falcon Crop Protection is the safe, easy, cost-effective way to chase away pest birds and reduce damage to your crops.

FrightKites are easy to install, and pay for themselves in the first season in saved seeds, fruit, and crops. From the moment it takes flight, birds for acres around will flee in fear. With Falcon Kites, you’ll lose virtually none of your crops to hungry birds!

Check with your neighbors to see if they’re using Falcon Crop Protection and see how happy they are with our scare kites. With 95%-100% proven effectiveness, we’ll get birds out of the picture for you, too!



Are Birds Causing Problems in Your Winery Crush Pad?

Hot Foot Bird Repellents provides a variety of safe, effective, and environmentally friendly methods to get rid of pest birds, and keep them away for good. From easy do-it-yourself options like repellent gel and Hot Foot Bird Spikes to exclusion netting for crush pads, warehouses, tasting rooms and other areas.  Hot Foot America is one of the most reliable and effective suppliers in the United States and has been in business since 1977.


Plus, we help you at every step. During a free phone consultation, we can help you decide what bird deterrents will work best for your situation, help you plan and calculate your materials, and give you advice and tips about installing your deterrents. If needed, we can also help you find professional installers in your area who will make sure it's done right.

Light, Durable, and Easy to Fly

This is not your kid’s kite! This unique product is made from durable materials including carbon-fiber rods, extra-strong flying line, and rip-stop material. That makes them lightweight and durable so that they can fly for hours a day, every day, in up to 25 mph of wind.

  • Light, compact, and portable so you can easily move them from field to field
  • Easy to assemble
  • Self-launching – only needs 1-2mph of wind
  • One Falcon will scare off birds for acres around!

Works on Birds’ Own Natural Fears The FrightKite is a bird’s worst nightmare. It’s specific design makes it dive, swoop, and dart in realistic attack modes. It even hovers with the wings slightly flapping.

The FrightKites:

  • Is much cheaper and less labor-intensive to install than nets
  • Is silent – no noisy (and useless) squawks to bother you or neighbors
  • Does not harm the birds in any way
  • Works on the birds’ natural fears of predators
  • Is self-launching so you can set it and walk away


For More information - Check out our Brochure Here

News Archive

Large Scale Vineyards Now Reaping Huge Benefits from Innovative Bird Deterrence Device
01 October, 2019

For more than 42 years, vineyard managers and growers have benefitted from revolutionary bird deterrence practices developed by Falcon Crop Protection that have either reduced or completely eliminated the extensive damage that can result from bird encroachment at the winery or in the field.

The company may be best known for its Falcon FrightKites, self-launching kites in the shape of large birds of prey that frighten small birds away from valuable vineyard fruit the moment they are spotted.

Vineyards between one to ten acres have consistently reported nearly 100 percent satisfaction by installing up to six of the devices. 

Now, large-scale vineyard managers are also realizing that the cost ratio to benefit formula might really work in their favor for complete protection in areas of 20 acres plus.

According to Falcon Crop Protection owner and CEO Roger Snow “sometimes a grower will say ‘I’ve got 20 acres and if I put up kites, I’ll just be chasing the birds around the vineyard,’ but it’s not proving to be true. We’re finding that in large scale vineyards, as well as in the smaller ones, once they see a kite, the birds completely disappear.”

Snow recommends the following practices for all vineyard management, large scale and small, for most effective protection.

  • Install FrightKites early in the season while the canopy is still forming to prevent nesting. Once birds are present, a mother will not abandon the nest once there are eggs or young, so eliminating the birds becomes much more difficult.
  • Note the flight path of birds in the vineyard. Birds will generally follow the same patterns of property access and FrightKites can be placed near bordering trees or power lines where birds “stage” to look for opportunities to get at the food.
  • Look at the layout of the vineyard and concentrate on: location and height of boundary trees; location of power lines and other objects birds use to stage; topography of vineyard to identify peaks and valleys.
  • The object is to install FrightKites high enough in the air so they can be seen as far off as possible by approaching birds.

Snow advises growers to start with a limited number of Falcon FrightKites to start with and then carefully monitor fruit damage. There should be minimal to zero damage between kites. Significant damage means kites should be brought closer together. Perimeter damage can be mitigated by the installation of more kites brought together until maximum protection is achieved.

“Until you put up a kite and try it, you won’t really know how it’s going to work,” Snow points out. “Don’t mess with the math. Just get a kite up and then you can work with what you’ve got.”

For more information and orders, go to:



Crop Protection Device Proven to Save 95-100% of Grape Damage caused by Birds in Vineyards
18 August, 2019

Every year in California alone, vintners and farmers lose millions of dollars to birds feeding on their grapes, seeds, and crops. Veraison is a particularly difficult time for vineyards. Grapes are at their most vulnerable when they are approaching their peak – birds love those juicy berries!


To combat this force of nature, growers have traditionally tried expensive and labor-intensive methods of mitigating bird damage in their vineyard. They’ve used sound-emitting devices, introduced other large birds of prey, placed netting in the fruiting zone and even tried netting the entire canopy, ultimately learning that nothing has truly provided an economic or socially acceptable solution to the problem. Luckily, the industry has been buzzing about a new solution that has shown spectacular results from guarding against bird damage without any netting whatsoever.

Since Falcon Crop Protection (FCP) began the marketing of its FrightKites™ a few years ago, demand for the highly effective product has reached the point where the number of falcon-shaped kites may outnumber those of the real raptors.

FrightKites™ are made with a durable material designed in the shape of a predator bird that self-launches and flies at the end of a pole using an extension line that can lift the kite up to 65 feet high in as little as 1-2mph of wind – unsupervised.

The kites, which simulate the shape and movement of real falcons, activate the instinctive fear mechanism of small birds that are natural prey for falcons and other raptors. Once the smaller birds see the kite flying above a designated vineyard, the entire flock will shift direction in order to avoid contact with their perceived enemy, providing near-complete protection of the crop.

Testimonials from current users place the reduction in damage at 95%. Compared to a laser which can cost up to $10,000, FrightKite provides an excellent and inexpensive return on investment. Conventional netting methods are labor-intensive, and unless done precisely, birds often become trapped inside.

“We LOVE our Falcon FrightKite. Not only are they amazing to see & a great conversation piece, we did NOT put up ANY bird netting last year and we had zero bird damage” noted Kevin and Wendy, Owners of Tara Bella Winery, on their success with the Falcon FrightKite.

FrightKites™ are extremely cost-effective compared with netting or other labor-intensive vineyard protection measures, very simple to install and last for many years. In fact, the cost of just one FrightKite™ can be recovered many times over in just one season through the monetary savings in grapes.

Check out our video and testimonials at For questions or to see if Falcon FrightKite is right for you, contact us today!



Crop Protection Device Saves 95-100% of Grape Damage in Vineyards
15 July, 2019

Since Falcon Crop Protection (FCP) began the marketing of its FrightKites™ four years ago, demand for the highly effective product has reached the point where the number of falcon-shaped kites may outnumber those of the real raptors.

“We have about 1,500 kites in the field right now, all over the country,” confirms Falcon Crop Protection’s CEO. “Although there’s no accurate measure, people estimate there are around 1,000 real birds in the wild. That means our kites are exceeding the number of actual falcons – which is all right.”

What’s really all right is the way FrightKite devices offer between 95 and 100 percent protection against the costly damage done by finches and other small birds that flock into vineyards during veraison and beyond to eat at the wine grapes just as they ripen.

The kites, which simulate the shape and movement of real falcons, activate the instinctive fear mechanism of small birds that are natural prey for falcons and other raptors. Once the smaller birds see the kite flying above a designated vineyard, the entire flock will shift direction in order to avoid contact with their perceived enemy, providing near complete protection of the crop.

FrightKites™ are extremely cost-effective compared with netting or other labor-intensive vineyard protection measures, very simple to install and last for many years. In fact, the cost of just one FrightKite™ can be recovered many times over in just one season through the monetary savings in grapes.




FCP estimates that one FrightKite™ will protect a vineyard area of approximately 1.25 acres. Two FrightKites will safeguard three acres or more, creating a multiplier effect and a perception that the area between the two hunting falcons is a “kill zone.”

“Put simply, birds don’t want to be looking in two different directions at hunting falcons while they’re pecking at the grapes,” FCP points out. “So the circular area between the two falcons is a no fly zone, up to a point where there is no gap that’s seen as escapable. It’s a lot easier and safer for them to fly to an adjacent vineyard and eat where there are no falcons.”

FCP can state with confidence that any exclusion method, including netting, has its limitations in terms of coverage area. They say that determining the optimum number of FrightKites™ for complete vineyard protection is best approached on an individual step by step basis, depending on vineyard configuration and prevailing wind direction.

According to FCP Marketing Manager Justine Davies “the benefit of the FrightKite™ is that it gives you acres of real and proven protection for a fraction of the cost of anything else on the market.”

Winery and vineyard managers are recommended to act now as grapevines begin to form clusters, providing the perfect canopy for birds to make their nests within the vineyards themselves.

“Once they’ve done that, it’s really hard to get them out,” FCP warns. “A mother won’t leave her babies in that nest.”

For more information, testimonials from existing customers and orders, go to or call 415-789-5007.



Birds Create Visual and Health Risk Hazards for Wineries
25 March, 2019

Swallows and Pigeons Linked to Disease and EPA Enforcements

They are incredible animals that fly hundreds of miles from South to North America each spring and are able to zero in on the exact same nesting site they made the year before.

Once heralded for their famous return each season in San Juan Capistrano, they are beautiful in flight and even benefit humans through the consumption of pesky insects, like mosquitoes.

But migrating swallows can create serious and costly headaches for the wineries they call home as they nest high in the eaves under buildings and leave unsightly, germ-laden excrement in their wake, which is difficult to remove and, in fact, illegal once the birds have nested.

“Once they nest, these birds are protected under federal law and there’s nothing you can do,” confirms Roger Snow, CEO of Hot Foot America, a world leader in professional-grade bird deterrents. “The best time for prevention is right now.” 

Snow points out that wineries make ideal homes for the swallows as they are often located in rural areas near creeks and streams that provide mud for the bird’s nests as well as hiding places high off the ground, safe from predators.

“The problem is the poop,” according to Snow, which, as he points out, contains at least 40 known viruses and 60 transmittable diseases.

“The droppings are dry and can blow around like dust,” Snow reports. “The EPA are looking for birds now when they inspect wineries because they’re realizing the hazards – and rightly so.”

Permanent Resident Bird Population Adds to Damage Each Year

Migrating swallows aren’t the only culprits. Permanent resident birds, such as pigeons and sparrows that inhabit open beams or nest behind tight fittings, create their own dangers year round.

Fortunately, Hot Foot America has been providing simple, effective, environmentally friendly solutions to problem birds for residential, commercial, governmental and new construction customers since 1977.

To address the immediate threat of migrating birds, Hot Foot America will clear the affected area of nests and install ¾ inch netting under the eaves or windows where the nests were located. The mesh forces the swallows to look for nesting areas beneath the netting, which makes them susceptible to rain or predation, or to relocate under bridges or overpasses, where protection is plentiful.

For pigeons, sparrows and other permanent resident birds, Hot Foot America has a wide variety of options, including spikes, screens, repellent gel, exclusion netting, shock track, spring wire and more.

“All of our repellants are non-toxic and non-injurious to the birds,” attests Snow. “Results are immediate and contain long-term guarantees, such as up to ten years on our netting.”

Hot Foot America has been providing safe, effective bird deterrence to its customers for the last 44 years in 22 countries around the globe.

For more information, estimates and orders, go to


Clear the Skies of Bothersome Birds This Spring
05 March, 2019

Despite a sharp decline in their population, there are still about 10 billion birds living in North America alone.

Birds play an important role in our ecosystem; they pollinate plants, distribute seeds, and eat harmful insects.

But birds in the wrong places can cause a nuisance. Too many birds flocking around your community parks and gardens can cause a lot of noise, to say nothing about an unhygienic mess.

If you’re considering trying a bird deterrent, then read on as we take a look at some of the best (and worst) available.

Physical Bird Deterrents

Physical bird deterrents are designed to stop unwanted birds from accessing a specific area.

The intent is to stop them landing which encourages them to move to another location. This is usually done through the use of spikes, wires, or nets which will discourage or physically block the bird from landing.

This type of deterrent is ideal for flat surfaces such as window ledges and walls. But for an open space like a park or garden, they are a poor choice. Not only is there too much open area to use them effectively, but the spikes and nets can also be a hazard to people using the area.

Audible Bird Deterrents

Audible bird deterrents make use of sound to discourage birds from the treated area.

They are designed either to mimic the sound of natural predators or emit noises that the birds find uncomfortable to hear. They are intended for use in large open spaces.

The trouble with these types of deterrents is that a bird’s hearing is very similar to our own. So a sound that is annoying to a bird will also be very annoying to a human. Some companies offer high-frequency devices, but in order for them to be effective for birds, they are still in a range that is audible to many people.

Visual Bird Deterrents

Visual bird deterrents work by frightening birds away from areas where they are unwanted.

These deterrents make use of features that trigger fear in the birds. This may be by replicating the features of a predator, or by using shiny or reflective materials. The birds see the deterrent and flee the protected area.

Visual deterrents take many forms. They can be as simple as a shiny reflective hanging, or as detailed as a realistic coyote. Some of the most effective visual deterrents are those which mimic birds of prey, as the unwanted birds know that they cannot fly to safety as they would from a land predator.

Visual bird deterrents are ideal for use in outdoor areas such as parks and gardens. They are a low-cost and effective solution that can reduce a bird problem without causing any physical harm.

Are You Looking for a Safe and Effective Bird Deterrent?

If you’re looking for a bird deterrent that is a safe, easy, and effective way to chase away pest birds, then look no further.

The Falcon FrightKite works by playing on other birds’ natural fear of birds of prey. You can actually witness other birds flying off in terror when the spot the FrightKite soaring high in the sky. And what’s more, the FrightKite is completely self-flying in winds from 2-25 mph.

If you’re looking for a proven deterrent that is still bird-friendly, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Bye, Bye, Birdie: Everything You Need to Know About How to Get Rid Starlings
17 January, 2019

Got some starlings driving you nuts?

While the European starling is a beautiful bird, they can easily become pests. Since they have a tendency to flock in large numbers, they can easily cause damage to your property.

Do you need some help with how to get rid of starlings? Check out the list below.

Remove Any Food Sources

If starlings are hanging around, there are likely a few food sources nearby. If you have things like fruit-bearing trees or shrubs, you should either remove these or cover them up with netting.

Also, be sure to remove any outdoor pet food or compost heaps, as this could also attract flocks of starlings.

Prune Your Trees

Are you suffering from an European starling invasion? Well, starlings love to roost in trees.

Prune your trees to make the branches less dense. This will discourage flocks of starlings from gathering, as they will feel more exposed and less comfortable.

This strategy is more effective on large flocks of starlings. If you’re only dealing with a small number of birds, you might want to try a different strategy.

Eliminate Places They Can Nest

You can make an area significantly less attractive to starlings by restricting the areas they might be able to make nests in. Starlings need an entrance hole of around 1.5 inches in diameter.

You should search for any nooks and crannies where a starling might be able to use as a nest and fill in the opening.

Install an Electric Track

Installing an electrified track is a great way to encourage starlings to move on.

The track is laid along surfaces the starlings are likely to land on. The track will administer a light electric shock on contact.

The shock is not strong enough that it is dangerous to the birds. But it’s enough for them to remember it and stay away.


Another great deterrent method is a FrightKite. FrightKites are kites made to resemble birds of prey.

To starlings, these kites are indistinguishable from the real thing. If you’re looking for a humane and effective way to control your starling problem, consider ordering a FrightKite. These kites have been used effectively in a variety of settings.

Repel Them With Sound

Repelling starlings with sound is often quite effective. You could try playing recordings of predator birds.

It doesn’t always need to be this sophisticated. Any loud noise should be enough to scare starlings away.

How to Get Rid of Starlings With Traps

If you have tried every other method, but still have starlings around, you might need to consider a more extreme option.

Compared with other options, setting up traps is a time-consuming process. Also, know that traps are not a viable solution on their own. If you remove starlings via traps, you have not eliminated the conditions that attracted them in the first place.

Therefore, traps should only be used in combination with other deterrent methods.

Want to know more about how to get rid of starlings using FrightKites? Check out our product page!

A More Effective Method for Keeping Fruit Eating Birds Away from Your Orchard
19 October, 2018

fruit eating birds

Fruit-eating birds can cause serious damage to your crops.

If left uncontrolled, they’ll eat their way through your orchard before you get a chance to pick a single fruit. You can choose from a number of different strategies in attempts to keep the birds away from your crop, but they all come with unavoidable disadvantages.

That is, all of them except for Falcon FrightKites.

Below, we’ve broken down some common pest control options and why Falcon FrightKites are a better option.

The Netting Method

This method can be expensive, but it takes a lot of work and a lot of money to pull off properly.

It involves covering your trees or vines with bird netting. You drape this netting over the plants and secure it to the ground at the bottom so the birds can’t get to the fruit.

While this might sound good, it takes a lot of work to set up. If the netting is up against the fruit, the birds can eat the fruit through the netting. Because of this, you might have to build individual frames around each plant.

If you have a lot of time and money to spend on bird netting, this can be a good option. But it’s not an effective choice for trees and vines that are still doing a lot of growing.

The Windmill Method

Putting a number of small windmills throughout your orchard can scare off the birds. The spinning blades catch the light and give the appearance of a flock of birds suddenly taking flight.

In order for this method to work, you have to move the windmills to different parts of your orchard every few days. If you don’t move them, the birds will get used to them and eat the fruit anyway.

Spending all the time moving them can turn into a hassle.

The Sound Method

You can broadcast predator sounds or bird distress sounds in your orchard to scare birds away. You can either go one step further and set up decoys of their natural predators, such as owls.

The problem is you can’t play these sounds continuously or the birds will learn not to be afraid of them. On top of that, you have to move them around your crop to keep the birds afraid.

The Distraction Method

Some people believe giving the birds a different food source will keep them from getting into the orchard. You can put other food, like corn or bird seed, in your yard.

But this doesn’t always work. Just because the birds have more food doesn’t guarantee they’ll stay out of your fruit.

What Makes Falcon FrightKites More Effective for
Fruit-eating Birds?

Falcon FrightKites work better than these other bird control options. They’re a lot easier to set up and they’re a lot cheaper too.

But what are they?

We design our FrightKites to look similar to normal falcons. Because of their color, wings, tail, feet, eyes, and overall shape, birds can’t tell the difference between falcons and the kites.

AFrightKite can glide, hover, dive, and climb in randomized paths that make it look like they’re hunting. When birds see a FrightKite, they’ll turn around right away and fly somewhere else.

FrightKites are also less expensive than netting and less labor intensive than windmills or broadcastings. Once you set up your FrightKite, it will launch and fly around your crop on its own. In fact, our studies show that FrightKites have a 95-100% success rate for any orchard.

Are you interested in buying your own FrightKite to scare away fruit-eating birds? Click here to see some of our options.

Falcon Crop FrightKites in the News!
29 August, 2018

Bethany Crouch, of Good Day Sacramento, is getting a look at how this winery is protecting their yield with a hawk-shaped kite!

The Benefits of Using Falcons for Pest Control in Your Vineyard
24 July, 2018

falcons for pest control
There are somewhere around a dozen birds of prey common in the United States, each existing as an alpha predator among 10,000 species of bird.

One such is the falcon.

Falcons are helpful to farmers looking for pest control solutions to protect their vineyards from menacing birds.

With this guide, you’ll learn three farming facts that will make you think about falcons for pest control.

Fact 1: You Can Use Falcons for Pest Control

We’ve entered into a consumer age where people are concerned about the ethics of what they eat and drink.

In fact, Millennial shoppers may be more concerned about corporate ethicsthan previous generations.

Today’s shoppers want their fruits and veggies to be as clean from harmful chemicals and pesticides as possible. And that means they are eyeballing what goes into their wine too.

Using falconry, farmers can reduce the number of chemicals their grapes are exposed to.

To learn more about falconry for pest control, it’s important to understand the several types of birds that farmers must be leary of:

  • Blackbirds
  • Crows
  • Robins
  • Sparrows
  • Starlings

These five birds are among the main avian pests that fruit farmers deal with.

Companies that specialize in falconry can bring in experts that will use trained falcons to purge the vineyard of pesky birds. But this service doesn’t come cheap, as we will describe below.

When experts bring trained falcons to your vineyard to ward off smaller birds, like starlings, this usually occurs just before the crop is ready to harvest.

The reason being is because the birds will return once the falcons are gone, and to repeat this process can be costly.

Fact 2: Falconry is Expensive

It’s estimated that bird damage to crops costs farmers $4.3 million per year.

When you look at the big picture, throwing tens of thousands into pest control solutions may not seem like a lot.

But to farmers who have hefty operating expenses already, it can be difficult to justify the cost of falconry as a means of pest control.

In most cases, hiring a falconer for bird abatement can cost up to $1,000 per day. For this reason, many farmers who choose to use falcons to ward off pests wait until the end of their crop cycle to bring in the birds for a couple of days.

Fact 3: There’s a Better Way

For those farmers who want natural protection for their crops and aren’t interested in stretching their operational budget, there’s another way.

Falcon FrightKites are a handy method of natural pest control that works similarly to releasing a real trained falcon for a fraction of the cost.

A FrightKite is it’s a tool to ward off smaller birds that fear being eaten by a predator.

Birds will follow their biological impulse to flee in the face of danger when they see a FrightKite, and leave the vineyard to be harvested.

Protect Your Crops Today

The effect a FrightKite can have on your vineyard is profound, and it doesn’t cost $1,000 a day like using falcons for pest control.

With prices starting at under $300 for your reusable FrightKite set, you can’t afford to miss out on this option.

To get your Falcon FrightKite, click here.

Safe, Easy, and Cost-effective Way to Repel Birds from Your Vineyards
10 July, 2018

Sitting with friends in Healdsburg in 2015, Roger Snow had an epiphany. Birds were all over the area, when suddenly two red-tailed hawks flew over. Birds darted away, heading for safety. The seed was sown and an idea bloomed.

Flying over vineyards in several states already, this pest-bird repellent has only been in production for two years. A combination of a box kite with a v-shaped lift, the Falcon FrightKite is made of a proprietary material that is highly resistant to tearing and UV light. “We did several trials in Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma County, CA) and in Paso (Paso Robles, CA). It needed to have the ability to dive and be maneuverable,” recounts Snow.

Launching in winds from 2-25mph, FrightKite is quickly airborne, often attracting other birds of prey that appear interested in the hunting ground the kite is circling, adding to the scare-away tactic.

As crop protection, this product is meant to be used for 3-5 months, through veraison until harvest, when birds delight in eating the almost-ready grapes. In vineyards, the falcon-shaped kites work best on sparrows, finches and starlings, which, if unchecked, can descend and quickly decimate a crop of grapes. Though not vineyard pests, pigeons and seagulls are also deterred by FrightKite, with locations such as Sonoma Raceway and the Oakland A’s Coliseum venue.

In vineyards, with FrightKite in the air and on duty one Falcon will cover 1.25 acres and two Falcons 3 acres. “The flock birds see the kites from a long way off, and change direction. We are changing their behavioral patterns with this deterrent,” says Snow.

Testimonials from current users place the reduction in damage at 95%. Compared to a laser which can cost up to $10,000, FrightKite provides an excellent and inexpensive return on investment. Conventional netting methods are labor-intensive, and unless done precisely, birds often become trapped inside.

When requesting FrightKite, a questionnaire is used to assess the type of bird pests plaguing your vineyard, the space being effected, and surroundings such as trees and electric lines are all considered. Models come with poles at 20ft (aluminum),22,28,31 and 42ft (aluminum), with flight line creating flying heights of up to 70 feet high.

Says Snow, “Our first full year of sales was over 2016-2017, and we sold 400 kites, many to repeat buyers increasing their coverage over previously untended vineyards.” An inexpensive way to save your crops, Falcon FrightKite may be just the thing to keep your vineyard damage to a minimum.

Check out our video and testimonials at questions or to see if Falcon FrightKite is right for you, contact us today!


Eco-Friendly Bird Repellents for Wineries
22 June, 2018

Wineries exist in every state in this Union, as do birds. Birds carry diseases and parasites, and no one wants that any of that dropping into their premium wines during fermentation. The solution is clear: exclude the birds and keep them from returning.

 The concept of Hot Foot America’s Knotless InvisiNet bird netting and complementary repellents is simple, yet brilliant, and takes advantage of a bird’s natural patterns. The virtually invisible netting excludes avian pests by preventing them from nesting. The Hot Foot Spikes create inhospitable landing areas even in curved or tight spaces, and the Hot Foot Gel creates a surface that birds don’t like and won’t return to, all without harming a feather!

Their installation process starts with an assessment of the type of birds that are making your winery their home, and which locations they are frequenting. A personalized plan is then created to meet your winery’s needs, and may include one, two or all three of the repellents, depending on the spaces that are being affected. A thorough cleaning, followed by the application of an EPA registered sanitizer precedes the placement of the netting. Inspection outlets are also created to allow access for the changing of overhead lights, etc. There is no recommended maintenance, as the netting is guaranteed for ten years, with the additional labor guarantee that no bird will penetrate the netting for two years.

The originally conceived Hot Foot bird netting was created back in the late 70’s by a company founded in the UK who had a long history of making high quality fishing nets. A new generation of netting was then developed in 1990, which is resistant to abrasion, has a fire retardant, and is sag resistant for the life of the net.

What then keeps the birds away? Using flock mentality, each deterrent offers a possibility for birds to change their pattern. Once changed, it is unlikely for them to return.

Working around the country, Hotfoot has installations under way in Virginia, Texas, California, Washington and Oregon, with crews able to head to every part of the US where wineries are located. With the ability to cover 120 square feet or 300,000 square feet, their largest installation, Hot Foot is the right choice for wineries of all sizes, and for whatever any other spaces that are subject to unwanted bird droppings.

With forty years of success behind them, Hot Foot InvisiNet, Gel and Spikes can help you with an individually tailored bird repellent solution for your winery!

Contact Roger Snow for more information, or go to our website at




Bird Repellent Alternatives to Gas Cannons and Netting
24 April, 2018

Over recent years, the emergence of falcon replica kites has issued a challenge to more established opinions on how to scare birds away from vineyards. One fact that has not changed is that bird damage to grapes incurs a significant cost that justifies reducing to the economic minimum. With grapes at $4000 a ton and losses in the range of 10-80%, the cost of bird damage is very significant indeed.

Widespread use of flash tape, plastic owls attached to poles, sound devices, and other “hopefuls” have all but fallen by the wayside as being ineffective but not cheap. Although still prevalent in many vineyards, these bird repellents are more like window dressings than effective solutions. Vineyard managers are essentially left with propane gas cannons and netting the only effective means of minimizing crop losses due to bird damage. Or does it?

Many owners and managers have tried with great success the relatively new falcon replica “FrightKites.” Made from weather, wind, and sun resistant fabric, these kites replicate the size, shape, color, and airborne random movements of a real falcon. Falcons are one of the most widely feared predators of birds in the wild. Flying from a telescoping pole, these kites can reach a height of 70ft in the air, so they are visible from birds in flight approaching vineyards. A mere 2 mph wind will cause these kites to rise in the air and be seen hovering just over the vineyard canopy. As the wind increases, so does the acrobatics of the kite, and the movements are totally random to minimize birds getting “accustomed” to its presence.

The primary objective is to get the kite airborne so approaching birds see it and recognize it from sufficient distance away to cause them to change direction and avoid the pace in which it is flying. If you were a bird approaching a vineyard and saw what appears to be one or more hunting falcons, would you keep going to land directly under its eye or would you merely veer away and feed at another adjacent but unprotected vineyard?

Do they really work?

Yes! Vineyard owners and managers are seeing and reporting results of over 95% elimination of bird damage to grapes.

Sales of 10 or more FrightKites per customer are not uncommon, and usage is now growing to include protection of fruit trees, home gardens, nuts, vegetables, and other commodities.

The left photo below shows Dan Barwick from Paradise Ridge in 2017, inspecting grapes that were fully exposed and protected only by the FrightKite. The prior year, he had used netting. The lower right photo shows the typical fruit damage in an unprotected vineyard of Pinot grapes.

After a test period of only 3-4 weeks, Dan purchased six more Falcon FrightKites and employed no netting at all.

The photo below shows one vineyard at the Opolo Property in Paso Robles with Scott Welcher holding one of his many FrightKites. After one season of extended testing, Scott made the following comment.

“Well, I am confident that we had damage as you have witnessed before putting up the falcons. After deployment, the damage appeared to cease as evidenced by the dried-up bird damage. In conclusion, I would say they were very effective! I then placed them in our Zinfandel vineyard to protect it before harvest; and once again, the results were a visible reduction in damage.”

Verasion is the time when birds become most interested in grapes, so the FrightKites only have to be installed and flown from the onset of verasion to harvest. With only 3-4 months usage per year, these kites have a lifespan of many, many years, and are easy to install, take down, and store.

Economics and Coverage

One FrightKite costs about $300 and will effectively protect approximately 1.25 acres. Two falcons will protect about 3 acres as the area between the two products when flying is regarded by birds as the “kill zone.” Typically, multiple units are installed about 150-200ft apart.

Let’s now look at gas cannons and netting as alternatives.

Bird Netting

Bird netting is the favored product for protection of grapes and fruit against bird strikes because it works. But without any doubt, it is expensive, it is hard to install, and if not done correctly, birds will get inside and continue to inflict damage. In the case of “drape over” netting birds can land on the net itself and still peck at the grapes causing damage.

Once installed, the canopy can continue to grow through the netting and this makes it very difficult to remove without damage and need for repair. If not handled gently, it will rip or tear when removed at the end of the season. Typically, 3-5 years is the average lifespan of the product.

There are without doubt many different types of nets available (mesh size, color, strength, and so on) and many different techniques of installation. However, not one is as easy or is as low cost as the FrightKite.

Costs widely vary when you account for the type of net, the installation method (drape netting, side netting, raised netting over the canopy); but, in overall terms when you include material cost, labor cost, machinery cost, and so on, costs can run $1000-$5000 or more per acre. Typically, with a six-man crew and a specialized tractor to run the netting, it will take one day to cover about 2 acres. This puts netting at well over three times the cost of the FrightKite and with very little added economic benefit.

Propane Gas Cannons

An average propane gas cannon with rotating head will provide around 17,000 blasts per 5-gallon tank and costs in the region of $250. More expensive models can run over $450. One cannon is advertised to protect between 1 and 5 acres; however, there are many drawbacks.

  1. Birds do become adapted to the noise and ignore its sound.
  2. Neighbors do not become de-sensitized to the noise and find it obtrusive and annoying. In 2017, the Napa Valley Register ran an article describing how several residents adjacent to the cannon had made written and personal complaints about the noise. Cannons can start at 6 AM and continue until 8 PM or later.
  3. Regular maintenance is required, not the least of which is the replacement of propane tanks at $18.50 per 5-gallon tank.

So, with quite limited effectiveness and so many drawbacks, the use of these products is taking a declining place in order of preference for bird exclusion.



The use of FrightKites is now emerging as an effective, low-cost alternative to netting and gas cannons, with results that more than justify their cost. We expect to see a lot more of these flying in vineyards in 2018 and the years ahead as silent protectors of grapes and fruits.

5 Problems With Using Bird Netting to Protect Plants
28 February, 2018

There’s nothing like the taste of your own home-grown fruit and vegetables. Or perhaps you’re a vineyard-owner, cultivating all those wonderful grapes for your much-loved wine!

The problem many growers run into, though, is that birds often eat a lot of the unpicked fruit before humans get a chance to harvest it. Sometimes, they can almost clear a whole crop!

Until recently, bird netting was one of the few options available to protect certain plants like grapes and cherries. But there are some concerns over this method. Keep reading for 5 problems with using netting to protect your produce.

1. High Cost

At around $6.50 per square foot, netting is a very costly choice. That small figure might not sound like very much, but when you consider the amount you’d need to cover the average fruit tree, the costs start adding up.

A medium-wide-boughed, 10ft fruit tree would need at least a 38ft x 38ft section of netting, and the cost suddenly shoots up to almost $250. Now multiply that by several trees, and the figure’s pretty eye-watering.

2. Often Not Reusable

Bird netting is often sold as being reusable, so you should be able to cover your trees effectively, each season.

However, depending on the quality of your netting, the fabric can become dry and brittle. This can cause it to break, or be difficult to re-drape.

3. Can Damage Plants

The small holes in the netting are what keeps the birds out. Unfortunately, though, it can also damage the very plants it’s used to protect.

Bird netting will often sever leaves and break off fruit when there’s a heavy wind. This can impact on your harvest and, if you’re a commercial grower, it can affect your profits, too.

4. Can Trap and Injure Birds

Sadly, poorly-installed netting allows birds to enter it, and then traps them inside.

Smaller birds, like tiny sparrows and baby birds, can get tangled up in the mesh itself, causing damage to their beaks and other extremities.

Birds can also get their legs and feet entangled, so they’re trapped and unable to safely fly away.

5. Can Put You at Risk

It’s not just birds that get caught up in netting. In fact, many owners have reported finding snakes and other wildlife within their mesh-covered plants.

Of course, the danger to cultivators is great, and freeing a frightened trapped snake is a risky endeavor.

Rabbits, lizards, and squirrels, for example, have been found both dead and alive. And dead animals attract other pests, who can also become trapped inside.

The Verdict on Bird Netting

Protecting your crops from those pesky birds can be hard work. A lot of people have been forced to use bird netting as a deterrent, simply because there haven’t been many alternatives.

Unfortunately, this common material has a few major failings. You should definitely factor these into your decision when it comes to caring for your plants.

But did you know there’s a cheaper, safer and highly effective solution that can work for you? Click here to learn how the Falcon FrightKite can help you.

Vineyard Scare Tactics Brought to You by "Falcon McFalconface"
08 August, 2017

Talk about having fun with your work...We installed a Falcon Crop Protection FrightKite last week over the Oakland Coliseum and not only has it driven away any pesky birds, but having proved it's team loyalty, A's fans have decided to name their new star "player".

Can you take a wild guess what the winner moniker was? Falcon McFalconface by popular demand!


bird abatement kite becomes famous A's mascot
17 July, 2017

When a surge of seagulls led to a foul time for Oakland Athletics fans, a new winged hero stepped up to the plate.

"Earlier in the season, I actually got pooped on by a bird,"... READ FULL ARTICLE HERE 

Vineyard Scare tactics brought to you by "Falcon McFalconface"
14 June, 2017

Talk about having fun with your work...We installed a Falcon Crop Protection FrightKite last week over the Oakland Coliseum and not only has it driven away any pesky birds, but having proved it's team loyalty, A's fans have decided to name their new star "player".

Can you take a wild guess what the winner moniker was? Falcon McFalconface by popular demand!


Innovative Technique Uses Kites to Repel Unwanted Birds from Vineyards
30 May, 2017

The practice of controlling nuisance birds in vineyards or other open spaces where they can wreak havoc to business is nothing new. In fact, companies have been attempting to address the problem for decades with repellants like gas cannons, reflective tape, crop netting and other means.

But just last year, an innovative concept emerged from a company called Falcon Crop Protection. Designers came up with the idea to use bird’s natural fear of predators to steer them away from valuable vineyards with a kite that mimics the appearance and movements of a peregrine falcon.

Known as FrightKites, the devices are made with a durable material designed in the shape of a predator bird that self-launches and flies at the end of a pole on an extension line that can lift the kite up to 65 feet high.

The kite has the outline, coloring, wings, tail and eyes that look frighteningly life-like to a small bird. Its profile arches in strong winds, which make it appear to be hunting, and its wingtips flutter at the end like a real falcon. Best of all, the innovative FrightKite design allows the device to hover, climb, glide and dive just as a predator does when it’s on the attack.


According to Roger, the President of Falcon Crop Protection, FrightKite efficacy has been nothing short of amazing right from the start.

“We were in Napa (testing the kites) at 65 feet and we saw a flock of finches,” Roger recalls. “They took a hard right turn and disappeared. We said to each other, ‘Did you see that?’ We had no idea it would be so good.”

It’s so good, in fact, test site vineyards from Paso Robles through Healdsburg have reported a 95 to 100 percent repulsion rate of birds – and most are ordering multiple kites to continue to protect their crop investments. Each FrightKite can safeguard up to 1.5 acres. Two kites will more than double the effect.

“The great thing about FrightKites is that there are no ill effects on the environment, no harm done to the birds,” Roger points out. “It’s vastly more cost-effective and less labor intensive than our nearest competitor’s netting option.”

Roger emphasizes that FrightKites can be used throughout numerous harvests as they are only flown four to five months out of the year. He notes that the versatility of the kites is such that they can be moved from site to site within vineyards to accommodate the different rates of veraison for multiple varietals.

Roger also reports that the applicability of FrightKites goes beyond vineyard protection. A customer on Angel Island contacted him recently about a persistent problem with aggressive seagulls at an airport hangar. Roger offered him a FrightKite for a two-week test trial.

“Before I got back to my office, he rang me,” Roger laughs. “Apparently, as soon as it went vertical, the gulls went squawking and disappeared.”

For more FrightKite information and orders, go to:



Controlling Birds in the Vineyards with Kites?
01 November, 2016

Loss of valuable grapes to Growers and Vineyards is an annual problem and until now there have been very limited options for control. The most common is to tie “flash tape” to wire strings in the hope that the hologram type of reflections will scare birds away. However results from this repellent are very poor to minimal.

Above shows a Peregrine Falcon replica in full flight. Although strictly defined as a “kite” that is about where the similarity begins and ends. Note in the above photo how the wind creates creases on the wings to imitate feathers and note also the legs and feet folded as happens in flight with real birds.

The shape of the wings are an almost perfect replica of the real bird and even the ends of the wings have feathers.

It takes only a 2MPH wind for the kite to start to rise and it is held off the ground by using a unique extending pole that is either fiberglass or aluminum. The glass rod extends nearly 23ft and the flight line is another 15ft giving it a maximum height of flight of 38ft.

The extending aluminum pole is 40ft high and the flight line can be increased to 35ft to give a maximum flight height of 75ft.

In windy conditions the predator moves in many different directions; it goes up, down, sideways, swoops and dives then goes back up etc so there is no regularity as would be the case with a true predator bird.

The photos below show a test site where a flock of about 60 pigeons were roosting on a building on the waterfront. The roof was cleaned and sanitized then the “Predator” was flown off a 40ft pole. The effect on the flock was instantaneous. Enlarge the right photo by clicking on it and dragging the handles to see the predator in flight.


We are seeing promise with the falcon in terms of bird control and are continuing to test the range in which the kite is effective. Additional kites may be needed for larger areas.




Hot Foot Bird Repellents provides a variety of safe, effective, and environmentally friendly methods to get rid of pest birds, and keep them away for good. From easy do-it-yourself options like repellent gel and Hot Foot Bird Spikes to exclusion netting for crush pads, warehouses, tasting rooms and other areas.  Hot Foot America is one of the most reliable and effective suppliers in the United States and has been in business since 1977.

Expansive range of repellents for pest birds. Netting for structures like crush pads, spikes and repellent gel for tasting rooms or well defined areas where you do not want birds to sit, electric shock powered by battery energizers and solar re-charges, predator kites and helium balloons for wide space controlof birds like starlings.


Visit our website or Click here to view the catalog




Full Flight Falcon Replica
Full Flight Falcon Replica
There is just one Falcon patrolling the skies above the Sonoma Raceway. Its job is to keep birds out of the vineyard and away from the carpark so they don't leave "their mark" on parked vehicles. Click photo for larger view
Easily Seen in the sky
Easily Seen in the sky
The Falcon replica is easily seen in the sky by approaching birds and their natural instinct is to avoid the danger that lies directly ahead. Click photo for larger view
This vineyard in Paso Robles actually had 5 Falcon Replicas installed by the end of 2016 protecting Pinot and Cabernet Grapes. You have to look hard to see the first one way off in the distance at the top of the hill
This 5 acre vineyard chose one Falcon on a 42ft pole to protect against birds approaching from the tree line of the property. A second Falcon was installed on a vine support and a 22ft pole
As the wind increases in strength the carbon fibre spars actually flex to give the wings a beating motion. The color of the replica is designed to appear realistic and the striations in the wings are seen as feathers to approaching birds.


The smaller 22ft fiberglass pole enables the Falcon Replica to be moved easily from row to row or vineyard to vineyard as different varietals mature. This photo shows the pole inside an ordinary umbrella base with some rocks for added stability in strong winds