Backyard Birding Tips: Control Pests by Inviting Insect Eating Birds to Play in Your Backyard

Starlings, Red-winged BlackBirds, and Woodpeckers all have one thing in common. They all eat pests that you may not want in your backyard ! Pest control is something most folks feel they could use a little help with, thankfully, that help is available for a fairly small price from nature itself. Inviting insect eating birds to your yard can dramatically reduce the amount of pests you need to deal with, and it can be amusing besides !

One of the easiest ways to attract these natural exterminators to your yard is simply by putting in some water. Water, especially if it makes dripping noises, will attract a wide variety of birds, including those who eat insects. Putting out seed, believe it or not, also helps attract insect eating birds. Many birds such as Starlings, travel in flocks that include seed eaters, and when the seed eaters stop for a snack so will they. While the Sparrows are snacking on your seed, the Starlings may be snacking on your garden snails !

Orioles, such as we have here in Baltimore, eat wasps. If you are allergic to wasps or bees you’ll likely want to attract these beautiful, friendly birds to their yard. A single pair of Orioles can eat hundreds, if not thousands of wasps in one year ! Orioles also happen to love fruit, like blackberries and red blossom nectar. Many of the same snacks that attract hummingbirds, will also attract Orioles, including grape jelly and mulberry trees.

Aside from just being pretty and fun, Hummingbirds eat small insects including tiny spiders. Hummingbirds love red flower blossoms, and Impatiens,Nasturtiums, and Gladiolus. Humming bird feeders can be purchased very cheaply, and need only be filled with a mixture of �¼ cup of sugar, to 1 cup water, to feed these adorable little birds.

Nighthawks, Swallows and Purple Martins, can lay waste to vast hordes of mosquitoes, which is enough of an excuse to keep them around ! For ticks, you want Wrens. The American Robin, so well loved for his signaling of spring’s arrival will gladly eat all the white grubs and caterpillars he can find in your yard. Northern Flickers will be glad to take care of any ant problems you might have, and those aphids you might find on your roses… Chickadees and Titmice will gladly clean eat for you. They will even eat the eggs, taking care of two generations of aphids at once !

Purple Martins

Purple Martins are terrific birds to have in ones backyard. They eat all sorts of flying insects and putting up houses for them, not only makes your backyard a nicer place to be but gives you the knowledge that you are helping prevent the extinction of this fine species. Due to the introduction of the European Starling and House Sparrows, both of which tend to take over the Purple Martins homes, this bird is in danger of becoming extinct. One of the easiest ways to attract Purple Martins is to put up much needed housing for them. You can build your own or buy Purple Martin housing from a variety of websites. The Purple Martins, in return, will eat up to 2000 flying insects a day ! That includes wasps, house flies, spiders, and gnats.

That’s a lot less flying insects to bite or simply annoy you during your time outside.

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