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How Effective are Birds at Controlling Pests?

If you enjoy birdwatching, you probably have noticed that there are quite a few backyard birds that eat insects. Cardinals will eat snails, leafhoppers, grasshoppers and beetles. Chickadees consume ants, aphids, whiteflies, caterpillars and scales. Woodpeckers extract beetle larvae from your favorite trees. While there is no question that birds eat some of the harmful insects that love to invade your yard, have you ever wondered at their effectiveness? Green Pest Services wants you to know the facts.

Using Backyard Birds

There have been studies performed by colleges and universities to understand the effectiveness of using birds as pest control. While the studies are usually based on large acre agricultural production, you can take the findings and incorporate them into your own garden and backyard. In one study on grapes, 200 bluebird boxes were placed around a large vineyard. To simulate an outbreak of beet armyworm, Julie Jedlicka from the University of California-Berkeley and her team pinned the larva to cardboard and placed them throughout the vineyard. A large number of the larva located directly under and around the bird boxes were quickly snatched up. Larva located farther away from the bird boxes was often missed. The take home message for you is, the more birds you have on your property equals more bugs the birds are going to eat. Still though, birds will not be able to eliminate every insect from your yard. Birds should be used a one portion of a comprehensive pest eradication plan.

Attracting Birds into your Yard

In order to get backyard bird working to reduce the number of pests in your yard, you are going to have to make your yard a place they want to spend time. Birds love water, especially moving water. Fountains and bubbling bird baths will increase the number of birds that visit your yard. You will also need to think about nesting sites. Trees offer a lot of options for nests, but some birds prefer scrubby bushes. You might want to do a little bit of research. You will want to know the pests you have, the birds you want to control the pests, and the type of vegetation the bird likes. In order to keep the birds around, you might want to consider supplementing their diet. You can install a bird feeder and keep it stocked with a healthy variety of seeds. Birds eat seeds, but when nesting begins, their young need the protein found in insects.

Green Pest Services

While backyard birds are going to help you with one part of pest control, we can help you with the rest. Our technicians understand the principles of integrated pest management. We make certain that are treatments will not be harmful to your new feathered friends. When you want the best in pest control, give us a call.