Riding your backyard of bugs does not always have to involve toxic sprays. Mother Nature has a ton of ways to get rid of insects; all you need to do is attract them to your back yard.
Once you have done this, your backyard will remain bug free with little help needed from you.
Birds are one of the best natural enemies to insects. However, not all birds are insect eaters. So, the trick is to attract the right birds.
The best insect-eating birds are the common nighthawk, cuckoos, flycatchers, gnatcatchers, purple martin, owls, starlings, vireos, warblers, whip-poor-wills.
Chickadees, catbirds, mockingbirds, meadowlarks, orioles, robins, woodpeckers, and wrens are also good insect eaters.
Many of these birds will not be attracted to birdfeeders, especially if you fill it with corn, millet and milo.
However, you can attract chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, finches, cardinals, grosbeaks, sparrows, blackbirds, jays, woodpeckers, and indigo buntings by filling your birdfeeder with sunflower seeds and safflower.
Suet feeders are also good because they attract orioles, tanagers, woodpeckers, jays, chickadees, titmice, starlings, and nuthatches.
The trick is to supplement the diet of the birds that eat both seeds and insects. Once they associate your yard as a food source, they will come for the seeds and stay for the insects.
A birdbath is a good method for attracting birds, but it will attract all birds. Still, every little bit helps. Birds are naturally attracted by dripping water.
If you are shopping for a birdbath, try to find one that has a fountain or some type of running water (which will also prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes).
If you already have a birdbath, you can make it more attractive to birds by suspending a jug above it with a small hole.
Placing a birdhouse designed to attract the right species of birds is also a good idea. You might also a nest box. At least eighty species of birds use nest boxes including several species that adore insects such as owls and kestrels.
A good nest box should be placed by February if you expect it to be ready for the breeding season.
One of the biggest misconceptions about bats is that they often fly into people’s hair. While many people feel this is a strong possibility, there has never been one recorded case of it. Typically, bats are active during the night-long after people have gone to bed.
Now consider this: the average bat is capable of consuming over 1000 insects in a single hour. This means that each night, one bat will consume thousands of insects-including mosquitoes. So, if you can get past the misconception, you will find that bats can be man’s best friend.
Attracting bats to your yard is as simple as placing a bat house. For best results, bat houses should not be placed in a secluded corner.
However, bat houses need to receive at least six hours of sunlight each day. Instead, suspend two houses back to back on a pole about twenty feet off the ground.
One house should be painted a light color, and the other one needs to be painted a dark color. The light color house should face the northwest and the dark colored house towards the southeast. This will help enable the bats to switch houses as the climate changes.
These simple steps will take a little work, but are the best method of ensuring that your yard remains virtually insect-free throughout the summer. Plus, you have the added benefit of not having to pollute the environment with toxic chemicals.