Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a process that uses all necessary techniques to suppress pests effectively, economically, and in an environmentally sound manner. Fortunately for us, birds are one of the BEST (and free!) pest managers around.
Pests come in many shapes and sizes; biting flies that are an annoyance, caterpillars and aphids that devour gardens, as well as small rodents who can quickly expand in numbers. Fortunately there is a bird for each and every one of those pests!
Birds eat a tremendous amount of insects when they are raising young and attracting specific species, such as swallows, swifts, flycatchers, nightjars, pheobes (as well as our non-bird friends, the bats) are some of the most effective ways to get rid of unwanted biting insects from our homes and gardens.
Likewise if your garden is plagued by aphids, caterpillars, snails or slugs, try attracting robins, sparrows, wrens, bluebirds, and even ducks to your garden. These voracious pest eaters can see and find garden pests much quicker and easier than you can - and you get the enjoyment of watching them do all the work for you!
Rodent populations can quickly get out of control, and this can mean destruction of property, disease transmission, and general feelings of disgustingness! Fortunately, there are bird solutions to this problem as well, and it comes in both a daylight and nighttime option. American Kestrels, along with other diurnal (daytime) birds consume rodents voraciously, and you can build and install Kestrel boxes on your property to attract them and make them feel right at home.
And you can supplement the daytime crew with a night shift! Building owl boxes (Screech, Saw whet) is one of the most effective ways to reduce rodents as these small owls are too small to prey on other mammals and birds. These owls typically hunt at dusk and dawn so are rarely seen, but their effect will certainly be noticed!
Through integrated pest management, we can gain valuable (and free!) pest control services while increasing habitat (and our own bird watching). What’s not to love?