Do Martins Eat Mosquitos?
Dear Professor Beanbag,
I just bought a martin house and will put it up this weekend. I have always loved Purple Martins and know how many mosquitoes they eat every day. I am sooooo LQQKING forward to seeing them and enjoying fewer mosquitoes this season.
Dear Miss Guided,
And, so you are, my dear!!
Please! Let me educate you on martins and their relationship with mosquitoes.
They have none!!
BTW, I read your registration for the Round Table and see that you put mosquitoes down for PM foods.
This, unfortunately, is a myth.
Myth! Myth! Myth!
It's a myth! It's a myth! LaDiDa! Purple Martins eating mosquitoes is a myth! Myth! Myth!
Lest I get more carried away... back to business!
While martins do eat some mosquitoes,--emphasis on SOME-- mosquitoes, as food for martins, comprise only 3% of their diet. That's right!
3% of the martins’ diet!!
BECAUSE...The schedule of both martins and mosquitoes do not really coincide with the exceptions of coastal areas where there are diurnal mosquitoes (during the daytime hours).
When mosquitoes are most prevalent is when?
That's right, students! All together now!
Early evening, evening and early morning.
And, where are the martins?
In the early evening, if you have noticed, martins are ready for the crib and by evening, they are in the crib for the night.
Yes! Yes! that's right! They are in the crib!
I know it is disappointing to know that martins may not increase your mosquito comfort, but take comfort in seeing the lovely and lively birds Purple Martins are. Instead of mosquitoes, martins will eat any insect that flies by day. If it flies in the daytime hours, they will eat it.
So, Miss Guided, while martins do not eat mosquitoes as much as we, and PM housing manufacturers, would like, they are beneficial as they do consume so many pesky flying insects.
They eat flies, wasps, dragonflies, damselflies, moths, cucumber beetles and bats--I thought I would just throw that in, just to see if you are awake.
I will tell you also that they will eat, yes, don't groan, butterflies and moths.
-The second word out of his mouth was "Butterflies" and the whole crowd collectively gasped and groaned. I think that three seniors were taken to the hospital in shock that day. Almost tripping on my academic gown, I had to sprint to the podium to speak and to help pick the crowd off the floor.
Do not worry, my dear student, that martins eat butterflies. There are plenty to eat and to survive. Purple Martins will not eat a prey food to the detriment of that insect species. It is not in their best interest to eat ALL the butterflies. And, don't forget that butterflies are dangerous, too. Once they are flitting about, so pretty, then they lay eggs from which ravenous larvae spring. Everything in nature has its place, Miss Guided. Martins are equal opportunity predators of flying insects. Today, midges are on the menu, then tomorrow, dragonflies, damselflies and those cucumber beetles.
Oh! And, also ballooning spiders. E-gads! Now, there is a public service by the Purple Martins and more than enough reason to buy and hoist up a martin house!
Good Day, Miss Guided. And, by the way, it is not Professor Beanbag, but Professor Birdbrain!
Last edited by Professor BirdBrain; 06-22-2010 at 01:39 PM.