Return to the Virginia Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Beneficial birds

Posted by rj_hythloday 8A (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 17, 08 at 9:13

I really had a problem w/ squash bugs this season. I want to get some bird houses for the garden. Is there a particular type of bird house to attract a particular type of bird that is good for eating insects in the garden?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Beneficial birds

  • Posted by rian 7va (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 18, 08 at 21:00

Our farming cousins like purple martins and in the east they seem happy to live in bird houses or even bird apartments, but I've read that like all swallows they only eat insects taken on the fly and can starve during periods of cool or rainy weather. They seem to like open fields rather than crowded suburbs.

I've learned that cardinals' diets include up to a third insects during the summer. They've stripped my garden of black swallowtail caterpillars this year. I wish they'd develop a taste for harlequin bugs.

My neighbor says her chickens keep the bugs down in her garden, but you have to keep a careful eye on them. You probably had something a little less labor intensive in mind.


 o
RE: Beneficial birds

I wish I could have chickens, I'm in military housing so it's a pretty small garden. Thanks for the reply.


 o
RE: Beneficial birds

While I'm very much in favor of supporting our feathered friends, you might find different methods to be more effective in deterring squash bugs.

If possible, do not plant squash in the place in consecutive years.

Do plant several radish seeds to surround (about 4" to 6" away) each squash seed. Don't pull up the radishes but let them grow throughout the season. If you like stirfried radish pods, grow that particular variety, otherwise any radish seems to be effective. (This is what I do, and it's been effective for quite a few years.)

Maybe worth a try: Once the squash seed has sprouted and has several grown-up leaves, carefully place foil around the stem at ground level. The theory is that the foil reflects light onto the underside of the leaves and the bugs don't like it.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Virginia Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here