Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Don't waste your money on automatic, whole-lot mosquito spraying
They’re almost always an irresponsible waste of your
money! They'll repel and kill birds too. Almost all these whole-lot systems use the bug-killer pyrethrum. It negatively
affects all natural life that dares to visit, or pass through, your yard. Yes –
it will rid your yard of mosquitoes, and may also harm birds and larger
organisms such as pets and children.
Pyrethrum is very
toxic. It’s toxic to birds, dragonflies, butterflies, frogs, fireflies, lizards,
cats, dogs and you. Use it and nothing will get pollinated and birds will
go hungry, since all bugs (and maybe your neighbors’ bugs) are dead. Keep in
mind that over 97% of all birds raise their young on insects. Yes, pyrethrum is
natural - so are arsenic, hemlock, lead and rattlesnake venom. Experts who have
closely examined the research don’t accept pyrethrum as a safe organic product.
It'll discourage all birds that depend on insects for food. If they can't find insects nearby they'll simply starve to death. The list of these birds is too long to include here, but includes our official state bird (Mockingbird) and Texas' champion bug-eater, the Nighthawk (which isn't a hawk, and doesn't fly at night).
YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus
who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is a member of
the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation
of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society.
His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.