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Purple Martins and Mites

Purple Martins and Mites
April 5th, 2010

Dear Bug,
It is Purple Martin Season and I want to protect my martins from other insects like mites. Can you help?
Desperate Landlord

Dear Landlord,
Bird-nest mites are the most common type of mite you may see in your purple martin nests. They are bloodsucking mites whose entire life cycle occurs in the nest materials of birds. The species that is most commonly found with Purple Martins is Dermanyssus prognephilus. Heavy infestations have been blamed for causing both colony-site abandonment and premature fledging in Purple Martins. This mite has bee collected from the nests of the red squirrel, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Flicker, Redheaded and Downy Woodpeckers. The solution is simple; the addition of diatomaceous earth (called Insect Stop, code 3032A) to your purple martin houses early in the season will help manage these mites
The Bug




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