Diatomaceous

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tony2tall
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:39 pm
Location: AR/Brookland

New to this board. Curious to know if many people use the Diatomaceous Earth in their bird houses?
By the way this is the first year for me to attend MartinFest. Weather was nice.
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

NO! It was once recommended but it is not recommended now. Please do not use it. Some old files may still recommend it but ignore them.

Its great that you could attend Martinfest, wish that I was there.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
tony2tall
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:39 pm
Location: AR/Brookland

With diatomaceuos out of the picture. What should a person use to control parasites in the house?
ron20m
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

Why not? Do you have an explanation? I've been using it and never seen a problem. My friend is still using it as well.
Joe D. Bryant

ron20m wrote:Why not? Do you have an explanation? I've been using it and never seen a problem. My friend is still using it as well.
Ron, it's been proven to cause problems in the lungs of the fledglings. Half a teaspoon of 5% Sevin powder placed inside right below the entryway will kill your mites.
ron20m
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

Thanks fro the info.
Sevin always sounds so non-organic it is hard to believe that ends up being better.
Mary Dawnsong
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:17 pm
Location: Michigan, Livingston County

Hi Ron,

I just finished a nest check and did my first nest replacements of the season. I saw absolutely NO mites in my 43 gourds with eggs/young. However, I did see several blowfly larvae in each of the nests I replaced. I saw no blowfly larvae attached to young, which happens with a more severe infestation. This is fairly early in the season for blowfly to start in Michigan, so I will be watching for them the rest of the season and doing my nest replacements promptly. A bad infestation of blowfly larvae can kill young faster than mites can.

Here is PMCA's most recent advice on DE, Sevin, and nest replacements:
http://www.purplemartin.org/forumarchiv ... ive/DE.htm

I do nest replacements, have done them for over a decade, and they do an excellent job of controlling (not eliminating, mind you) mites, fleas, and blowfly larvae in my colony.

The trick to using nest replacements is that they must be performed routinely as a preventative measure at 10 and 20 days of age. Even if I don't see parasites, I do the nest replacements on schedule.

Even when mites are not visible, thousands of their eggs can be present in a nest. These eggs can all hatch within hours, creating a potentially deadly swarm of mites. Though large blowfly larvae may not be visible, hundreds of tiny newly-hatched larvae can be present. Regular nest replacements prevent dangerous levels of parasites because parasite eggs and larvae are discarded along with the old nest material.

I believe every landlord should assume that a parasite problem will occur each season and be prepared to deal with it. If your method of control is nest replacement, then DO NOT wait until nests and babies are covered with mites. Remove the source of the problem, the parasite eggs, before they hatch!

Here are nest replacement instructions:
http://www.purplemartin.org/update/92nestrep.html

Good luck, Mary
Click here to see my colony
"In Michigan every martin matters"
ron20m
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

THanks.
I did my first nest change today.
I had done only one about 6 years ago(on my only nest) and all the babies dies. There were several factors: 6X6 nests, morning afetr a Thunderstorm, Babies<7 daysold.
The PMCA people tried to reassure me that they probably did not die of the nest replacement but I was gunshy.
Last year I fledged over 30 babies and did not want to fix what wasn't unbroken.
Fingers crossed in Oklahoma.
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