How to Attract Mosquito-Eating Birds to Your Yard

Natural Pest Control: Birds that Eat Mosquitoes

  • Purple Martins: Purple Martins are known for their exceptional mosquito-hunting abilities during feeding flights, as well as their insatiable appetite for these pests. They feed on mosquitoes as a part of their diet, with a higher mosquito consumption rate than bats! Specialized mosquito-eating birds like Purple Martins have a substantial impact on mosquito populations.
  • Swallows: Swallows are skilled aerial acrobats that feed on insects, including mosquitoes while in flight. Their agility and speed enable them to easily catch mosquitoes.
  • Nighthawks: Nighthawks are nocturnal birds that primarily hunt at dusk and dawn, scooping up insects mid-flight with their large mouths. They have a particular fondness for mosquitoes and other flying insects. Nighthawks migrate south for winter, but live all across North America during prime mosquito season.
  • Chickadees & Titmice: Although small in size, chickadees and titmice are voracious insect-eaters, including mosquitoes. They search for insects in trees and shrubs, making them valuable allies in mosquito control.
  • House Wren: The house wren is a common backyard bird that lives throughout North, Central, and South America. These feisty little birds love to dine on mosquitoes and other small insects.
  • Barn Swallows: A single barn swallow can eat about one insect every minute or up to 850 insects per day, therefore are among the most effective birds in helping to control the mosquito population. They’ll make quick work of your mosquito problem, especially during nesting season when there are even more mouths to feed. Unlike many other birds that open their mouths to catch insects along their way, barn swallows gracefully dive and swoop to capture their prey.
  • Yellow Warbler: The yellow warbler is another talented bird that can catch mosquitoes mid-flight.
  • Eastern Phoebe: Eastern phoebes are great for handling mosquitoes in warm climates because they’ll stick around from early spring through late fall.
  • White-eyed Vireo & Red-eyed Vireo: White-eyed vireos are common in the Southeastern United States. These songbirds eat a variety of berries and insects but almost exclusively opt for insects during the breeding season, especially flying insects like mosquitoes. Like the white-eyed vireo, the red-eyed vireo can seriously help eliminate insects around your home.
  • Hummingbirds: Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common North American hummingbirds. They have a distinctive emerald-green head, wings, back, and tail; a ruby-red throat patch in males (white in females); and underparts that are pearly white. Most people assume that hummingbirds feed on nectar alone, but they are actually adept little mosquito hunters. Hummingbirds are fast enough to catch mosquitoes mid-air, and mosquitoes are the perfect bite-size snack for these tiny birds.
  • Eastern Bluebird: Widespread throughout eastern North America, eastern bluebirds are excellent for controlling mosquitoes because they can eat up to 2,000 insects in a single day.
  • Northern Cardinal: The Northern Cardinal is a non-migratory songbird whose habitat ranges from Texas to Maine. It’s well-known for its beautifully vibrant red feathers, the plume on its head, and its orange beak. Northern cardinals mostly prefer to eat seeds and grains, but they switch to primarily insects in the summer, including mosquitoes. Young growing cardinals are often fed mosquitoes, and they do not learn to consume grain until adulthood.
  • Blackpoll Warbler: Blackpoll warblers usually hang out on branches, picking at insects on the bark or flitting into the air to catch flies and mosquitoes.
  • American Robin: The American Robin lives year-round throughout most of North America. They love to eat all sorts of insects, including mosquitoes and other pests.

How to Attract Mosquito-Eating Birds

  • Purple Martins: Installing purple martin houses can attract these beneficial birds to your property. These birds love to live in colony houses, so the best way to bring them into your yard is to install a purple martin condo or gourd racks where multiple bird families can live together. Use white houses for the best result!
  • Swallows: Providing nesting sites, such as bird houses or barns, can attract swallows to your surroundings.
  • Nighthawks: Nighthawks can be tricky to attract, but they will love your garden if it is full of insects and has plenty of level, flat surfaces for resting and nesting.
  • Chickadees & Titmice: Providing bird feeders and nest boxes can attract these beneficial birds to your yard. To bring more black-crested titmouses into your yard, provide feeders with seeds, fruits, and mealworms. You can also provide birdhouses or nesting boxes during the nesting season. 
  • House Wren: To lure in house wrens, provide nesting boxes, limit your insecticide use, and set up plenty of water sources like fountains and bird baths. 
  • Barn Swallow: You can provide crushed eggshells, crushed oyster shells, and mud sources to attract barn swallows to your yard, where they’ll likely nest in a barn, shed, or corner of your porch. 
  • Warblers: Warblers are almost entirely insectivorous, so the best way to attract them is with plenty of low-lying foliage, shrubs, flowers, and other places where they can stay hidden while hunting for insects. A quiet yard with oak trees, maple trees, and birdbaths may also increase your odds of hosting these helpful birds. 
  • Eastern Phoebe: Eastern phoebes feed on a range of berries and insects, so keeping plants like elderberry, wild grapes, or other fruiting vines will make your yard more appealing. Phoebes also love to perch above the landscape to survey the area for insects, so you can add a few perches to your yard near the perimeters to attract them.
  • Carolina Chickadee: During the nesting season, you can also support Carolina chickadees by setting up birdhouses and nesting boxes. Pet fur is also one of the best nest materials to leave out for birds like chickadees to be attracted to your space. They’ll appreciate a wide variety of seeds and grains put out in feeders, from sunflower seeds to millet, shelled peanuts, and suet.
  • White-eyed Vireo & Red-eyed Vireo: White-eyed vireos love to search through shrubs and low branches, so adding a row of dense, natural shrubs should welcome them to your yard. To attract red-eyed vireos, plant fruiting shrubs and vines like elderberry or Virginia creeper and add low-lying foliage where they can hide.
  • Hummingbirds: Invite hummingbirds into your yard by setting out a feeder with nectar. You can also attract hummingbirds naturally by planting their favorite flowers in your garden, including bee balm, coral bells, verbena, and other perennials.
  • Eastern Bluebird: To encourage eastern bluebirds to hunt in your yard, set up perches where they can survey the area and offer mealworms in a dish feeder. They build their nests in woodpecker holes, tree cavities, and holes in fences and stumps. Eastern bluebirds also enjoy residing in bluebird houses, so be sure to put up at least a few bluebird houses.
  • Northern Cardinal: Northern cardinals are likely one of the first songbirds you’ll see at your feeder, especially if you offer safflower and sunflower seeds. They also don’t migrate for winter, so once you’ve attracted a pair or two to your area, cardinals are likely to stick around all year. 
  • Warblers: Blackpoll warblers are easily lured in by fresh water, so installing a bubbling fountain or birdbath is a smart way to encourage their presence in your yard. They also love forest edge habitats, so a yard with plenty of shrubs or trees bordering the lawn is ideal for these mosquito-eating birds.
  • American Robin: You can attract robins to your yard by stocking the bird feeder with mealworms and planting berry bushes.

More Tips for Attracting Birds to Your Yard

  • Always provide sources of fresh water in your yard, such as a fountain, birdbath, or source of bubbling water. The birds will be attracted to the water and will return during hot weather. Be sure that the water you’re providing for the birds is always clean and moving. Prevent the growth of mosquito larva by adding fish to the water, ensuring that the water is always moving, or using mosquito pellets.
  • Try using a wide variety of bird seeds to attract different types of birds, including sunflower seed, blends, suet, safflower seed, and more. Using different bird seed varieties will increase your chances of attracting a large assortment of birds to decrease your mosquito population.
  • Purchase some bird-specific feeders, such as special hummingbird feeders, that are specifically designed to attract certain types of birds.
  • Make sure that you don’t put all of your bird feeders in one place. Otherwise, the birds will tend to congregate in one area. Rather, you want them to visit all parts of your garden and yard–since mosquitoes will be everywhere. Place your feeders at different levels of your garden and yard, including high and low places, and throughout your yard. Follow the step above, but this time, do so with your birdhouses.
  • Certain types of mosquito-eating birds, such as cardinals also enjoy ground feeding. Be sure to provide plenty of ground feeding opportunities to give them a stronger sense of security. If seeds remain on the ground for a couple of days, this could encourage more mosquito-eating birds to visit. Be sure to space low shrubs and bushes in various places throughout your garden and yard to provide more coverage. Having ground cover where they can hide can be crucial in attracting more birds since they’ll feel safe in your garden or your property. They’ll also love to seek cover during storms or to obtain shade during hot temperatures.
  • Attract nesting birds to your garden or yard by providing them with several nesting materials. Gathering string and yarn, place it in an empty suet cage, and hang it near your bird feeders, so that nesting birds can access these materials at their leisure.
  • If you’re a cat owner, keep your cat indoors, if possible. If your cat is prowling around your yard, this will understandably frighten the birds away.
  • Keep your bird feeders clean and well-stocked. Make sure that all of your feeders are clean and free of mildew, mold, or any debris.


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