Pest con­trol


YOU can turn a small gar­den into an at­trac­tive and busy haven for birds just by choos­ing the right plants. Not only will you be help­ing to con­serve wildlife, you also get free in­sect pa­trol, as well as some in­ter­est­ing win­dow watch­ing for the whole fam­ily.

An easy way to at­tract birds is to grow some fruit such as pa­paya or mango. Th­ese two sta­ples will at­tract the gor­geous yel­low and black Black-naped Ori­ole as well as the plain look­ing Ori­en­tal Mag­pie Robin with its black body and white “go faster” stripe.

The Ori­ole will eat the fruit and will then clear your trees of in­sects like bee­tles. The Robin is a mar­velous song­bird that will also swoop about at dusk, eat­ing fly­ing in­sects like mos­qui­toes. If it is hun­gry, it will also go to the ground to pick up ants and other small bugs.

If you grow flow­ers, you will at­tract the Olive-backed Sun­bird, a glo­ri­ously green backed, yel­low bel­lied and blue faced song­ster that will hover like a hum­ming­bird while it feeds on nec­tar. If you en­cour­age it to build a nest in your gar­den, it will also act as an in­sect eater, drag­ging off any bee­tles it finds to feed to its young.

As Malaysia is very hot, birds liv­ing in cities of­ten find it hard to find clean wa­ter. If you set up a bird­bath you will have birds from the whole neigh­bour­hood com­ing to drink and bathe. Tip: al­ways buy a cat proof bird­bath and set it out of jump­ing reach from gar­den walls and fences.

Fi­nally, did know that if you use pes­ti­cides to kill weeds and in­sects, birds will eat th­ese and die? Use or­ganic meth­ods of con­trol in­stead.

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