May 5 – Purple Martin Mansion Mosquito Control

Assembling the Purple Martin House

One of my 2023 goals is spending more time outdoors, taking more notes in nature observations, and learning more about the ecosystem and the creatures that do jobs I never fully appreciated until I became a little more educated on their roles in this great universe. A couple of days ago, I shared the plans for our bat hollow. Our first bat box has been installed, with more to follow. Today, though, is about another mosquito controller. Purple Martins, like bats, are environmentally-friendly critters who help control mosquito populations.

We weren’t sure how “involved” it would be to assemble a purple martin house. These houses are generally either a string of gourds hanging high, or a house reminiscent of a high-dollar condo situated on one of those tropical islands where the drinks all come with those little umbrellas and everyone wears floppy sun hats and sunglasses with cat-eye bling that sparkles as they sit back and sip in the breeze. Gourdless, we bought the high-dollar condo for them and discovered the pole was the same price as the house (12-20 feet in the air these places must be), AND has to be cemented into the ground.

So we took the unopened box camping with us one weekend, grabbing a multi-tool as an afterthought in case we needed a Phillips Head screwdriver or something. We found it remarkably easy to put the house together, and while we needed more than two hands, much of the structure was tabbed and punched so that it didn’t require a tool except on the roof. We put it together and brought it home. My husband fought mosquitoes with his bare hands while using post-hole diggers to set it deep in the ground, and then dumped a bag of Quikrete in to let it set overnight. We raised it to the heavens the next day, and now we await the migration that has, probably, mostly already happened. The late stragglers will find a vacancy in the inn…..we hope.

Rent-Free Purple Martin Condominiums, Johnson Funny Farm, April 2023

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