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Julie Craves explains how to mosquito-proof your birdbath

A male Eastern Bluebird splashes in a backyard birdbath in Spring Hill, Florida. Photo by S. Hunter Spenceley

In the column “Since You Asked” in every issue of BirdWatching, Contributing Editor Julie Craves answers readers’ questions about birds and bird behavior. Here’s a question from our August 2014 issue:

I keep finding mosquito “wrigglers” in my birdbath. How do I prevent them? — Fred Leland, Waltham, Massachusetts

Change the water in your birdbath every day or so. This will keep mosquitoes from breeding, algae from growing, and bird feces and other contaminants from fouling the water. Please don’t use household cleaners or products marketed to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in ponds, since they might harm bathing or drinking birds, especially if concentrated in a small amount of water. Just dump out the bath and refill it, giving it a quick once-over with a stiff brush every so often, and you’ll provide a healthy water source for your birds.

About Julie Craves

Julie-Craves-120Julie is supervisor of avian research at the Rouge River Bird Observatory at the University of Michigan Dearborn and a research associate at the university’s Environmental Interpretive Center. She writes about her research on the blog Net Results, and she maintains the website Coffee & Conservation, a thorough resource on where coffee comes from and its impact on wild birds.

Read other questions that Julie has answered in “Since You Asked.”

If you have a question about birds for Julie, send it to or visit our Contact pageA version of this article was published in the August 2014 issue of BirdWatching. Subscribe.

Originally Published

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