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Shocking Everyday Things That Can Be Harming Your Backyard Habitat

Updated on February 6, 2015

From parasites and diseases to poisons and toxins, we seem to choose the easy way out these days. What happened to the phrase "may all your weeds be wildflowers" well my guess is the Monsanto way... "spray it and forget it!" It seems in life we look for that "easy" button. But in reality every action has a reaction a need for another product to correct the prior destruction.

Habitat Destruction

is the process in which natural habitat is rendered functionally unable to support the species present. In this process, the organisms that previously used the site are displaced or destroyed, reducing biodiversity."

1: Parasites

Defined as an organism that lives in or on another organism and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.

Signs of Parasite Trichomonas Gallinae

Erosion of the papillae on the palatal flaps is a good sign of infection. Birds may have difficulty swallowing and breathing due to the cheese like deposits in the mouth lining and down the esophagus and trachea.

  • may stop feeding and lose weight
  • look ruffled and dull
  • be unable to stand or maintain their balance
  • diarrhea may also occur in some carriers

Parasite Trichomonas Gallinae mostly affects birds of youth.

It can be found in a variety of birds mostly those who feed in groups at feeders.

Have you seen signs of parasites in your backyard?

See results

Transmission of the parasite

From bird to bird it transmits in one of three ways.

  • Contaminated drinking water
  • Infected parent feeding young
  • Prey bird feeding upon the infected

Parasite Trichomonas Gallinae cause the infection and death of a variety of types of birds.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

How can you help?

Clean Feeders Regularly
Watch for Signs
If Signs Persist
10% Bleach Solutions
Allows unusual close contact
Stop use of feeders and baths
Allow to dry fully dry
Unbalanced and wobbly
Contact your local bird rescue
 
 
 
Parasites can NOT live without moisture so drying out can take a week or more depending upon weather conditions. A warm hot week will do the trick.

2: Poisons

Defined as a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed.

GMO's are now created using Agent Orange"

— EPA

before spraying

  • Look for plants and wildlife that may be harmed by poison
  • Relocate plants/wildlife to a safe place

Wildlife and plants may only survive in certain habitats so choosing NOT to spray needs to be an option as well!

Check with your local regulations on poisons before choosing to spay any poison.

Give weeds a pull before choosing to spray. Its better for you, your family, the environment and your neighbors.

  • If poisons are needed limit them to the smallest area possible.
  • Don't use know poisons where plants will be harvested
  • Don't use poisons where pets or livestock will feed
  • Clean childrens play area thoroughly if poisons were neer them

Some poisons can remain in soil for long periods of time. Check your labels products with petroleum don't break down easlly and special soaps may be required for them to break down properly.

3: Invasives

Defined as any organism or species including its seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not native and whose introduction does or is likely to cause negative effects on our economy, or cause environmental harm or other human health concerns.

Not all introduced species are invasive, yet invasive plants and animals remain the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss.

Invasive plants and animals are the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss.

In North American jurisdictions many invasive plants are responsible for habitat damage, loss of subsistence resources, and economic loss.

However, introduced animal species include animals like:

  • feral horses
  • feral cats
  • mice
  • birds
  • ...and yes even your pet goldfish or snake can be invasive if released into the wild.

There may also be other introduced insect species, like the spiders, ants, bugs and beetles. The list seems to get longer these days with constant and growing travel.

Burn it where you buy it"

— Leave no trace

Cheap fencing lumber often contains invasive borer beetles.

Killing Beneficial Bugs is BAD!!

Beneficial bugs are any of a number of species of insects that perform valued services like pollination and pest control.

You have more good bugs than you imagine in your garden already; otherwise, your garden probably wouldn’t be there.

If you want more good bugs:

  • attract them with plants. Pollen and nectar-producing plants, especially perennials, offer shelter and food. Some examples include catnip, dill, parsley, yarrow, daisies, alyssum, cilantro, Queen Anne’s lace, thyme, clover and goldenrod.
  • earthworms provide a simple, environmentally sound means to change organic waste into a nutrient-rich material. They are a practical way to reduce the volume of kitchen waste by up to 98%, One pound of worms can consume one-half pound of food per day, and they double in number every 90 days. They are odor free and will eat mostly fruit and vegetable waste and bread. Coffee, tea grounds and egg shells can be added to the compost.
  • leave the pile bark and leaves to rot naturally, creating perfect conditions for many different insects. Add to the pile of material each year as it decays.

Insecticide is a substance used for killing insects

The mode of action of insecticides can be classified in 2 different ways by how the toxins are delivered to the pest.

The ways insecticides kill pests.

  • Systemic- insects ingest the insecticide while feeding on the plants.
  • Contact- insects are brought into direct contact with the toxic insecticides.

"NEARLY ALL INSECTICIDES HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO SIGNIFICANTLY ALTER ECOSYSTEMS; MANY ARE TOXIC TO HUMANS; SOME CONCENTRATE ALONG THE FOOD CHAIN."

Insecticides can kill bees and may be a leading cause of pollinator decline."

The loss of bees that pollinate plants, and colony collapse disorder (CCD) in which worker bees from a beehive or Western honey bee colony abruptly disappear.

  • The loss of pollinators means a reduction in crop yields.
  • Sublethal doses of insecticides affect bee foraging behavior.

causes of CCD has remained inconclusive to some RESEARCHERS

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