I loathe mosquitos. Detest them.
At the annual Home and Garden show at Benton Convention Center, I am constantly looking at the information about ridding property of mosquitos. I leave hopeful, but then research on the web always debunks the info I've been sold or tells me that I am going to spend an astronomical sum for something that will either work brilliantly or not at all, with 50/50 odds.
And so I spend winter months on the lookout for ideas, preferably ones free from chemicals that are dangerous to dogs and kids. I was tickled to find this
Control mosquitoes by eliminating standing water around your yard. Plant mint and use citronella and pennyroyal oil as mosquito repellants. Erect a purple martin birdhouse.
on the Forsyth County website. I love mint! I can plant the hell out of mint! Yay, mint!
Purple Martin birdhouses sounded familiar, but I had to Google to be sure. And sadly, that's when I found this.
...the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) and the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). These two aggressive "pest" species, the avian equivalent of Gypsy Moths, Norway Rats, and Crabgrass, increased rapidly in number and gradually spread across the continent, wreaking havoc on the Purple Martin. Starlings and House Sparrows are often referred to as "the vermin of the air," and are harmful to many native birds...
And in a flash, my primary objective changed from creating a pleasant, mosquito-free environment for my children to creating a pleasant, mosquito-free environment for the completely maligned Starlings and House Sparrows, which that evil letter later mentions SHOOTING.