Why do some folks jokingly call the mosquito the state bird here in Minnesota? Because they’re big, they’re aggressive, and there are lots of them here in the summertime. Most — if not all — people hate them, but our Muscovy ducklings just love them — for feed, that is. Young ducklings, from the second day of their lives, go after those bloodsuckers all day long. By the evening, the little ducklings are so stuffed they can hardly move. They probably take care of thousands of mosquitoes and other small insects.
Our yard is practically mosquito and tick-free without using any chemicals. Grasshoppers also are a favorite snack, if the mother ducks don’t get them first. The only bugs the ducks don’t care for are the box-elder bugs, except when they see a flying one, mistaking it for a mosquito. I’m keeping the ducklings out of the garden, though, as they like to nibble on young vegetable plants, too.