jumpers and it's not hot

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

. I had three on ground Sunday and it was 86. One was prob 1/2 the size of the rest of his gourd and I wondered if his parents "eliminated him" another had a big round belly and I thought the same, he was dead when I found him. The other was about 22 days old. I had another 23 day old out today.
Is there a list of reasons why they jump? Mine in past in Oklahoma has always been heat.
This year I think mites are worse. The one today I changed nest on Sunday, wiped with alcohol and today already outside of gourd teaming with mites.
Can heavy mites make them jump? Changed nest again. I've had good success changing nest as late as 24 days if I plug hole and transfer to another gourd rather than my normal 5gal bucket. And of course leave sock in entrance for 10-15 min after I put them back and pole.

BTW I hate this time of year, trying to lower rack with babies fledging and many nests needing changing
Mike Mack
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:56 pm
Location: Centex

A few mites allways turn out to be a bunch pretty quick. If your not against it please consider the use of 7 dust, been useing for years. It works.
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged


To support what Mike said:

Changing the nests is good but it won't control the mites.

When you get a chance put 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of 5% Sevin dust under the nesting material. If you don't want to change the whole nest just let it slide down the wall of the gourd and work its way down on the side of the nesting material. Give it 12 hours and all the mites will be gone.

I pre-nest every year and add Sevin under the nesting material. When the Martins arrive and select their gourd, within a a couple of days they are no longer scratching. I've been mite and flee free all season without having to re-treat any of the gourds. No jumpers and a bunch of healthy fledglings flying around.

Good luck to you.

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Yes, mite infestation can cause premature fledging of purple martin nestlings.
That is why you do the nest changes to reduce the risk.
Unfortunately sometimes nest changes and wiping with alcohol is inadequate.

In 1957 my Father used Sevin dust to treat extensive mite infestations which was causing premature fledging. Since then, we have been using Sevin dust for 62 years without any ill effect to the martins, nestlings or people.
Your decision, but a 1/4 teaspoon of Sevin dust at the entrance of a compartment will rid that compartment of mites within 6 hours. Since the treatment does not disturb late term nestlings they are less likely to jump.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Everything posted here is true. Just make sure you purchase 5% Sevin dust.

A quarter teaspoon in each Gourd will reduce your jumpers dramatically.

If you ever get mites on your arm for just a few minutes you will realize the aggravation the Fledglings are enduring.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

Wow, did something change? I thought it was illegal or something to use sevin. Long time ago when we quit using diatomacious earth and this subject came up and someone private emailed on this subject.
I guess it's in the open.
I know when I take birds to wildlife rehabber she dusts the actual birds them with something.
I've used it but couldn't find it. I have three racks and did an entire rack without and finally a nest was so bad I went to the store and bought some and used on that one and next two racks.
But I didn't add to the ones I'd already changed.
Shocking how you can change and wipe with alcohol and within 48 is teaming on outside of gourd again. Also weird how one will be full and one 3 down has none.

Yesterday I had three gourds that had a guest visiting when I went to change them. They looked like full grown fledglings that fussed like crazy but couldn't get out of my bucket. I put them back in but not sure if I should have made them fly off. I see it so often I figured it's no too detrimental to the 20 day olds
Post Reply