Q: I have lots of wood boring bees eating my barn. I was wondering about farms I see with martin houses and hanging gourds. Are these predators of the bees?
A: According to experts, purple martins eat only flying insects, and they take them only on the wing, not off the ground. Martins eat beetles, flies, dragonflies, mayflies, bees, stinkbugs, cicadas, flying ants, damselflies, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, and wasps. Purple martins do not eat huge quantities of mosquitoes. You can buy martin houses or build your own from a kit or from gourds. Another option for gaining a bit of carpenter bee control is to build a trap for them. Details at xrl.us/carpenterbeetrap.