Feeding Worms Keeps Flies Away
Check out this recent study, showing that Eastern Bluebird nestlings who had access to more food during the breeding season also had increased immune responses to parasitic fly larvae (blowflies) and better survival. The study also suggests that feeding mealworms (which are not worms but beetle larvae) earlier in the season had more of an effect. So, if cost is limiting when you provide mealworms, prioritize providing them early in the season. We recommend that if you provide both food and nest boxes, place feeders some distance away from your nest boxes to avoid attracting predators to the nest(s).