In 1621 the Wampanoag Natives and Pilgrims got together in Plymouth, Massachusetts gathering around a delectable roast turkey; thus solidifying the birds place in history. “Turkey Day,” as it is sometimes called, is celebrated by millions of Americans each year and culminates with the eating of some five billion pounds of turkey. This year alone Americans will eat over 270 million turkeys over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
A Turkey’s Insect Diet
As much as Americans love eating turkey, turkeys equally love eating insects. While farm raised turkeys eat seeds and cracked corn, wild turkeys are considered opportunistic omnivores. This means they eat a diverse assortment of plants and insects. Throughout the year, turkeys might feast on hundreds of different plant and invertebrate species. Insects are a smaller, but important, element of the wild turkey’s diet. This helps the bird get the protein it needs to survive in the wild.
Pests Your Thanksgiving Turkey Might Eat
During the summer and fall months, turkeys head into the fields munching on Differential Grasshoppers. Landowners love having wild turkeys on their property for this very reason. Turkeys eat the grasshoppers and other pests that quickly destroy plants and vegetation.
A turkey will listen for the song of a field cricket. That chirping sound, that most of us find annoying, helps a turkey locate these crunchy meals.
Black Carpenter Ants
Black Carpenter ants are a common insect for turkeys too eat. They are easy to find, and are on the turkey’s ground level. When a turkey finds an ant nest, it will dig and scratch away at it gobbling up every ant in sight.
Wolf Spiders are quite a tasty treat for turkeys, when they can find them. Wolf spiders are usually very shy and quickly run away when disturbed.
Chiggers are actually mites, cousins of spiders and ticks. Most of us have heard of them, or have been bitten by them, but don't know what they are exactly. Chiggers spend most of their lives living in moist soil, and that’s where turkeys will find them.
Centipedes & Millipedes
Turkeys will scratch and ding near tree roots in search for these delectable meals. For more information about centipedes and millipedes, click here.
Earthworms & Slugs
These slimy garden pests are like filet mignon to a turkey… One of their favorites!
The crunch of a beetle in the beak of a turkey is something rural farmers love to hear. Colorado potato beetles, boll weevils and the Carpet beetles frequently create insect control problems when they invade and destroy household items and agricultural crops.
While scorpions are not common in most of the Turkey loving/living states, we have evidence to suggest that if a Turkey happened upon a scorpion it would indeed indulge itself to a tasty treat. The evidence lies in the chicken. Chickens will and do eat scorpions in Arizona.
What Would A Turkey’s Thanksgiving Dinner Look Like?
Now that we've examined some of the pests a turkey eats, this got this bug guy thinking: “What would a turkey’s thanksgiving dinner look like?”
For Bulwark’s a menu of a full four course Thanksgiving dinner for a turkey, click here.
Bulwark Pest Control
Wild turkeys love eating bugs and other creepy crawlies that can be commonly found in your home and on your property; but you’re no turkey. The thought of eating pests like Wolf Spiders is grotesque. You want them out of your home! If you are bugged by pests like roaches, spiders, ants or scorpions this Thanksgiving or anytime during the year, contact Bulwark Exterminating at 1-800-445-9313.
Make sure your house guests have a pest free Thanksgiving. Sorry if you consider a certain house guest a pest; we have no remedy for him or her.
At Bulwark Exterminating, we are thankful for you and for your business this year. Whether we've been a regular visitor to your home for years, or you've just been introduced to our Bulwark pest barrier, we’re thankful to have you as a member of our Bulwark Pest Control family. Happy Thanksgiving!