The Duck as an Insect Destroyer

William C. Herman, M.D.
JAMA. 1914;LXIII(16):1410. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570160076034.
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To the Editor:  —Corroborating Dr. Dixon's interesting report on "The Duck as a Preventive Against Malaria and Yellow Fever" (The Journal, Oct. 3, 1914, p. 1203), I have been observing the food of the wild duck for the past three years, and find that the mosquito and larvae are readily devoured by the duck. I have eight varieties under observation and note that the best insect destroyers are the beautiful wood duck (Aix sponsa) and the green-winged teal (Nettion carolinensis). These ducks are smaller than the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and their diet more insectivorous. The wood duck is almost extinct except in captivity. It is the most beautiful of all the duck family; therefore the introduction of this duck would serve to perpetuate its kind and also be of use in keeping down all noxious aquatic insect life.


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