Mosquitoes aren’t our friends, in fact, most people hate them not only for the damage they do biting us and leaving red bumps that we cannot stop scratching but also because of the sound they make which is truly annoying and unpleasant. So we are determined to eliminate them and to protect ourselves from them by using different mosquito repelling and killing methods like mosquito repellents, foggers, and zappers. But luckily for us, there are some creatures in the world that help us at this task because they eat mosquitoes that way diminishing the number of mosquitoes that roam this earth. So let’s find who mosquito natural enemies are.
Purple martins and Bats
Although there already is an article about birds that eat mosquitoes on this website where purple martin, as well as bats, are covered as two of the birds that actually eat mosquitoes as a part of their diet but I thought that it would be important to remind you about these birds that could be called our own natural mosquito control.
Purple martins are one of the most common mosquito-eating birds although mosquitoes actually are only one of the many flying insects these birds eat. Nevertheless, these small but beautiful birds do consume mosquitoes helping us get rid of them at least in small capacity. The second bird species that consume mosquitoes as you can already guess are bats. Many are afraid of these night birds because of the way they look but they actually can be beneficial to us. Although similarly to Purple martins mosquitoes aren’t the main dish on bat menu because they will eat any insects they can find since bats as well as mosquitoes activate once the sun goes down there is a larger chance that mosquitoes will be one of the insects consumed by bats and that way shrinking the mosquito population by at least a couple of mosquitoes. And there are other mosquito-eating birds because, for example, swallows, gees and even ducks too tend to eat mosquito only not as often as purple martins and bats.
Birds aren’t the only creatures to consume mosquitoes. There are quite a few fish species that are keen on eating mosquitoes more specifically mosquito larvae because almost all mosquito species breed in the water.
But one fish species in particular favor mosquito larvae as their food and this species is called Ganbusia affinis or mosquito fish. And if mosquitoes make up only about 1% of bird menu then for mosquito fish mosquitoes are their main food. In fact, many mosquito control facilities even use these fishes as a part of their mosquito control system because they let you efficiently get rid of mosquitoes in larger standing water bodies like lakes or ponds.
Red-eared Slider Turtle
Also there is one species of turtle that loves to feed on mosquito larvae. This species is called Red-eared Slider Turtle. Conveniently enough these turtles are not only one of the most common turtle species in the US but also one of the most frequent pet turtle species which means that they probably are the most common turtles in the world making them a great way how to reduce the mosquito population.
Amphibians: Spade Foot Toad, Green Tree Frog, Giant Tree Frog
Even though most frogs, toads and other amphibians don’t feed on insects such as mosquitoes because their beloved food is small particles of plants and other similar substances, there are three distinctive amphibian species that do prey on mosquito larvae. Spade Foot Toad, Green Tree Frog as well as Giant Tree Frog which all are common to North American terrain tend to compete for mosquito larvae quite frequently because it is like a delicacy for them making them an efficient mosquito larvae exterminators.
Dragonflies, Crane flies, and Damselflies
And then there are three insects that tend to eat mosquitoes although mosquitoes for them too aren’t their main source of food.
Flies like the Dragonflies that are referred to as Mosquito hawks and Crane flies that are commonly known as Mosquito eaters do feed on mosquitoes on occasion however it is too small of a part of their diet that they aren’t efficient at controlling mosquito population or diminish it successfully. But since Damselflies feed on mosquito larvae and this larvae do make up quite a large part of their diet they can be helpful limiting new mosquitoes from developing.
Predaceous Diving Beetles and Water Scavenger Beetles
Other helpful creatures in eliminating mosquitoes in their larvae stages are beetles. Almost all aquatic beetles consume mosquito larvae as well as pupae but there are two beetle species in particular that gladly consume mosquitoes in their aquatic stages that way not allowing as many new mosquitoes to mature into actual adult mosquitoes.
Then, of course, there also are spiders. Spiders are famous for catching flies in their webs and consuming them afterward but the same goes for mosquitoes too. Although mosquitoes are smaller than most flies they still can easily tangle into spider webs which automatically makes them spider food as spiders don’t differentiate insects that they eat.
And lastly, there are even mosquitoes that eat other mosquitoes. There are multiple of these kinds of mosquito species and they all have one thing in common they all are borne with a genus called Toxorhynchites.
The mosquitoes with this genus are often called the elephant mosquitoes or mosquito eaters because the genus not only makes the mosquitoes pray on their own but also make them larger in size than other mosquito species. And the good news is that not only these mosquitoes consume other mosquitoes but they also don’t consume blood but sustain themselves on plant nectars and other plant juices making them the perfect blood-sucking mosquito exterminators while being harmless to humans.