What Eats Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes aren’t our friends. In fact, most people hate them. This isn’t only because of the damage they do by biting us and leaving red bumps that we can’t stop scratching. It’s also because of the sound they make, which is truly annoying and unpleasant. 

So, we use different mosquito repelling and killing methods to eliminate them and protect ourselves. These methods include mosquito repellents, foggers, and zappers

But luckily for us, there are some creatures in the world that help us with this task. They actually eat mosquitoes, which helps diminish the number of mosquitoes that exist on Earth. So, let’s find out who the natural enemies of mosquitoes are.

Purple Martins and Bats

We already have an article about birds that eat mosquitoes on this website. Here, we discuss the purple martin and bats as two flying animals that actually eat mosquitoes. But, we still thought it would be important to remind you of these flying animals that we could consider our own natural mosquito control.

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Purple martins are one of the most common mosquito-eating birds. Mosquitoes are only one of the many flying insects that these birds eat. Even so, these small, beautiful birds do consume mosquitoes, thus helping us get rid of them at least in small quantities. 

The second flying animal that consumes mosquitoes, as you’ve already guessed, is bats. Many are afraid of these night fliers because of the way they look, but they actually can be beneficial.

As with purple martins, mosquitoes aren’t the main dish on the bat menu since bats will eat any insect they can find. But, since both bats and mosquitoes come out once the sun goes down, there’s a greater chance of mosquitoes being consumed by bats, meaning that they’ll take out at least a few members of the mosquito population.

There are other mosquito-eating birds out there. For example, swallows, geese, and even ducks eat mosquitoes, only not as often as purple martins or bats.

Mosquitofish

Flying animals aren’t the only creatures to consume mosquitoes. There are quite a few fish that are keen on eating mosquitoes. More specifically, they like to eat mosquito larvae because almost all mosquito species lay their eggs in water.

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One fish species, in particular, simply loves to eat mosquito larvae. This species is the Gambusia affinis or mosquitofish. Mosquitoes might only make up about 1% of the menu for birds and bats, but for mosquitofish, mosquitoes are the main course. In fact, many mosquito control facilities use these fish as a part of their mosquito control system. They efficiently get rid of mosquitoes in larger standing bodies of water, like lakes and ponds.

Red-Eared Slider Turtles

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One species of turtle loves to feed on mosquito larvae. This is the red-eared slider turtle. Conveniently, these turtles are not only one of the most common turtle species in the US, but also one of the most common pet turtle species. This means that they may be the most common turtles in the world, making them a great way to reduce the mosquito population.

Spadefoot Toads, Green Tree Frogs, and Giant Tree Frogs

Three distinct amphibians specifically prey on mosquito larvae. Spadefoot toads, green tree frogs, and giant tree frogs are common in North America. These three thrive on mosquito larvae, making them efficient mosquito exterminators.

Dragonflies, Crane Flies, and Damselflies

There are also some insects that eat mosquitoes, though mosquitoes aren’t their main source of food.

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The dragonfly-like mosquito hawks, also known as crane flies, are commonly known as mosquito eaters. Their larvae can feed on mosquito larvae on occasion, but this is too small of a part of their diet to diminish it successfully. 

Damselflies do feed on mosquitoes, both larvae and adults. Since mosquitoes do make up quite a large part of their diet, they could be helpful when it comes to limiting the mosquito population.

Predaceous Diving Beetles and Water Scavenger Beetles

Beetles also help eliminate mosquitoes in their larvae stage. Almost all aquatic beetles consume mosquito larvae and pupae. But there are two beetle species, in particular, that are happy to consume mosquitoes in their aquatic stages. This is how they keep mosquitoes from maturing into actual adult mosquitoes and stop the lifecycle before they can reproduce.

Spiders

Of course, there are also spiders. Spiders are famous for catching insects in their webs and consuming them. Even though mosquitoes are smaller than most flies, they can still get tangled in spider webs. This automatically makes them spider food since spiders aren’t picky about the insects they eat.

Predaceous Mosquitoes

Finally, some mosquitoes eat other mosquitoes. These mosquito species all have one thing in common. They’re from the genus Toxorhynchites.

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These mosquitoes are often called elephant mosquitoes or mosquito eaters. Not only do they prey on their own but they are also larger than other mosquito species.

The good news is that while the larvae of these mosquitoes do prey on other mosquitoes, they won’t bite us. As adults, they sustain themselves on plant nectar, making them the perfect mosquito exterminators while remaining harmless to humans.

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