When we see a mosquito, it’s often when they have landed on us, bitten us, and caused a reaction of sometimes an uncontrollable itching. Oftentimes, we don’t see the feeding process at all—we just feel and see the after-effects. But who are the enemies of mosquitoes that can save us from their sneak attacks? We have created a list of enemies of our number one enemy, the mosquito.
The most common birds that love to dine on mosquitoes are Purple Martins, Barn Swallows, waterfowls (Geese, Terns, and ducks) and migratory songbirds. These birds have the ability to not only help rid your yard of mosquitoes, but many other pests that you may not be too keen to have around. To attract these birds to your home, simply build a house for them to live in with leaves, mud, egg shells, and feathers near a running bird bath (because stagnant water is a mosquito’s breeding ground).
In our previous blog, Household Mosquito Hacks, we shared that bat houses are a great outside mosquito hack for any home. Outside of your home, bats have the ability to eat thousands of mosquitoes in one day. You can only imagine what they can do within a week!
These predators mostly feed on the beginning life cycle of the mosquito— larvae. Such fish as the Mosquito Fish can eat anywhere between 100 to 500 larvae in a single day. Just call them the larvae vacuum system of the pond. Goldfish, Guppies, Bass, Bluegill, Mosquito Fish, and Catfish are some of the fish that can be incorporated into your pond for aesthetics, but also as an insect exterminator for your yard.
The red-eared slider is the most common turtle known to eat mosquito larvae. A Louisiana study referenced by the University of Wisconsin Madison Department of Entomology showed that the turtle ate 99% of the larvae in a controlled environment within 5 weeks. But there is a downside to this predator: you have to provide them with an incentive to keep them in the area, such as daily food.
Dragonflies come in an array of colors and can be very beautiful to watch. One commonality of the mosquito and the dragonfly is their life cycle; both require water. Dragonflies can live within a pond, ranging from shallow water to the deepest end of 2 feet for months and even up to years before adulthood. The plus side to this process is that although mosquitoes are adults within a week, dragonflies within their nymph stage underwater are still dining on mosquitoes before they make it out of the water. Once dragonflies become adults, they have a flight speed of 30 mph. Compared to the mosquitoes’ 1.5 mph flight speed, imagine a jet plane chasing the Wright brothers’ first bicycle airplane. Mosquitoes don't have a chance of survival in their presence.
If you would like to attract dragonflies to your yard, plant emergent plants within your pond. These plants cannot have rooted bottoms, but have stems and leaves (water lilies, water horsetail), which will allow them to lay their eggs. Other plants around the home to consider are Black-Eyed Susan or Rudbeckia hirta or Swamp Milkweed. For this to work, your pond is to be only utilized by dragonflies—no fish allowed unless you want an enemy of your enemy to have a "frenemy."
If you want the ultimate enemy of mosquitoes, call Mosquito Squad today for your free estimate and fill your yard with friends…not enemies.