It’s no secret that mosquitoes are one of the biggest nuisances in the summer, especially in the South, but when it comes to mosquito control, most people tend to turn to repellents, sprays, and mosquito yard spraying services for help. But did you know there are actually several natural predators of mosquitoes that can help control their population? In this article, we’ll explore the top mosquito predators in the south, including some surprising facts about Crane Flies, Green tree frogs, Birds, and more!
The Top Mosquito Predators in the South
Adult Mosquitoes – A Favorite Snack of:
- Bats: While bats do eat mosquitoes, they are far more effective at locating, catching, and eating insects other than adult mosquitoes.
- Birds: These feathered superheroes of the south know the value of a good mosquito meal and aren’t afraid to indulge:
• Purple Martins
• and more!
- Fish: Goldfish, guppies, bass, bluegill, and catfish will prey on mosquito larvae. The most effective fish predator of mosquito larvae is the Gambusia affinis, commonly known as the mosquito fish.
- Frogs and Tadpoles: Many species of frogs and tadpoles also feed on mosquito larvae, including green tree frogs.Green Tree Frogs – A Powerful AmphibianThese small but mighty predators love to snack on mosquitoes at both the larval stage and adult stage. But don’t forget Giant tree frogs, they’re a bit more on the hungry side, plus, their charismatic looks make them a welcome addition to any backyard pond!
- Salamanders: These slimy creatures may not be at the top of anyone’s list of favorite animals, but they play a vital role in the food chain and are known to eat mosquito larvae.
- Turtles: Believe it or not, certain turtles such as the red-eared slider have been known to occasionally munch down on the larvae of mosquitoes.
- Other Insects: Damselfiels and Dragonflies have been eating mosquitoes for over 300 million years, with some species feeding on both adult mosquitoes and mosquito larvae.
Crane FliesContrary to popular belief, Mosquito eaters, commonly known as Crane Flies or Mosquitoe Hawks, do NOT actually eat mosquitoes, rather, they actively feed on their larvae.
SpidersBelieve it or not, spiders are actually nature’s pest experts, eating up to 800 million tons of insects annually. That’s a lot of insects, even more than all the food humans eat in a year!
That being said, you can’t simply rely on mosquitoes’ natural predators to keep mosquitoes at bay, if you have pets you should take a look at our guide on mosquito treatments that are pet safe!
The Power of Water – A Mosquito Magnet
Mosquitoes require standing water to lay their eggs and for their larvae to thrive. So, it only makes sense that natural mosquito predators are often found around water sources. Here are a few places to look:
Even small pools of standing water can be breeding grounds for mosquito larvae. Check your property for any areas where water may be collecting and eliminate them.
While it’s important to avoid stagnant ponds to prevent mosquito infestation, running or aerated ponds are great for controlling the mosquito population, because, as previously mentioned, turtles and fish like goldfish and bass are especially effective at preying on mosquito larvae.
West Nile – A Serious Disease
Mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus are a serious concern, making the need for natural mosquito control even more urgent. Together, by incorporating natural predators like those mentioned above into the food chain, we can help reduce the spread of these diseases in the South.