So come to find out, we humans are not the only entities on the planet that purposely ends the lives of mosquitoes when they are around us.
There are other animals that do more than just kill them; they eat them too! It’s necessary, and beneficial, for us, as well as the balance of the ecosystem.
1. Predacious Mosquitos
Nature has developed a plethora of ways to keep balance within the animal kingdom, and scientists are trying to replicate this organic formula by catalyzing the existence of one of the mosquitoes that eat other mosquitoes, the Toxorhynchites rutilus septentrionalis.
The Tx. rutilus is its own natural brand of mosquito, and has a major taste for mainly one animal, the Aedes mosquito. It will eat other types of mosquitoes too, but Aedes is their favorite because of their abundance, and amount of blood they intake.
According to a study from the Journal of Insect Science describes how scientists are individually breeding these cannibalistic mosquitoes in order to reduce the population of vector diseases.
Instead of Humans, Tx. rutilus will seek out larvae of other types of mosquitoes, and devour them for their protein, while obtaining sweet nectar for flowers and fruit in order to gather sugar for their eggs.
These are voracious animals. Within six weeks to six months, just one Tx. rutilus can manage to eat up to 5,000 mosquito larvae; making them a viable source for depopulating mosquitos that carry disease before they mature into adults, and cause harm to us and other animals.
2. Frogs and Tadpoles
Frogs and tadpoles make the list as a mosquito predator mainly because they live in the same environment, and are a complete convenience for a quick snack.
I’ll admit, they are not one of my favorite animals; but I can see how they are functional within the animal kingdom, especially against the fight against mosquito-borne disease.
Without these frogs, our ponds and swamps would be swarming with even more pesky mosquitoes.
It’s postulated that many frogs are not a huge fan of eating mosquitoes once they hit maturity. They much rather prefer bigger insects that can fill their bellies, like flies.
However, when some frogs are in their tadpole stage, they will eat mosquito larvae that are resting on a river or lake bed, and use them as a source of protein. These types of frogs include the Giant Tree Frog, Spade-Foot Frog, and the Green Tree Frog.
These animals share the same environment because still-water, such as lakes, rivers, and ponds, are prime locations for optimal moisture, humidity, and food sources to produce healthy frogs and mosquitoes.
But it’s all about the survival of the fittest, and when mosquito larvae are around these three types of tadpoles, they will take full advantage of the situation and feast on mosquito larvae. So although perturbed by them, I am thankful for their service, as I’m sure you are as well.
There are several types of birds that feed on mosquitoes simply because both of them share the air, and will eventually cross paths; and since a bird is bigger with better eyesight, they make for excellent mosquito predators.
Barn Swallows have a significant taste for flying insects due to their convenience and size, and are one species of birds that will devour up to 850 insects per day, with about one-third of them being matured adult mosquitoes.
As the name suggests, they are housed usually around barns, which is a great spot to find an abundance of mosquitoes because of the wet areas that can be found within and around the environment.
Another brand of mosquito-eating birds is the Purple Martin. This bird likes to fly very high in the air, and may not come into contact with mosquitoes are a typical basis. Yet, since they fly higher, they have a better aerial view, and can see why flies beneath them.
But when the moon is at its fullest, or the Purple Martin is feeling a bit lazy, it will fly at a lower altitude, and cross paths with hundreds of mosquitos a day. This is when then feast on as many mosquitos that their tiny beak will allow.
Unlike frogs, I am a huge fan of these docile animals; even more so now that I can inform you that they, too, prey on mosquitos!
Trachemys Scipta, also known as the red-eared slider turtle, is a common turtle that can also be kept as an easy maintenance pet.
They eat a variety of different plants and insects due to their wetland environment, their organic taste for vegetation, and their inevitable need for protein.
In the wild, however, they are known to be ferocious mosquito predators. Red-eared slider turtles spend most of their time in lakes and ponds, where mosquitos like to “safely” lay their eggs.
When these turtles are in their adolescent years, like a teenage boy, they can become really hungry, very quickly, and will eat other insects and insect larvae, such as the mosquito larvae that like to hang out in one mass in plain view…not so smart on the mosquito’s side.
With this new information, it may be a smart idea to make sure that a red-eared slider turtle is nearby to protect you from mosquito-borne disease, while providing it with a nutritious snack!
An aquatic genus within the animal kingdom, we will forever be indebted to fish for the service of not only food, but also of keeping the balance by preying on unsuspecting larvae.
Like the turtle, fish and mosquitos share the same ecosystem, and have no choice but to eat the plants and animals that surround them; and one of those choices just so happen to be mosquito larvae.
Keep in mind that when a mosquito lays her eggs on the surface of a body of water, half is above the surface, and the other half is beneath it; allowing major opportunity for fish to notice a big dark spot, which they perceive as food.
Fish that have a taste for mosquito larvae are goldfish, catfish, bass, bluegill, and even guppies make my list; yet none of these fish can beat the top devourer of mosquito larvae, Gambusia affinis, literally known as the “mosquitofish”.
The mosquitofish is a very small silver fisht that is common throughout the United States, as well as Central America. They feed on the various larvae of amphibians, but mostly those of mosquitos!
Why? Because mosquito larvae isn’t very big, yet still very satisfying in nutrition, making it a balanced meal for them to partake in over and over again.
The long flies that have the big eyes and the easy-to-hear buzzing sound? Yeah, that’s a dragonfly, and they are common predators of mosquitoes.
So common, that they society has deemed them with the nickname, “mosquito hawk”.
When you look up into the sky and see one flying, for some reason, it’s always an amazement. Now, when it passes by, you can thank it for being such a big help to reduce the population of mosquitoes that can harm us at any second.
Here’s what makes dragonflies worthy of their nickname: just like other animals on this predator list, during their aquatic stage of life, dragonflies will unreluctantly eat the larvae of mosquitos in order to continue growing into their adult stage.
Once they reach their mature stage of life, they are capable of flying miles around their home environment, which gives them ample opportunity to also partake in preying on adult mosquitos.
They are known to give our pesky enemy a run for their money by eating thirty to several hundred mosquitos a day!
Long story, short, dragonflies are premium mosquito predators simply because they can eat both mosquito larvae and mature mosquitos. Salute to you, dragonflies!
Our eight-legged friends that creep out most people are a magnificent choice for mosquito predation. As nature shows us, they are prone to eating various types of bugs and insects, or just about anything that gets caught up in their sticky webbing.
To be more specific, there are two different species of spiders that absolutely adore the taste of an unlucky mosquito: The Evarcha culicivora and the Paracyrbra wanlessi.
A native of East Africa, the Evarcha culicivora, specifically chooses to eat female Aedes mosquito for one reason: their blood. They tend to be attracted to the amount of blood that they carry.
They will ignore other bugs caught in their webs to ingest the mosquito also because of the quality of blood that the mosquito carries.
Once the blood is ingested by the spider, it will act as a pheromone for other spiders, making this predator a top choice for mating.
Fact: Evarcha culicivora is known as the “Vampire Spider.
Found in Malaysia, this particular spider enjoys the hunt of looking and preying on mosquitos.
What’s cool about them is, like dragonflies, P. wanlessi will eat both mosquito larvae, as well as adult mosquitos, whether it’s hungry or not!
Also, nature has provided them with the innate sense of determining what is, and isn’t, a mosquito, even if they’ve never seen one before…how intricate, right?
Our favorite animals to be afraid of, bats surely do come in handy when it comes to preying on mosquitos. They are much bigger and way faster than them; and with their ultrasonic hearing, bats are capable of hearing the beating wings of a mosquito.
Although mosquitos are not their primary their primary source of sustenance, they are a significant part of it. Bats tend to eat mosquitos only when they are around; however, when mosquitos are in their midst, they do a grand job at keeping them in check.
These bats are more prone to eating various species of mosquitos, especially those that carry West Nile Virus. Because of this phenomenon, bats as postulated to be a natural form of population control in the near future.
But for now, just know that bats will ingest mosquitos without hesitation, if they’re lucky enough to be around them.
Salamanders are a great resource for getting rid of small critters. They are typically known for eating whatever they can fit into their mouths, including our continuously misunderstood insect of focus, mosquitos.
Their diet consist of anything that moves, which means that they prefer for their prey to be alive before they strike it. With that being said, it’s no wonder why they go after mosquitos.
Mosquitos move all of the time, however, they can only fly about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour, making them an easy target for any salamander that can reach them.
Interestingly enough, like the dragonfly, salamanders will prey on both mosquito larvae that is resting beneath the surface (yes, salamanders can swim), as well as chewing and swallowing the adult mosquitos that plague us on a daily basis.
The results illustrated that the Tiger salamander had ingested an average of 144 mosquito larvae per day! This is true proof that salamanders are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to their predation of mosquitos.
There are a massive amount of mosquitos that enjoy cruising around the block seeking a hearty blood meal; but fear not! We have their predators at our disposal.
There are plenty of attempts being made to reduce the population of mosquitos that carry deadly disease, and scientists are taking full advantage of the natural forms that already exist.
So take ease in knowing that nature, and science, has your back in keeping you safe from the harmful effects of mosquitoes.