Nature has a way of balancing things. Prey have predators have to check on their numbers while dying plants and animals have decomposers to clean them up.
With that thought in mind, have you ever considered dropping the pesticides and using natural predators instead? How about bugs that eat mosquitoes? They could do wonders to your annoying mosquito problems.
If that has piqued your interest, check out this list of beneficial insects, bugs that might be able to help you in dealing with mosquitoes.
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Contrary to what most people believe, not all mosquitoes bring death and diseases. Some of them can actually be considered as beneficial.
The most popular predacious mosquitoes belong to the genus Toxorhynchites. These bugs are larger than your average mosquito, and they’re the only species that don’t feed on blood. Instead, they eat honeydew, sap, fruit and nectar. They also conveniently hunt for disease-carrying mosquitoes, both in their larval and adult stages.
These insects have been so good in controlling the harmful mosquito population that many environmental scientists have suggested to introduce them to areas where dengue fever and malaria are prevalent.
It’s rare, but there are spider species that eat mosquitoes.
Just recently, The Guardian published an article on the Mosquito-eating Vampire Spider, a unique jumping spider that’s known to survive off eating female mosquitoes.
Evarcha culicivora has been discovered by researchers to have developed a remarkable but oddly specific taste for female Anopheles mosquitoes, the kind that usually transmits deadly malaria.
The spider does this because, apparently, it likes the taste of human blood. However, it doesn’t have the necessary mouthparts to suck it out. So it gets its share by hunting mosquitoes that are usually filled with it. Thus, it has been given the title, “vampire”.
Mostly found in Malaysia and east Africa, researchers plan to introduce this species to mosquito-dominated areas for pest control. But only time will tell if it will work. After all, it would mean convincing people to be comfortable with the fact that there would be blood-loving spiders crawling around their homes.
Dragonflies are effective mosquito hunters as they eat both larvae and adult mosquitoes.
When it comes to bugs that eat mosquitoes, you can’t go wrong with dragonflies.
Dragonflies are natural mosquito killers. They’ve even earned the nickname “Mosquito Hawks”. That’s because they feed on them their whole life. Dragonfly larvae, called nymphs, eat mosquito larvae while dragonfly adults hunt mosquito adults. They may not be able to eat all the mosquitoes in a place, but they’ve been known to make an impact on growing populations.
Here’s a short clip from nature1upclose that demonstrates how a dragonfly nymph feeds.
Dragonflies are attracted to homes with huge water features like ponds and fountains. They thrive in environments where there’s plenty of water and water plants.
According to Miracle Gro, attracting or just raising these bugs takes a lot of careful planning. For one thing, your pond has to be at least 2 feet deep. It has to have plenty of submerged plants and rocks for the nymphs to hide in. Adult dragonflies also need floating plants to perch on. Plants like fanwort, baby pondweed, eelgrass, tropical lilies and lotus flowers work best. You also have to include land plants on the sides like shrubs and other low maintenance greens to make these insects stay and thrive.
Another crucial thing that you have to remember is that the pond has to be free from fish. While some small fish can be eaten by the nymphs, the tables turn when they’re dealing with bigger fish. In short, you can’t have these two animals coexisting in a small pond. You’ll have to pick which you like best.
Dragonflies can come naturally to a house if it’s endemic to where you live in, but you can also buy nymphs at a local pet shop.
Damselflies are slimmer with long stick-like abdomens.
While damselflies belong to the same order as dragonflies, they have very distinct features. They’re generally smaller and thinner. They have elongated but wispier abdomens. They perch with their wings folded. And unlike dragonflies, their eyes are separated instead of being connected.
Damselflies also hunt mosquitoes to survive. And they also live in the same watery conditions. However, these graceful insects aren’t as popular as their bigger cousins. It’s probably because of their size. Not a lot of people believe that they can do what dragonflies can because of their naturally small stature.
Overall, there aren’t a lot of bugs that eat mosquitoes. But damselflies and those other creatures mentioned are nature’s way of balancing out the negatives.
So you might want to use that advantage and leave these insects alone when you encounter them. After all, as creepy and crawly as they are, they are actually working for you, not against you.