If you’re having problems with mosquitoes this summer, there are some animals and insects you can use for bio-control – ways to keep that mosquito population in hand.
Bats have a bad reputation. They have been linked to death and disease, to horror and vampires and the underworld. However, bats are very misunderstood.
Bats are the only true flying mammals. They are primarily nocturnal creatures, who “wake up” and begin to fly around at dusk. And they enjoy eating insects – especially mosquitoes – so bats are great at mosquito control.
In general, most wild birds enjoy eating mosquitoes. Birds catch mosquitoes in mid-air as they are flying. It is said that swallows and the eastern kingbird enjoy are the best mosquito eaters, although most backyard birds will help to keep down the mosquito population around your home.
Entice birds to hang around by putting up some bird houses, or plant high, dense shrubs or tall trees for birds to call home.
Chickens and Guinea Hens
If there is one mosquito controlling critter I’d like to have around, it would be chickens. Unfortunately, chickens are not permitted in my residential area in Port St Lucie, Florida.
This is sad, when you consider that people can have chickens in San Diego and New York City, but I digress.
Chickens and guinea hens are great for controlling mosquitoes, ticks and flies. If chickens are allowed in your area, get two or three hens.
If you cannot let them range freely, you can put them in a “chicken tractor” or portable chicken coop, and move them around your yard.
You’ll have over a dozen eggs a week, great garden fertilizer (their poop), and a wonderful way to control pesky mosquitoes.
There’s a reason why there are so many dragonflies around ponds, reservoirs, canal, rivers, creeks and wetlands. Female dragonflies lay their eggs in water or on water plants.
Their larvae, called “naiads,” live in water. The aquatic naiads live on a diet of mosquito larvae, and the adult dragonfly enjoys eating adult mosquitoes and other small insects.
Not only are dragonflies colorful and beautiful, they are a great natural mosquito predator to have around, especially if you live near a water source.
Ducks and other Water Fowl
Ducks take care of mosquitoes at their source – the water. Ducks and other water fowl love to consume mosquito pupae – what my husband calls “wiggle-waggles”.
An added benefit to having ducks is the elimination of snails and slugs – major problems for many gardeners.
If you have a pond or creek on your property, or if you are one of the South Florida residents with a canal in your back yard, be certain to keep a few ducks around to control the mosquitoes.
Mosquito Fish and More
Guppies, minnows and mosquito fish are the natural enemies of the mosquito. These fish do a great job of consuming mosquitoes in the larval and pupal stages.
If you have standing water, such as a pond, make sure to add these fish for easy bio control of a potential mosquito population problem.