Nobody likes mosquitoes, but most people in the western world don’t think of them as a serious threat. These tiny bloodsuckers can do more than just ruin a pleasant summer evening outside.
Mosquitoes are so dangerous because of how quickly they can spread a blood-borne illness. A mosquito can become infected by a human and then go on to infect many other humans, all of whom can infect other humans, animals, and mosquitoes. When a nasty virus is introduced into the mix, things can get ugly quickly.
However, not every species of mosquito carries diseases that are a threat to humans. Viruses you’ve probably heard of, such as dengue and Zika, are only transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, for example.
If you want more information about whether or not mosquitoes carrying disease are a serious threat in your area, please check out the CDC website. Even if you’re lucky enough to live in an area with a low threat, mosquitoes can still be a huge bother. Luckily, there are other insect populations can help keep mosquitoes in check.
Dragonflies have been around for millions of years, so it’s no surprise they’ve become experts at what they do. Excellent flight ability, sharp hunting skills, and a wide spectrum of vision gives dragonflies the power to succeed in catching prey up to 95 percent of the time.
Not only are dragonflies beautiful and associated with mythical beings, but they’re also an ally in the fight against mosquitoes.
Dragonflies kill mosquitoes at all stages of life, helping to balance growing populations. One adult dragonfly can devour 30 or more mosquitoes per day!
Dragonflies like cool, wet, shady areas, where plenty of mosquito larvae will be hanging out in the hopes of making it to adulthood. Creating a small pond in your yard can help attract them. Be sure to put some flat rocks down so they have a place to sit and rest comfortably.
Most people don’t like spiders, but when it comes to the fight against mosquitoes and a variety of other bothersome pests, they can sometimes help.
The Evarcha culicivora, a species of spider commonly found in Africa and Malaysia, could be helpful in the battle against malaria. Just like the mosquito, they have a lust for human blood, but they don’t have the fangs to pierce our skin. A freshly fed mosquito makes a delicious snack!
Spiders also eat cockroaches, earwigs, centipedes, flies, and other insects. This doesn’t mean you should be okay with allowing spiders to set up camp in all rooms of your house, but recognizing the good they do might help ease your discomfort around them.
3. Mosquito Hawks
There are a couple different insects that people sometimes refer to as mosquito hawks.
You can recognize damselflies by the way they flutter through the air, more like a floating butterfly than the dragonfly. They also have smaller, thinner bodies and separated wings.
Many people think these long-legged insects fight mosquitoes, but that’s a myth. The adult crane fly has a short lifespan of only a few days. They don’t kill mosquitoes or pose any threat to humans, although the larvae can sometimes do damage to lawns if left unchecked.
4. Predator Mosquitoes
When you see a mosquito, you probably assume it’s about to attack you, but not every mosquito species is out for human blood. Some actually hunt other mosquitoes. One common predatory mosquito belongs to the Toxorrhynchites genus. Surprisingly, these little guys don’t feed on blood at all. Instead, they eat mosquito larvae and sometimes mosquito adults, along with tree sap, fruit, and nectar.
5. Praying Mantis
Since they’re solo insects that tend to keep hidden most of the time, spotting a praying mantis is rare. However, they’re always around, helping keep the insect world in balance using their excellent predatory skills.
A younger praying mantis will eat small insects, such as aphids, gnats, and mosquitoes. A larger adult will continue to feast on the bigger bugs, so if you ever see a praying mantis in the garden, be sure to let him be.
In Conclusion: Helpful Insects are Great, but Professional Intervention May Be Needed
While there are many members of the insect kingdom that can help in the fight against mosquitoes, it’s impossible to count on them to get rid of the pests entirely. Mosquitoes have thrived within a balanced ecosystem for thousands of years, which means their populations have evolved to deal with most threats.
In some areas, the humidity levels are so high that it’s difficult to have complete protection against mosquitoes without professional intervention. If you need a mosquito inspection or information about treatment protocols, please contact us today.