Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water, such as ponds, tree holes, tide water pools, irrigated pastures, rain water ponds and other stagnant bodies of water. The eggs of most mosquito species hatch into larvae within 48 hours. One female mosquito can lay several hundred eggs in one batch. Predators of mosquito larvae help reduce or control this insect's population.
Mosquitoes often lay their eggs in stagnant water, including ponds and tide water pools. These bodies of water are often home to fish, many of which feed on mosquito larvae. The Gambusia affinis, also known as the western mosquitofish, consumes up to 167 percent of its body weight in invertebrate prey each day, including mosquito larvae. Goldfish, killifish, guppies, bass, bluegill and catfish also consume mosquito larvae.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Some frogs and toads, including cricket frogs, chorus frogs and spring peepers, frequently feed on mosquito larvae. One toad may consume up to 100 mosquito larvae per night. Although tadpoles mostly feed on algae and plants, some species occasionally prey on mosquito larvae. The red-eared slider turtle has also been used to control the mosquito larvae population. In a 2007 study published by the American Mosquito Control Association, red-eared sliders reduced the number of mosquito larvae in an experimental enclosure by 99 percent over a five-week period.
While many types of birds, such as purple martins, eat mosquitoes, only a few species eat their larvae. Juvenile waterfowl species and migratory songbirds occasionally eat mosquito larvae and periodically rely on them as their primary source of nutrition. Tree swallows prey on both mosquitoes and their larvae.
Many types of other insects make mosquito larvae part of their diet. Dragonflies are sometimes called "mosquito hawks," and dragonfly and damselfly naiads often feast on mosquito larvae. Aquatic beetles and their young often live in temporary pools or ponds, consuming nearly anything that moves, including their own kind. These worm-like beetles, the most common species of which are the predaceous diving beetle and the water scavenger beetle, feast on many types of larvae, including those of mosquitoes.
- Do It Yourself: How to Have a Pond Without Having Mosquitoes
- Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System: Bats, Birds, Turtles, Frogs, Fish
- Splash: Aquatic Beetles
- State of Michigan: Biological Mosquito Control
- West Baton Rouge Parish Council: Natural Mosquito Killers
- The Mosquito Book: Mosquito Facts
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