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The Enemies Of My Enemy, The Mosquito
Now the most common birds that enjoy mosquitos as a tasty yummy snack are barn swallows, purple martins, migratory songbirds, and waterfowls such as geese, ducks, and terns. These birds will not only help eliminate mosquitos from your yard, but conveniently several other pests that you may not want to have around. To attract these birds, just build a house for them near a running bird bath (since stagnant water is a mosquito’s breeding ground) with mud, leaves, egg shells, and feathers.
Yes bats!! Bat houses are a good outdoor mosquito hack for your home and outdoor pond. Bats can consume a crazy amount, up to 6,000 to 8,000 mosquitoes in one day. Since one bat house can hold 50 to 60 brown bats, which means almost half a million mosquitos eliminated from your yard! You can build your own bat house or just purchase one (typical costs are $40 to $70).
Simply put, for the most part, these predators feed on the early part of the mosquito life cycle – larvae. Mosquito fish can consume between 100 to 500 larvae in one day. They are the larvae vacuum system for an outdoor pond. Goldfish, catfish, mosquito fish, bass, bluegill, and guppies are also great fish to incorporate into your pond fountain for aesthetics, and of course the bonus is that they will be an insect exterminator for your yard.
Beautiful turtles!! The most common turtle that is known to eat mosquito larvae is the red-eared slider. A study in Louisiana referenced by the University of Wisconsin Madison Department of Entomology showed that these turtles consumed 99% of the larvae in a controlled environment within a five week period, wow that’s a lot. However, there is a downside to having this cute predator in your pond. They must be provided with an incentive to keep them in the area. So like daily feedings!!
Dragonflies, those mystical looking creatures, come in a variety of colors and are beautiful to watch as they hover over your pond. One thing that dragonflies and mosquitoes have in common in their life and life cycle is they both require water. These beautiful dragonflies can survive within a pond that ranges from shallow water to the deepest end of two feet for several months, even up to years before they reach adulthood. The benefit to this life cycle process is that although mosquitoes enter adulthood within a week, dragonflies that are in their nymph stage under the water are still eating mosquitoes before they even make it out of the pond. When dragonflies make it to adulthood, they have flight speeds of up to 30 mph, whereas mosquitoes have a flight speed of 1.5 mph. So awesome, just picture a jet plane chasing the Wright brothers first bicycle airplane. With dragonflies’ present, mosquitoes don’t stand a chance!
To attract dragonflies to your yard, just plant emergent plants in your pond. These plants (like water lilies and water horsetail) do not have roots, but they have stems and leaves, allowing dragonflies to nest and lay their eggs. Other plants to consider adding to your outdoor space and pond area are rudbeckia hirta, swamp milkweed, or black-eyed susan. This will only work for ponds that are not stocked with fish, as fish feed on dragonflies. So unless you want the enemy of your enemy to have a “frenemy”, no fish allowed in any ponds utilized by dragonflies.
Fountains and decorative aerators for ponds, lakes, golf courses and resorts!
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