What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (2024)

Mosquitoes are plentiful and annoying. Curious what eats mosquitoes? In this post, you’ll learn about the animals, insects, and plants that commonly eat mosquitoes.

Insects that eat mosquitoes include dragonflies (and their larvae), spiders, and ants. Other animals that feed on mosquitos are bats, turtles, and many birds. Some fish species have a specialized ability to consume mosquitoes and mosquito larvae. And 3 types of plants eat mosquitoes.

What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (1)

There are few insects more annoying than mosquitoes. These little bloodsuckers carry multiple diseases that they can spread around humans and often come into your yard because standing water attracted them.

Table of Contents

15 Mosquito Predators

What eats mosquitoes? Here are some of the most common animals that eat mosquitoes.

1. Dragonflies

As you look at what bugs eat mosquitoes, you’ll find that dragonflies are the most common.

Dragonflies existed for more than 300 million years and have thin wings and long bodies. These bugs have feet that they use to grab and hold their prey as they eat it.

What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (2)

One study found that those in captivity can eat 90% or more of the prey in their habitats. In the wild, dragonflies eat 30 or more mosquitoes per day.

Fortunately (for mosquito-haters), dragonfly larvae actually feed on mosquito larvae when they can, to the extent that dragonflies do most of their predatory damage to mosquitoes before either insect is even close to mature.


2. Frogs

It should not surprise you that frogs eat mosquitoes because they often share an ecosystem.

Tadpoles feed on mosquito larvae and can wipe out a large number of the bugs during this stage in a single week.

Young frogs will also eat both larvae and adult mosquitoes. The two creatures share an area and fight to see who can consume and find the most resources.

Adult frogs are less interested in eating mosquitoes because they are so small.

3. Spiders

When searching for which bugs eat mosquitoes, don’t forget about spiders. There are several types that eat mosquitoes along with other insects.

Spiders eat up to 800 million tons of bugs per year and can help with population control. Some spiders use webs to draw bugs to them. They spin their webs in places that are safe.

They then attack the bugs as they come across the web and can spin them into a cocoon, which they can save for later. There are also spiders that hunt mosquitoes. They will grab the mosquitoes and use their fangs to hold them down as they eat.

Learn more about 9 common house spiders.

4. Bats

Don’t worry if you see bats overhead when relaxing outside because these animals help control the mosquito population that is around you.

What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (4)

The bats found in parts of the United States can also consume hundreds of mosquitoes per night.

So bats eat lots of mosquitos. Do bats eat bees?

5. Mosquito Fish

Though there is a handful of fish that eat mosquitoes, mosquito fish eat more of these bugs than any other type. These fish live in large schools that can contain more than 100 fish.

They begin eating bugs in their youth and continue eating them as they age. During their younger days, mosquito fish can eat up to 1.5 times their body weight in mosquitoes.

They can eat hundreds of mosquitoes per day. Some pond owners introduce mosquitofish to help reduce mosquitos.

6. Ants: Colobopsis schmitzi

In the island of Borneo, a small ant (Colobopsis schmitzi) is known to eat mosquito and mosquito larvae from the fluids of the carnivorous pitcher plant (Nepenthes bicalcarata).

It dives under the surface of the digestive liquid and consumes prey captured by the pitcher plant. This plant, incidentally, also feeds on ants.

7. Purple Martins

The Purple Martin is one type of bird that eats mosquitoes. They are native to North America and are often found in the south and east regions.

What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (5)

These birds hunt in the same way that hawks do. When the bird sees a mosquito, it will dive or swoop down and grab the bug out of the air to swallow it whole.

Purple martins are in the swallow family.

The birds also eat fire ants and other small bugs.

8. Red-Eared Slider Turtle

You may not see a red-eared slider in person unless you’re at the zoo or in Honduras, which is their native home. This turtle gets its name from the red marking on its head.

There are reports of people seeing the turtle in the southern US as former owners released them into the wild.

Red-eared sliders are invasive animals that can kill bugs and smaller animals and take over an ecosystem. One turtle can eat dozens of mosquitoes daily.

9. Bluebirds

Out of all the different types of bluebirds, the Eastern Bluebird is the most common predator of mosquitoes.

What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (6)

They usually only eat mosquitoes if they find a large group of them because they are so big that a single bug isn’t a good meal for them. Bluebirds will go after other smaller bugs if they have the chance, including mealworms and beetle grubs.

Though you see many bluebirds today, they were once nearly endangered as there were so few of the birds in the wild.

10. Geese

Geese are creatures of habit that often fly south for winter and return to the same ponds and lakes when the temperature rises in the spring.

Though you may not think that geese will eat mosquitoes, they eat almost anything they find, including bread and crackers.

Most geese only eat mosquitoes during the larva phase and consume them as part of a diet mixed with other foods. Baby geese will also eat larva mosquitoes. Geese prey on mosquitoes who come to their habitats, too.

11. Cardinals

Cardinals will also eat mosquitoes. This is the official bird of Ohio where it comes out in the spring and has bright red feathers. They live across both South America and North America.

These birds come in different colors and shades and can also range in size. Cardinals often sing to each other and will prey on mosquitoes they see in the wild, but the adults will feed the bugs to their babies until they can handle eating grain.

12. Catfish

As much as you love catfish breaded and fried, that fish loves mosquitoes nearly as much.

What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (7)

Many refer to catfish as bottom feeders or trash fish because they eat almost anything they find in the water. When left alone, catfish can grow several feet long and weigh hundreds of pounds. They tend to eat small mosquitoes and those in the larva stage.

They are an effective way to control a mosquito population in a small ecosystem because of how many insects they eat.

3 Plants that Eat Mosquitos

There are 583 species of carnivorous plants.

“today we recognize at least 583 species of carnivorous plants in 20 genera, 12 families, and 5 orders of flowering plants.”

Thomas J. Givnish, National Center for Biotechnology Information
What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (8)

There are five types of plants that eat meat. The first three of these eat mosquitos and other insects.

  1. Venus Flytrap (Snap traps): There are just two species of snap trap plants: Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) and waterwheel plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa). Eats mosquitos and other insects.
  2. Pitcher Plant (Pitfall traps): Typically attract insects with nectar bait. Some bromeliads are mosquito-eating pitfall traps. Eats mosquitos and other insects.
  3. Sundew (Flypaper traps): A common species is the Cape sundew (Drosera capensis). Eats mosquitos and other insects.
  4. Bladderworts (Bladder traps): This type of carnivorous plants uses a complex hydrolic vacuum with level-action doors. Utricularia vulgaris is an example of a bladderwort. Eats aquatic invertebrates.
  5. Lobster-pot traps: Specialize in aquatic protozoa.

Learn more about other tiny black bugs around the home.

Animals That Don’t Eat Mosquitos (But Should)

Sometimes names are so descriptive, we make assumptions as to the nature of the animal.

Enter the mosquito hawk.

Mosquito Hawks

The name mosquito hawk refers to a crane fly or a daddy longlegs.

If you are researching insects that eat mosquitoes, you have certainly stumbled across an expression like this: “A single mosquito hawk can eat dozens of mosquitos”.

This just isn’t true. Here are a couple of sources to explain more.

That inch-long, gangly-legged insect that sneaks into your house and bounces around the walls and ceiling is a crane fly, and despite rumors to the contrary, it is neither a predator of mosquitoes nor a colossal mosquito. And it’s harmless.

Entomology Today

Despite widely held beliefs that adult crane flies (or “mosquito hawks”) prey on mosquito populations, the adult crane fly is anatomically incapable of killing or consuming other insects.Although the adults of some species may feed on nectar, the adults of many species have such short lifespans that they do not eat at all.

Crane fly, Wikipedia

So not only do mosquito hawks (crane flies) not eat mosquitos, it isn’t even possible because they’re incapable of eating them.

More Reading: Can Mosquitoes Bite Through Clothes?

What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (9)

Learn more about insect predators: 19 Animals That Eat Ticks and 28 Animals that Eat Ants.

What Insects Eat Mosquitoes?

There are many ways to kill and repel mosquitoes that you see flying around your yard.

Depending on where you live though, you may find that there are natural ways to control those bugs because some mammals and birds along with insects and reptiles eat mosquitoes.

The different animals that eat those bugs include bluebirds, catfish, dragonflies, and some types of bats.

  • About the Author
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What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (10)

Dena Haines

Dena Haines is a co-founder and writer at The Buginator. And is working to make it the best resource for taking back the outdoors from biting, stinging pests.

She also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at Storyteller Tech. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company she runs with her husband, Bryan.

What Eats Mosquitoes? 15 Predators (Insects, Plants, Birds) 🪰 The Buginator (2024)


What eats mosquitoes the most? ›

More specifically, the species which eat the most mosquitoes are purple martins, red-eyed vireos, chirping sparrows, downy woodpeckers, yellow warblers, Eastern bluebirds, Eastern phoebes, Baltimore orioles, geese, terns, ducks and common wrens and nighthawks.

How many animals eat mosquitoes? ›

Many fish feed on mosquito larvae, which are aquatic, and plenty of birds and spiders and other insects feed on the adults. Dragonflies and damselflies love mosquitoes. Frogs eat adult mosquitoes, tadpoles eat the larvae. Bats eat mosquitoes.

What bugs do mosquito eaters eat? ›

Mosquito eaters do not eat mosquitoes. They do, however, eat mosquito larvae during their larval stage, but only occasionally. Their main source of sustenance is flower nectar. While they're bigger than mosquitoes, they are physically incapable of killing the bloodsuckers.

What kills and eats mosquitoes? ›

Other Animals That Prey on Mosquitoes

Bats hunt nocturnally, but they can take advantage of dusk and dawn to eat mosquitoes when they are most active. Frogs, turtles and fish are also great mosquito hunters since they all live in or around the water.

What kills mosquitoes? ›

Use an indoor insect fogger or indoor insect spray to kill mosquitoes and treat areas where they rest. These products work immediately, and may need to be reapplied. When using insecticides, always follow label directions. Only using insecticide will not keep your home free of mosquitoes.

Do spiders eat mosquitoes? ›

What Spiders Eat Spiders feed on common indoor pests, such as Roaches, Earwigs, Mosquitoes, Flies and Clothes Moths. If left alone, they will consume most of the insects in your home, providing effective home pest control. 2.

Do ants eat mosquitoes? ›

Some ants feed on mosquitoes too. Unfortunately, most mosquitoes can escape ants when they fly. Ants usually feed on dead mosquitoes, which doesn't really help keep them away. However, the ant species Camponotus schmitzi feeds on mosquito larvae.

Do mosquitoes eat all animals? ›

Different species prefer the blood of particular animals. Some mosquitoes feed only on snakes, frogs, or other cold-blooded animals. Other mosquitoes prefer birds. Still others prefer cows, horses, and people.

What plant eats mosquito? ›

Tropical carnivorous pitcher plants botanically known as Nepenthes feed on insects including roaches, ants and mosquitoes. You can grow pitcher plant vines quite easily by following some simple steps. Nepenthes require growing outside in a humid bright light location like you would grow an orchid.

What are mosquito eaters called? ›

Crane flies are also called "mosquito eaters" or "mosquito hawks." But when viewed under a microscope, crane flies do not have any biting mouth parts! They do not bite. They drink nectar for sustainance.

What mosquitoes hate the most? ›

Mosquitoes hate the smell of lavender, citronella, clove, peppermint, basil, cedarwood, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass and rosemary. They also hate smells such as smoke, for further insight, see our exploration on, does smoke keep mosquitoes away?

What kills mosquitoes the best naturally? ›

Kill Mosquitoes With These 10 Easy Home Remedies That Actually...
  1. #1: Eliminate standing water.
  2. #2: Candles, incense and essential oils.
  3. #3: Pot the right plant.
  4. #4: Lemon and clove.
  5. #5: Garlic spray.
  6. #6: Eucalyptus oil.
  7. #7: Mosquito net.
  8. #8: Camphor.
Aug 12, 2021

What would happen if mosquitoes went extinct? ›

Environmental Impact of Mosquito Extinction

Without the mosquitoes, many animals could decline due to a lack of food. Fish populations could be impacted, as many fish species rely on mosquito larvae as a food source. Bats that rely largely on mosquitoes for food may also decline or even go extinct if mosquitoes did.

What animals do mosquitoes like the most? ›

Different species prefer the blood of particular animals. Some mosquitoes feed only on snakes, frogs, or other cold-blooded animals. Other mosquitoes prefer birds. Still others prefer cows, horses, and people.

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