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Biological Mosquito Control
There are no effective avian, mammalian, amphibian, reptilian, or insect predators that will provide natural or biological control of mosquito populations. There are species of these predators that will feed on mosquito larvae and adults but not to the extent that they will control the population.
There are no bird species that are effective at controlling mosquito populations; Tree swallows are the most effective and adult and juvenile waterfowl species and migratory songbirds will eat larvae and may be dependent on them at certain times of the year. Purple martins eat insignificant numbers of mosquitoes.
Bats play an important role in the environment and can serve as agricultural pest control agents but they are not effective as mosquito control agents. They will eat 500 to 1200 insects/hour. There are no bat species that specialize in eating mosquitoes but there are bat species that have a portion of their diet consisting of mosquitoes (Big Brown Bat-nearly 0%, Little Brown Bat-much more likely to feed on mosquitoes). Due to their high metabolic rate, Big Brown Bats don't select mosquitoes as a food source. Mosquitoes don't swarm, they provide small amounts of energy, and they are more likely to be found in vegetation, not in areas where the bats will be feeding.
The Big Brown Bat is the most common bat in Michigan and their diet primarily consists of June beetles, moths, ground beetles, and stink bugs. The Little Brown Bat, which commonly occurs In the northern part of the state, has a diet that primarily consists of spiders, mosquitoes, and dipterous insects
Inhabitants of bat houses in residential areas will have minimal impact on mosquito populations, especially in the southern portion of the state where the Big Brown Bat is the most common species to utilize a bat house. Little Brown Bats (much less common in the southern portion of the state) will have a minor impact on the mosquito population as mosquitoes make up a small percentage of their diet. If bat houses are placed in residential areas, they likely will provide an alternative roosting area of bats already present. It is important to erect the house in a proper location (15 feet in the air, in direct sunlight for no more than 4 to 6 hours, and not attached to a residence). Big Brown Bats are the main species in Michigan to be diagnosed with rabies (it is estimated that less than 1% of the bats in the state are rabid). Because of this, it is important to avoid contact with bats that are found on the ground, outside of a bat house, or during daylight hours. If dead bats are found and there has been no known pet or human exposure, they should be collected by picking them up with a shovel, placing them in a plastic bag, and disposing of them properly.
Amphibian and Reptilian Predators
There are no amphibians or reptiles that are effective at mosquito control. The cricket frog, Chorus frog, and Spring peeper will eat mosquitoes but won't impact a population.
Dragonfly larvae and aquatic beetles will feed on mosquito larvae, but won't control the population.
Pesticide Usage Impact
If pesticides are used, Larvicide and Adulticide compounds are the options available. Larvicide use, which targets mosquitoes during their aquatic stage, is viewed as the least damaging to non-target wildlife in the application area. Adulticide use is considered more harmful to the wildlife present. General insecticide use, especially of organophosphate compounds could eliminate many species of insects and their removal as a prey base could impact avian, amphibian, reptilian, and insect populations.
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