The sole usefulness of mosquitoes seems to be to spread diseases and annoy living things. This can be true for some who always find themselves swatting these insects almost every day, indoors or outdoors. Believe it or not, mosquitoes are useful. Although they are seen as pests, the usefulness of mosquitoes is clear to many experts. That is why it is advisable to repel and not destroy them.
They Are Pollinators
Mosquitoes are useful pollinators. The primary food source of these insects is nectar. Female mosquitoes only need to feed on blood because they need to nourish their developing eggs. Mosquitoes do not bite humans all the time. Some of them do not stay in places that humans go to. They may choose to feed on animals instead. Out of the 3,500 mosquito species, only some are considered pests.
The usefulness of mosquitoes as pollinators is undeniable. They help spread the pollen of one flower to another flower whenever they feed on nectar. This helps the plants grow in number. Some plants, like wild orchids, are dependent on mosquitos for pollination. When mosquitoes lay their eggs and their eggs develop into larvae, they become important food sources for turtles, bats, and other insects.
In streams and lakes, mosquito larvae and eggs make up a large portion of the biomass. This provides food for fish and amphibians. Dragonflies also eat them. Birds also take a turn in having them as a quick meal. Spiders, frogs, and lizards also see mosquitoes as a primary food source.
Friendly Measures for Keeping Mosquitoes Away
Keeping mosquitoes away from you, your loved ones, and your home does not need the use of pesticides or insecticides. It does not need a professional exterminator either. Broad-spectrum insecticides hurt wildlife. Birds and other small animals depend on insects for food. This is how the usefulness of mosquitoes is indispensable. The downside of sprays is that they only target adults. The true key to eliminating populations is to control larval populations. Here are some ways to repel mosquitoes:
- Get rid of standing water. This will prevent female mosquitoes from laying their eggs in them. Without these breeding areas, there won’t be eggs developing into larvae in your backyard.
- Planting repellent plants and agitating their leaves can help keep mosquitoes away from your home and yard, especially if you have gatherings.
- Applying mosquito repellents on your skin and clothes can also help keep them away while you enjoy the outdoors.
Mosquitoes can benefit the ecosystem in an indirect way. The subarctic ecosystems and tundra have swarms of mosquitoes. These insects bother the caribou so much that they interfere with their migration behavior. These huge animals often run against the wind to keep the mosquitoes away from them. That is why caribou stay in windy areas. They often spend less time in places where the wind moves slower or stands still. These are the shorelands of small lakes, lowlands, and marshes. This allows the highlands to thicken with plants, supporting the landscape. Scientists say that without mosquitoes, caribou will go wherever they want. They will then binge on the plants that they did not eat before.
Having mosquitoes around may be alarming to many people because of the diseases they carry. But killing them is not the answer. Repelling them is always better. The usefulness of mosquitoes is known among ecologists. You cannot disregard the fact that mosquitoes can help increase the number of plants, which they and other wildlife feed on.