There are many myths concerning "mosquito hawks". This is interesting when you discover that there are two insects that are commonly called this name. Both dragonflies and crane flies are commonly known as mosquito hawks, and yet both have very different interactions with mosquitoes. Dragonflies were not named due to their looks but due to their large powerful jaws, which they use to consume prey, including mosquitoes. Crane flies come by the name mosquito hawk due to their great resemblance to mosquitoes. To the untrained eye, the only way to tell the difference is size, as crane flies are usually more than twice the size of the average mosquito.
Mosquito hawk - dragon fly
Dragon flies are commonly refered to as mosquito hawks. This may be due to the species habit of killing mosquitoes. An adult dragonfly can eat hundreds of mosquitoes a day, as well as consuming a variety of flies and other insects. Due to their keen sense of vision, dragonflies are often able to catch their prey in midflight and will consume them without landing. Nymphs, or immature dragonflies will also eat mosquito larvae. Dragon flies tend to populate the same areas as mosquitoes as both prefer wet swampy environments.
Mosquito hawk - crane fly
Also commonly refered to as mosquito hawks, crane flies resemble very large mosquitoes. Although it is rumoured that mosquito hawks eat mosquitoes, that is not the case with crane flies. Crane flies do not bite people either, but prefer to feed on the roots of a variety of grasses.
Mosquito hawks as pest control
Numerous locations now sell dragonfly nymphs as a form of natural mosquito control. The nymphs are added to ponds or other areas, and once they mature are thought to keep the mosquito population in check. There are a wide variety of mosquito traps available on the market today, which operate off propane, and work extremely well at trapping and killing mosquitoes. Combining one of these mosquito traps and following the appropriate steps to mosquito proof your yard is the best way to eliminate mosquitoes.
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