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Toxorhynchites – Mosquito Eater (wikipedia.org)
73 points by vezycash on July 26, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 41 comments

Spiders are also useful. My exgf lived in a farm and had dozens of harmless spiders in the ceiling of her bedroom that ate all mosquitoes. It nuanced my view on spiders.

So there were spiderwebs on the bedroom ceiling? I let spiders be in my bathroom but I can't stand the sight of their webs in my bedroom. Was that not a problem for her or you?

There were a few webs in the corners, but she didn't view it as a sign of dirty old carelessness like I was taught to through cartoons as a kid

I guess she still cleans them from time to time. I do, and they just make new webs.

Only very old webs are ... dirty.

Yeah I thought spider webs only lasted a few days before they had to be torn down and rebuilt (because dusty webs aren’t effective nets)?

Yes, I believe the spiders even eat their own webs and then produce new ones. But there always remain parts amd spiders die, change place etc. So old ones still remain.

How do you determine if they're harmless? I had a spider bite a couple of weeks ago that gave me a welt the size of a dime (and super itchy).

Depends where you live but you can look up what spiders are in your area and which ones are dangerous. For example, in most of the US you only really have to worry about black widows (which are pretty distinct) and brown recluses which have a characteristic violin on them but IME often somewhat resemble the harmless wolf spider, which is common in my area.

I'm pretty good at identifying the dangerous spiders now (i.e. distinguishing brown recluse from wolf), but it took several instances of trapping the spider under a glass and then breaking out my cell phone and looking at lots of pictures.

If your area has lots of kinds of dangerous spiders then it might be more of a pain, though.

There are plenty of spiders in the US that are harmful if they bite you but aren't "dangerous."

I think what the parent comment was worried about was painful bites more-so than death (though that's also worrying).

She knew the type of spiders they were, but I was only assured after I wasn't bitten for a few days

I never kill spiders at home - they are our pets. My kids are no longer afraid of most bugs now as a bonus.

And I almost have my gf to be accepting of them too, as she also hates mosquitos more. But she comes from a land where dangerous spiders exist, while they are pretty harmless around here. So it takes aome adaption.

I recently found out that Bedbugs are still a thing (I thought they were largely eradicated). I also found out that I'm allergic to them, and While a mosquito will bite once of twice (until it finds blood), these guys leave a line of bites as they move around sampling your blood (my back, neck, and shoulders were covered in welts).

I generally avoid killing/ removing spiders (they also prey on moths, keeping clothes etc hole-free), wasps too to an extent (but they are still largely a pest).

The Bedbugs were quite easily eradicated with insecticide around and under the bed, but that's last a resort as it is toxic to virtually everything (including pets and humans), something I don't doubt as the smell is more irritating than Ammonia. I'd much rather use natural remedies (especially when you don't have to do anything), than strong chemicals that we don't truly understand the effects on the environment or the food chain.


Diatomaceous Earth is a dusty substance made from the shells of tiny sea creatures. The shells are so tiny (and then ground finer) they wedge into the exoskeletons of insects and eventually kill the bbugs. But it's pretty safe for larger animals and safe for home use

DE is also used for swimming pool filters.

I HATE using chemicals around my home. Sometimes it makes sense, but I avoid it anytime I can. Some chemicals can linger for a very long time e.g. insecticides. I've found that using a steamer is an excellent way to kill / clean / sanitize just about anything.

I haven't had to deal with bed bugs specifically, but I've read that using a steamer or clothing iron (best with steam) will effectively kill them. You can steam most carpets, floors, beds, etc.

I live in a very humid area and bugs are a huge issue during the summer. I've sprayed the inner frame of one problematic window with insecticide (deltamethrin - lasts months), steam just about everything in my home every week or two, and regularly run all blankets and upholstery through my dryer's "sanitize" cycle (steam + 165F air). There's an occasional spider, but rarely see anything else... no mites, nothing.

Of course there are plenty of things I don't see, but I do my best to keep it all at bay.

Dragonflies are another great bug. They feed on mosquito larva during their own larval stage, and as adults they chase down adult mosquitos.

Are these effective to have in your room to hunt down mosquitoes?

You can have geckos. They are quite effective and don't care of human presence. They just stay on the wall or on their branch.

they poop all over your wall though

Will not remain in place unless there is a small pond in the room. Spiders are much better for this purpose.

I grew up in an area full of dragonflies and have never seen one indoors.

I'm afraid they would not stay in your room.

Missed opportunity: "mosquiters", although that also sounds like a cutesy way to say "mosquito".

It's too close to "skeeters" to be interpreted any other way.



The biology of Toxorhynchites mosquitoes and their potential as biocontrol agents http://www.cabi.org/bni/FullTextPDF/2000/20003030873.pdf

Oh, I thought mosquitoes had no predators.

So many mosquitos around and no one wants to eat them? That would be a strange evolution twist ...

So, there are birds, bats, fish, spiders, lizards, geckos, other bugs, ...


When I was a kid, it was believed that Purple Martins ate lots of mosquitoes. People would build big houses for them to encourage the population.

Later it came out that Purple Martins much preferred dragonflies, which are a more effective mosquito eater.

Scent of Chicken can drive away Mosquitoes https://archive.fo/IJm4Y

So all the money spent on mosquite coil, net , aerosol, skin cream ( while harming your own body ) was worth for nothing ? Nature had a better solution all along.

If we lived in forests mosquitoes won't be a problem, well at least all those activities increased GDP.

If you lived in the forests of, say, Thailand there's a good chance you'd die from Dengue Fever or Malaria. Good ol' nature, looking out for the humans.

> Nature had a better solution all along.

No, not really. That these eat mosquitoes makes it clear that they don't wipe out mosquitoes, or they'd have died out for lack of food.

They may keep populations down to some extent, but any predator that wipes out its prey winds up dead quickly.

Live in a forest? Probably even more mosquitoes.

The ignorance in comments like these is bugging (yes) me.

If you truly believe nature itself is perfect and human inventions are stupid, leave the comfort of your home / office and try to survive buttnaked in the jungle, all by yourself.

People who think nature is all beautiful and perfect and benevolent ironically are the same people who have never tried to survive in the harsh wilderness.

Oh, I do believe nature is all beautiful and perfect and I did survive some very harsh wilderness. I just never believed it is allways nice to be, if I am unprepared ..

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