Do Tadpoles Eat Mosquito Larvae? | Yes!

Once tadpoles reach about six weeks of age or they’ve developed legs, they become carnivores and will eat mosquito larvae and mosquito eggs. They also eat the eggs of dragonflies, frogs, and fish, as well as redworms, aphids, and even ants. Other food sources include frog tadpoles and dragonfly larvae.

This article will explore all you need to know about what tadpoles eat and if they will help to control mosquito populations.

What Eats Mosquito Larvae in a Pond?

If you have a pond with mosquito larvae in it, there are certain fish that will eat larvae. They include the following:

  1. Common pleco
  2. Golden orfe
  3. Goldfish
  4. Guppies
  5. Koi carp
  6. Minnows
  7. Mosquito fish

Having a pond in your backyard is certainly enjoyable, and if the mosquito larvae in the pond mess up that enjoyment, there are fish you can use to get rid of most of it, if not all of it.

Will Frogs Eat Mosquitoes?

Frogs will indeed eat mosquitoes, but they only make up a small part of their diet. As far as mosquito larvae are concerned, there are two types of frogs that love eating this treat.

They are the green tree frog and the giant tree frog. In addition to mosquitoes, frogs love eating crickets, live insects, mealworms, grasshoppers, locusts, wax worms, mice, caterpillars, and worms.

They typically do not eat dead insects, and most of their diet consists of foods other than mosquitoes.

Will Mosquito Larvae Hurt Tadpoles?

In some ways, mosquito larvae and tadpoles can harm one another. This is because both mosquito larvae and tadpoles compete with one another for food and resources. Whichever one gets to the food source first will essentially rob the other one of their next meal.

This results in a reduction of the population of the one that didn’t get to the food first. While mosquito larvae won’t harm tadpoles by attacking them or injuring them, they can affect their population because of this competition.

Mosquitoes typically lay up to 400 eggs at a time, which hatch in the water and become larvae. Mosquito larvae look like worms that are around 1/4 inch long. Larvae have to eat constantly because they need to grow quickly.

They eat algae, fungi, plankton, and other microorganisms. But tadpoles also have access to these food sources, and if they get to the foods first, the larvae don’t get the food they need to grow.

Eventually, the mosquito larvae can starve and die because they aren’t getting the foods they need to survive. Since mosquitoes spend more time in the water when growing, the chance that the tadpoles will have a negative effect on the mosquito larvae is much greater than the larvae having a negative effect on the tadpoles.

Tadpoles usually hurt mosquito larvae more often than these larvae hurt the tadpoles.

How to Get Rid of Mosquito Larvae Without Killing Tadpoles

Many people are interested in getting rid of mosquito larvae without killing tadpoles, including those who keep tadpoles around because they make cute pets.

One of the best ways to do this is to use a type of bacterial insecticide, preferably one that contains Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI).

Products containing BTI will kill mosquito larvae but won’t harm any animals, including tadpoles, fish, birds, and more.

Often called mosquito dunks, or donuts, many BTI products work because they destroy the larvae that hatches in the water and stops them from returning.

Check out natural mosquito dunks on Amazon here:

BTI is a special bacteria strain, so many products you find with this ingredient in it can kill the mosquito larvae in your pond or other locations but will not kill tadpoles or any other animals.

8 Natural Predators of Mosquitoes

The most common predators for the common mosquito are fish, even though you’ll find other natural predators as well. Some of the other natural predators of mosquitoes include the following:

1. Bats

Since both bats and mosquitoes tend to be out late at night, it’s easy for bats to find lots of mosquitoes to consume. But mosquitoes are only a small part of bats’ diet.

2. Dragonflies

Dragonfly larvae eat mosquito larvae and dragonflies eat mosquitoes. This makes dragonflies a threat to mosquitoes regardless of where they are in their growth stage.

3. Fish

Fish love eating mosquitoes, and the fish that love them most include the bluegill, catfish, guppies, bass, and even goldfish. Goldfish are the most important fish predator and can get up to 3 feet long and weigh up to 20 pounds.

4. Nematodes

Nematodes are very tiny and are harmful to many animals, but that doesn’t include mosquitoes. Even better, nematodes are not harmful to humans or many animals, so you can let them eat all the mosquitoes they want.

5. Praying Mantises

Praying mantises do not seek out mosquitoes but will eat them because they are fans of all types of pests. If they see a random flying mosquito nearby, they will grab at it quickly.

6. Purple Martins

Although mosquitoes only make up about 3% of the purple martins’ diet, this is definitely on their list of favorite treats. Purple martins eat other flying bugs as well, so they are very useful to have close to your pond.

7. Spiders

There are numerous types of spiders that eat mosquitoes and in fact, spiders eat around 800 million tons of bugs each and every year. Some even use their webs to lure in the mosquitoes in order to get them close enough to eat.

8. Turtles

A red-eared slider turtle frequently eats mosquitoes, and other types of turtles also eat them. On any given day, these turtles can eat several dozen mosquitoes, so they eat quite a few of them in a short period of time.


Tadpoles eat mosquito larvae, but of course they eat other things as well. Mosquitoes also have natural predators, so if you’re wanting to cut back on the mosquito population on your property, it’s a good idea to keep some of them in mind.