If you have the opportunity of traveling east or west along the Tamiami Trail in the Everglades take your time to stop at a Wayside park or at the various visitor centers like the Everglades National Parks, Big Cypress welcome center, Big Cypres Oasis, or Shark Valley visitor center. Once you exit your vehicle, your first experience will be the sultry humidity and soon the mosquito.
Now, when you return to your car close your eyes and imagine a time past when the dense sweltery swamp was filled with insects abound who sensed humans as a feasting buffet. Now, remember you should always use some type of insect repellant, or netting when visiting the Everglades because as sure as the sun rises and sets you will be bitten by at least one mosquito long before being attacked by a Turkey Vulture, Alligator, Panther, or Python snake. (I will expand further on the list of animals in the coming days.)
So, I guess you are wondering how the indigenous people survived the mosquitos? It was researchers who identified a mosquito-repelling chemical naturally found within Sweetgrass, an aromatic herb that some indigenous tribes like the Miccosukee & Seminole peoples may have used to ward off the pesky insects. Mud was also spread over the entire body also to prevent bites.
Fortunately, mosquitos have predators, which include bats, birds, fish, goldfish, guppies, bass, bluegill and catfish. The list also includes frogs, tadpoles, turtles and dragonflies.
The mosquito’s ultimate predators are humans! 🙂