With 2 1/2 miles of river frontage, one would imagine that Well Being Retreat Center would have mosquitoes. But we don't. You can sit outside on the porches in the evenings without bug spray or that high-pitched hum around your ears.
So, why are there no mosquitoes here?
Here are six reasons:
Well, there are quite a few lizards that hide in block walls and scamper around looking for bugs to eat. They are alert, friendly and aren't trying to sell you car insurance.
And then there are frogs. Lots of them. Even little tree frogs can make a lot of noise. We've had guests who exclaimed in the morning, "It sounded like a jungle out there!" Frogs catch any mosquitoes with their sticky tongues..
The Powell River which surrounds Well Being Retreat Center for 2 1/2 miles is teeming with Smallmouth Bass. One fishing magazine called it "one of the best smallmouth bass rivers in the U.S." Bass will eat both mosquito larvae which are hatched in the water as well as mosquitoes as they practice their first lift-off from the water in which they were born.
When you paddle on the Powell River in the summertime, you will often see dragonflies of astounding shapes and colors. Between hunting for insects in flight over the river, they will often use your kayak as a rest-stop.
The little fluttery things that flit around at night are bats hunting for insects that don't believe that bat radar is real. Bats can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes per hour!
One evening at dusk up at the garden, I stood transfixed as I watched over 100 swallows circling overhead around and around feeding off an insect hatch of some sort.
These six skilled insect predators hold in balance any mosquitoes that might otherwise be present. In this region of Tennessee, there are few swamps and little land suitable for row crops which might be sprayed with insecticides. Without the insecticides, the predators which eat the mosquitoes are not harmed and live to eat more mosquitoes.
Ah, when we let Nature do what it knows best how to do, it is a wonderful thing.