Cynthia Barsun is a former SAWS Conservation Consultant
Here’s one good reason you want dragonflies hovering around: Mosquitoes. Those biting bloodsuckers are the preferred prey of these skillful, efficient predators.
Here’s a trivia question for you. What eats hundreds of mosquitos per day — bats, purple martins or dragonflies? If you answered dragonflies, you’re correct!
Wouldn’t it be nice if these voracious mosquito-eaters were hanging around your landscape, devouring all those bothersome biting bloodsuckers?
Incorporating an efficient water feature into your landscape is the simplest way to go.
- Pre-shaped ponds are available at local gardening centers.
- Flexible liners allow you to create your own design.
- Birdbaths in medium or large sizes are very effective.
The key is making sure your water feature has varying depths — a shallow area and a deeper area of at least 2 feet. The deeper area offers protection for its nymphs from predators.
Varying depths also offer larger plant selection. Underwater plants provide habitat for nymphs, while plants on the water surface create a resting place for adults. The nymphs crawl up the plants when they are preparing to transform from water dwellers to free-flying adults.
Keep in mind dragonflies enjoy the midday sun, so place your water features accordingly.