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?
Creating an enticing environment for dragonflies and damselflies is easier than you think. And even though their life cycle revolves around water, they don’t require a lot of it.
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.