Inviting dragonflies into your yard can save your family countless hours spent scratching mosquito bites. Strictly carnivorous, dragonflies and damselflies eat gnats and midges, beetles, moths and mosquitoes. Their larvae which are called nymphs, feast upon mosquito larvae. This stops the infestation of those nasty pests before they have a chance to suck your blood.
Aerial wonders, these insects have been studied by scientists in order to improve the efficiency of planes and other aircraft. Both dragonflies and damselflies have the ability to hover, reach speeds of 20 miles per hour and even fly backwards. There are more than 400 varieties of dragonfly and damselfly species in North America. The basic design of a dragonfly is larger than the damselfly. They also hold their wings straight out to the sides when at rest. The daintier damselfly holds their wings closed when at rest; folded over the top of their body.
Make Your Garden Dragon Friendly by adding the following features to your yard:
Ponds and other water features such as a waterfall with gathering pool provide a place for dragonflies to lay their eggs. Since standing water also invites mosquitoes to your home, you are also providing the tiny predators a guaranteed meal.
Dragonflies are not picky about their plants, but they do need ample places to hide, mate, lay their eggs and rest. Look for plants that are native to your area. Aquatic varieties like bulrush, pickerelweed, cattail and water lilies will thrive inside your pond. Surround the exterior of the pond area with plants like summer sweet, red-twig, dogwood, winterberry holly and blue flag iris.
While colorful flowers do not attract dragonflies or damselflies, they do add to the beauty of the area. Shrubs and larger vegetation can be planted to keep the noise level down and allow the dragonflies to live in peace.
This miniature wetland should be allowed to become a part of nature, meaning, do not keep it perfectly tidy. In fact, half-submersing a tree branch in the pond gives the insects an interesting and sturdy place to perch and survey their home. Dead leaves and natural debris that land in the pond give the nymphs a hiding place from their predators and place to lie in wait for their prey.
Spraying insecticides will undo any of the work that you began. Broad-spectrum insecticides will kill the dragonfly, damselfly and all their little larvae too. Allow these beneficial insects to do their work and choose healthier methods. Consider adding other natural elements to take care of other pests and disease in your yard and garden so that you can avoid using chemicals all together.