They’ll Keep Your Garden Mosquito Free (or close to!) All Summer Long!
Did you know that dragonflies are natural mosquito predators? These amazing creatures can eat hundreds of mosquitos in a day! In fact, mosquitos make up about 90 per cent of a dragonfly’s diet. Lucky for us, there are 154 species of dragonflies that call Canada home, so there are plenty of these beneficial insects you can attract to your backyard.
#1. Add a Water Feature
Dragonflies thrive near water, so you’ll want to add a water source in your backyard. Best bet? Add a pond. It might take up a bit of real estate on your property, but ponds are not only good for dragonflies – they’re serene for us too! When you’re deciding where to place the pond, pick a spot that’s sheltered from the wind and gets plenty of afternoon sun.
If you don’t have the space for a pond, don’t worry! You can create a mini garden pond instead. Simply grab a ceramic pot, add some stones to the bottom (and extra stones higher up towards the edge of the pot to give dragonflies a spot to perch), and fill it up with water. Add a bubbler to make it even more attractive to dragonflies.
#2. Offer Dragonflies a Place to Perch by the Pond
And if you do go ahead and build a pond, be sure to add some rocks around it. This will give dragonflies a place to rest and bask in the sun to keep warm. You can also add tall plants, shrubs and grasses to offer more perching spots.
#3. Add Pond Plants
Pond plants not only give dragonflies a spot to hide away from predators, it also gives them a place to lay their eggs.
Add aquatic vegetation to provide nymphs with places to hunt for food and hide from predators. There are all sorts of plants that are perfect for your pond including:
- Cattail (Typha latifolia)
- Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)
- White bulrush (Scirpus albescens)
- Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnate)
- Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium fistulosum)
#4. Ditch the Pesticides
Pesticides don’t just kill off pests! They kill off all sorts of beneficial insects too including pollinators and dragonflies.
#5. Offer Native Plants
Native plants attract all kinds of beneficial insects, from bees to butterflies to dragonflies. Plant some Black-eyed Susan, White Yarrow or Meadow Sage if you want to attract dragonflies to your property!