An excellent way to make your yard eco-friendly is to make it as inviting as possible to dragonflies. These insects may just be your yard’s best friend. They don’t bother humans and plants, and they prey on other insects at an incredible rate.
Water bodies such as ponds are what attracts dragonflies to your yard. You can also use aquatic vegetation to lure them to your lawn. Dragonflies are attracted to areas with mosquitos, which are their primary food source.
Here is what you need to know to get these beautiful yet harmless insects to flock to your yard.
What do dragonflies look like?
If you’ve ever seen a dragonfly before, you know how graceful they look. They have an elongated body, with huge eyes covering most of their head.
They also have two pairs of wings, which can operate independently, and are responsible for their swift movements in the air. Every dragonfly species has a different marking that makes it stand out.
They are silent flyers and don’t bother plants and animals.
Why are dragonflies important?
You may be wondering, why are dragonflies good to have around? Well, there are more than enough reasons to invite these friendly insects to your yard.
Dragonflies are predators to most insects that stay in your yard, and they prey on them at a high-speed rate. Their menu includes mosquitoes, so they can help prevent mosquitoes and malaria.
Their unique appearance will also make you want to have them around. They have a metallic hue on their elongated bodies, and they are aesthetically pleasing to look at.
What attracts dragonflies to your yard?
So how can I lure dragonflies to my yard, you ask? Here are a few methods you can use.
1. Install a Water feature
Dragonflies love water for two primary reasons. The first is because water bodies offer them a good breeding ground to lay and hatch their eggs. The second is because water also attracts mosquitoes, a dragonfly’s favorite meal.
Having a water feature such as a pond in your yard can guarantee that you might attract a few dragonflies.
Some dragonflies like stagnant water, while some prefer flowing water. Try installing either to see how they perform at attracting these aquatic insects.
However, if you don’t have the means to install a pond, don’t worry. Other water bodies such as puddles left behind after a heavy downpour can also lure these insects to your yard. You can also improvise by using pre-molded pond shapes to create water bodies that attract dragonflies.
If you live near a stream or in moist areas, you will spot a few dragonflies hanging around those wet areas.
2. Water Plants
Dragonflies are also fond of plants—plant water plants near the water bodies to provide a good hiding spot for dragonfly nymphs. Emergent water plants that stick out of the water surface also serve as a good spot for adult dragonflies to perch on while scouting for prey.
You want to provide as much hiding ground as possible for the dragonflies. That will create an ideal breeding ground for them.
Tall water plants also play an essential role in the dragonfly’s development process. Once the nymph has come of age, it needs a place to take its initial flight. Having emergent water plants allows these nymphs to climb to the top and test their wings before taking off. You can pick from various aquatic plants such as sago pondweed, baby pondweed, eelgrass, and fanwort.
Also read: How much grass seed per square foot overseeding
Water lilies are also a great option as they can harbor mosquito larvae, which is good for dragonflies.
Dragonflies also like to bask in the sun sometimes. The heat allows them to warm up their wings as they get ready to fly.
Rocks provide a good surface for dragonflies to sun themselves. Include several flat rocks near your pond to give a perching surface for the dragonflies.
Read: Best garden rock sculptures
4. Pollinator plants.
Dragonflies are very territorial insects. Adding a water feature will also attract other insects that prey on mosquitoes. This reduces the available food sources for dragonflies, and they may be forced to find another home.
Consider introducing a few pollinator plants to balance out the ecosystem to avoid this issue. Pollinator plants attract other insects such as bees and moths, which can be an additional food source for adult dragonflies.
Make sure to line your pond with other shrubs and flowering plants such as buttonbush and seedbox to protect the dragonflies.
Also: Best rake for small leaves
What do dragonflies eat?
Dragonflies are heavy eaters. Their menu consists of several small insects, including mosquitoes, spiders, moths, bees, gnats, and butterflies.
An adult dragonfly can consume up to 100 mosquitoes in a single day if the conditions are ideal, so having these insects around can make your summers incredibly peaceful, without mosquitoes.
Also: Which grass seed to plant in muddy areas
What else do I need to know about dragonflies?
If you’re trying to lure in dragonflies to your yard, a water feature is your best bet. However, the pond needs to be clear of other animals that may disturb the dragonflies. Animals such as frogs, ducks, and fish can prey on dragonflies and their eggs, so don’t include them in or near the pond.
For the pond to be viable to attract dragonflies, it needs to be at least 2 feet deep in the middle with relatively shallow edges. This will prevent it from drying out during hot months. You should also carry out maintenance only when necessary.
Once you’ve installed the pond and you start to spot dragonflies, refrain from disturbing the pond as you may tamper with their eggs in the process.
Dragonflies are harmless to humans but an enemy to most bugs in your yard. Having a few dozen of them around can make your yard look more natural as well.
That said, dragonflies won’t just appear overnight once you set up a pond. It will take a while for other factors to lure them in, such as a growing mosquito population.
Therefore, be patient and try the above methods to attract dragonflies to your yard.