It always amazes me the way nature takes care of things in her own time, and her own way. If people only stopped taking control and started listening to her, we’d see the beauty of these interactions take place. Utilizing plants that attract dragonflies for mosquito control, for instance, is one such example.
I grew up in a place that danced with hundreds of dragonflies, and was always taken aback at how effective they were at controlling the mosquito populations. Every evening in the warmer months, when bugs very evidently started to get worse, swarms of dragonflies would populate the skies and scoop up the bugs in a matter of minutes.
Utilizing dragonflies for mosquito control is natures way of telling us she’s got this. Only when we start intervening with harmful chemicals (like bug sprays and mosquito coils), will we do more harm than good.
Dragonflies for Mosquito Control
Dragonflies are some of the best predators to keep mosquito populations low. Not only do they scavenge the skies in adulthood, but they eat large numbers of mosquito larvae in their larval form (which happens in the water).
One study found that dragonfly larvae could play a significant role in the regulation of mosquito populations (1). While they are most effective in their larval stage, adult dragonflies can still eat up to 100, if not many more, mosquitoes per day.
Not only do dragonflies control mosquito populations – they help control other bugs, too, like midges.
10 Plants That Attract Dragonflies for Mosquito Control
Attracting dragonflies to your garden and backyard requires planting a diverse array of plants. Planting trees and shrubs around the perimeter of the yard will provide adequate hiding spots for young dragonflies. Blooming plants also attract pollinators (like butterflies, beetles, wasps, moths and other small flying insects) that dragonflies love to prey on. Water plants that grow near and within ponds are also highly sought out by dragonflies, but only if you’re willing to sacrifice a part of your yard with a pond (which wouldn’t be too bad, would it?).
While building a backyard pond is the best way to attract dragonflies as they mate and lay their eggs in water, you can still attract dragonflies through other means. Planting flowers that attract prey for dragonflies will bring them to your garden indirectly. Here are five plants you can grow to attract more dragonflies into your backyard.