The arrival of spring means the return of time spent in the garden reading, relaxing, doing some outdoor work or eating with friends and family… Unfortunately, the beautiful days bring with them visitors that we could do without. And mosquitoes are in the front line. Even with all the efforts in the world, it is difficult to get rid of them, so you might as well multiply your chances!
Nature being well done, it turns out that the natural predators of the mosquito can be of great help. And dragonflies are one of them: some can eat a hundred of them per day! Zoom on this particular insect.
Dragonfly Identity Sheet
Along with ladybugs and insect-eating birds, the dragonfly can be a real asset in the relentless (and annual) fight against mosquitoes. Attracting them to your garden, as well as doing simple things like avoiding standing water and growing mosquito repellent plants is a plus.
Easily recognizable by their four wings, dragonflies are insects of the odonate group. It is itself divided into two suborders: the zygoptera (commonly called damselflies) and the anisoptera. Apart from the size since the former are smaller and fold their wings, there is no fundamental difference between the two.
Dragonflies are born as larvae in ponds and other wetlands, where they feed on tadpoles and even fish – they are carnivores. It is only afterwards that they develop their long adult body and prominent eyes that give them a sharp sight more than useful for hunting.
How to attract it to the garden?
You will have understood: it is easier to attract dragonflies at home when you live near a wetland such as a swamp, a pond or a lake. If you have a water point in your garden, it is thus ideal! The best thing is that there are no fish in it, and that emergent plants are planted to promote egg-laying, which takes place in spring. Water lilies and other reeds are therefore welcome!
To best attract dragonflies, some plants are also more appropriate than others – whether you have a pond in your garden or not. Here are some of them:
A precious help
The particularity that makes the dragonfly so fearsome is that it hunts and catches its prey in full flight. But it also eats mosquito larvae and other insects, both as larvae and as adults. Mosquitoes are not its only targets. As we have seen, tadpoles are among them, as well as flies and mud worms. Dragonflies are essential elements of the garden, which help to maintain a balanced ecosystem.