One of the dragonfly’s favorite foods is mosquitoes. Both adult dragonflies and their nymphs live and hunt on the water where mosquitoes and their larvae are found in abundance. They are excellent hunters and extremely fast swimmers, so mosquitoes stand little chance against them.
Dragonflies are born with basket-formed limbs that help them catch their prey while they’re in flight. They land and devour their prey, then quickly return to their hunting.
A dragonfly has a voracious appetite and requires a steady supply of food. Besides mosquitoes and their larvae, dragonflies feats on butterflies, moths, flies, and dragonflies that are smaller than them.
Any plant that grows near water or that is attractive to their food source will be attractive to them also. If you want to control mosquitoes naturally, plant some of these plants that attract dragonflies.
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Here is a great reason to create that water garden you have always wanted. Dragonflies hang out around water all their lives, so do many of their favorites foods. A pond or any type of outdoor water feature with live plants will attract dragonflies.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in water and make great snacks for hungry dragonflies. The water will also attract thirsty insects that will become a meal to dragonflies lurking around.
Water lilies are simple to grow and make a great addition to a backyard water feature of any size.
Use a planting container with several holes in the sides and bottom to allow good water circulation. Fill the container almost full with silt or loam and plant the water lily rhizome at a 45-degree angle with the eye pointing up in the container. Cover the soil with a layer of pea gravel to prevent the container from floating and submerge it underwater in your water feature.
The water lily will grow and produce a large white flower that will attract dragonflies and their food sources.
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Research to discover plants that are native to your region and that thrive in moist, low-lying areas. Native plants will thrive with minimal maintenance and dragonflies, mosquitoes, and other insects that are already accustomed to them.
If you find native plants that thrive in marshland or wooded areas plant some of them, they are sure to be attractive to the native species of dragonflies in your area also.
These are considered wildflowers and are very easy to grow. Large black centers surrounded by bright yellow leaves give the plant a distinctive look and it’s where the name comes from. There are other bloom colors and the dragonfly and its food love to land Black-Eyed Susans.
A variety of insects are attracted to the flowers for a free meal of nectar. These flowers will bloom from early summer until the first frost of fall, providing a long bloom season and plenty of dragonfly food.
The plants reach 3-feet tall when mature and produce large, open-faced flowers that are 3-inches in diameter. Plant in soil that remains moist and receives sun 4-6 hours a day.
Joe Pye Weed
This perennial is considered both an herb and a wildflower. Joe Pye Weed grows to be about 6 feet tall and thrives in moist soil and partial shade. The plant is a late-season bloomer and starts blooming when other plants have finished for the season.
The clusters of mauve-pink blooms attract dragonflies, mosquitoes, and a wide range of pollinators since it is one of the last plants to bloom in summer.
Joe Pye Weed is a self-seeding plant and is great for planting around woodland borders or as a backdrop plant. The plant can be grown in a container and kept pruned to the desired height also.
Crepe myrtles are flowering shrubs that bloom from mid-summer through the end of fall. Berries that attract insects and birds are left behind on the shrubs after the flowers and foliage fall off in fall.
These hardy shrubs come in many different heights and bloom colors. The shrub ranges in height from 3-30 feet and bloom colors are dark pink, light pink, purple, and white.
The long-term food source that crepe myrtles provide attracts insects that dragonflies like to eat, therefore these shrubs attract dragonflies.
Crepe myrtles are drought-tolerant, but they have a hidden characteristic that makes them ideal for planting in a low-lying moist area – they can absorb a lot of water. Ideal for planting in flood-prone areas of your landscape as they will absorb the excess water but not before mosquitoes pass by and lay eggs.
Flying Insect Traps
Dragonflies are flying insect traps that will rid your landscape of harmful insects, including mosquitoes.
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