Pest Control

Do Dragonflies Eat Mosquitoes? | 9 Useful Facts |

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Yes Dragonflies eat mosquitoes. And it seems mosquitoes are one of their most favorite diet items

You could find more than 5,000 species of dragonflies in existence.  You could mainly spot them in North America particularly in the coastal areas, deserts and even in the mountains. They do not cause any harm to humans except in the situations where they try to defend themselves whenever they feel they are under threat. In this article we are going to discuss more about dragonflies and the possibility to use them as a pest controlling method.

Dragonflies Eat Mosquitoes

More about dragonfly  

Dragonflies may look disconcerting in terms of their looks as they could have a wingspan of up to seven inches. When you closely look at them, you could see how they form iridescent hues all over their body. Moreover, they will have patterns in their wings too. One might think they look pretty and interesting to watch them moving.

Dragonflies are aquatic insects as their egg laying will take place in the water. Further their larvae will also grow up in water too. As you may already know, stagnant water will be great as perfect breeding places for mosquitoes. For example, a dragonfly attracting pond would be quite handy as a potential breeding place for mosquitoes.

How many mosquitoes do dragonflies eat?

If we  consider one dragonfly, it could consume about hundreds of mosquitoes daily. Having said that, they could eat about 30 mosquitoes per day too. Dragonflies act as natural predators for mosquitoes, and they could be consumed by Dragonflies no matter in what stages they are in. If you wish to have more Dragonflies, you may consider having plants such as black-eyed Susan, swamp milkweed etc. as they are quite attractive for Dragonflies.

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Do all dragonflies eat mosquitoes?

Yes, all dragonfly species eat mosquitoes.

How do you attract dragonflies to eat mosquitoes?

First you could be tactful in adding a water feature in your yard to attract the dragonfly. They are aquatic insects and lay eggs in the water. Some dragonflies prefer to have standing water while on the other hand, some prefer to have water which flows. Hence, first you need to conduct research in your area to determine what type of water you should provide to attract the Dragonflies in your area.

You may consider adding bubblers or fountains so that you could deter mosquitoes from visiting.

When you create the water feature, ensure that it is at least two feet in depth so that Dragonflies could occupy it. Keep in mind that mosquito larvae are fond of occupying the shallow water, hence if you are having a deeper pond, it will avoid mosquitoes in your yard also. Secondly, consider planting vegetation near a water resource. If you want Dragonflies to survive, you may consider adding different types of vegetation. 

If we consider the submerged vegetation, they would be useful in protecting the Dragonflies eggs and nymphs. 

Emergent vegetation would be beneficial in letting the adult nymphs to get out from under water. Furthermore, the floating plants would be effective in resting and in egg laying. Thirdly, you may consider adding pollinator plants in your landscape to attract Dragonflies. Consequently, Dragonflies will be attracted towards them.  

Water lilies, buttercups and irises could be handy here as good pollinator plants in pools. Once you adhere to these steps, you will be rewarded with the results of it by having less mosquitoes as the Dragonflies will mainly have a diet based on mosquitoes.

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Dragonflies Eat Mosquitoes

What do dragonflies normally eat?

If we consider the larger Dragonflies nymphs, they will mainly consume minnows or tadpoles. On the other hand, adult Dragonflies will consume any type of insect whichever they catch. Usually, they will have a mosquito and midges-based diet. Having said that, they may also consume butterflies, bees and flies as well. Chances are that they may consume other Dragonflies as well. Furthermore, the Dragonflies which are larger may consume their own body weight in insects too.

Do dragonflies bite?

Generally, Dragonflies will not bite or sting. With that being said, sometimes large Dragonflies may try to bite you. In fact they have inherited common names such as horse stinger. However, they do not use their egg-laying tubes for stinging. They are not aggressive insects, However whenever they feel they are under threat, they will try to sting you. Those biting’s would not be dangerous and they would not be able to reach the human skin. 

Where do dragonflies live?

Fresh water would be the main habitat of the immature Dragonflies. You could commonly spot them in slow moving fresh water bodies which do not have a lot of fish such as in streams and in ponds. Adult Dragonflies usually occupy the places which are closer to water. However, they will move from the water whenever they go in search of hunting or when migrating.

Is it good to have dragonflies in your yard?

They are great to have in your yards as they will be natural predators for the insects in general. That is simply because they have a great appetite for the insects and would be quite productive in creating a balance with the insects hanging around in your garden.

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Can you keep dragonflies as pets?

It would be somewhat challenging to keep the Dragonflies as pets. They need a lot of room to fly. Normally insects fly large distances when they are in our environment. So you have to provide that space to them. Also you have to provide suitable environmental conditions and proper food. 

However, it will be fun to raise them though.

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Related question

Do dragonflies only live for 24 hours?

Some people believe that Dragonflies live only up to one day. However, we cannot agree on this as the life cycle from an egg to death of the adult would be about six months.

What animals eat the most mosquitoes?

Purple martins, red eyed vireos, chirping sparrows’ downy woodpeckers’ could eat the mosquitoes.

What is the natural enemy of the mosquito?

Purple martins, bats, mosquito fish, dragonflies are considered as natural predators for mosquitoes. However, they would not be very productive.

Credit to: Media Space

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.