What To Know About Dragonflies Before Installing Your New Mosquito Zapper

While hanging up bug zappers may seem like a good way to get rid of mosquitoes, these devices will kill any bug — not just mosquitoes — that happens to fly by. Dragonflies are often victims of mosquito zappers, but they may do a better job of exterminating these pests than the buzzy device. In a day, a single dragonfly can consume hundreds of mosquitos, and they don't just go after the adults. These helpful insects eat mosquitoes during every stage of their lives, while a bug zapper may not even be effective for controlling pesky, biting bugs.

In a study done by the University of Delaware, only 0.22% of insects killed by zappers were ones that bite. The study also mentions that not all varieties of mosquito are attracted to light. Avoiding bug zappers could save helpful insects, like pollinators, and adding a water feature and native plants will attract dragonflies to take care of the annoying mosquitoes. If you find zappers helpful, try placing them in areas — such as inside a screened-in porch — where they won't hurt most insects.

Attracting dragonflies to eliminate mosquitoes

Dragonflies are a natural predator of mosquitoes and other bugs that pester you when you're trying to enjoy time outside, and attracting them to your yard can help curb mosquito populations. Water is crucial for dragonflies, and having a pond with cattails and water lilies is a perfect habitat for them. While small bodies of water attract dragonflies, fish will often eat their larvae that live in the water, so it's best to avoid introducing fish to your pond.

If you can't install a pond in your backyard, birdbaths and fountains will also do the trick. Placing your water feature in a sunny area may also help to attract dragonflies because they thrive in warm areas. Plants can also be used to lure dragonflies. Certain flowers — such as swamp milkweed, black-eyed susan, white yarrow, joe pye weed, and meadow sage – are great to have in the garden if you want to have more dragonflies near your home.