Dragonflies belong to the Odonata order of insects. They have an abdomen, thorax, and head, as well as six legs, which are common characteristics of flies. However, it is important to note that they are not flies. What makes them different is that dragonflies have four wings, as against flies that only have two. Dragonflies also have compound and large eyes, which occupy the biggest part of its head. Its eyes have 28,000 ommatidia or telescoping lenses, which allows them to have almost 360-degree vision. Their wings are long and transparent, with a hint of yellow near the tips.
The habitat of dragonflies will be highly dependent on its stage of development. The adults will deposit their eggs in aquatic plants or water. After hatching, naiads or immature dragonflies will emerge. At this point, they will still be living in water, such as a pond in the garden. They will make jet propulsions as they move around the water where they live. When it is time to grow into an adult, they will move out of the water. The skin will split, and from here, the adult dragonfly will emerge. At this point, it can live anywhere there is food. It will go back to water after mating or when it is time to lay its eggs.
Identifying Dragonfly’s Damage
It is important to note that dragonflies are carnivorous animals. Their diet consists exclusively of other animals and insects. Some of their most common food include mosquitoes, bees, flies, and midges. There are no host plants.
Results of Infestation
Again, because dragonflies do not eat plants, we are skipping the discussion of the symptoms. When it comes to results of infestation, they do not bring any serious damage to your plants. However, when they have a large population in the garden, they can be annoying and can get in your way. Luckily, being a nuisance is the only infestation that they can bring in your life.
How to Get Rid of Dragonflies
Natural and Organic Solutions
For a natural and effective way to get rid of dragonflies, the following are some of the solutions that you might want to consider:
- One of the best ways to prevent having too many uninvited dragonflies in the garden is to practice habitat modification. Consider altering the external environment in such a way that they will not find it attractive. To diminish their presence, take out any possible food sources.
- Keeping the area clean will also help in the reduction of their population. If you have a pond at home, make sure that the water is replaced every now and then. Avoid making it stagnant. Using running water will help. In the case of adult dragonflies, on the other hand, you can control their population by keeping the garden free from old tires, cans, trash, and pet food, among others.
- The introduction of predators in the garden will also offer an effective solution. While dragonflies are already predators to mosquitoes and other small insects, they still have some natural enemies that will help to keep their population in check. Amphibians, such as frogs, are the most effective. There are also some types of fish that you can put in the pond, which will eat eggs and nymphs of butterflies.
- While watering plants is critical for their healthy growth, make sure to not overdo it. If there is too much moisture, this can trigger the presence of dragonflies. Also, it will be best to water in the morning so that it will easily dry up.
- Be wise with the selection of plants to grow in the garden. Stay away from those that can attract dragonflies. Floating plants, such as water lily, should be avoided. If you have lilies in the pond, meanwhile, make sure that they are not crowded so that dragonflies will not lay their eggs in them.
If natural solutions are not working to get rid of dragonflies, you can consider the use of certain chemicals. Nonetheless, keep in mind that because they contain toxic ingredients, you need to observe caution. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer. When necessary, wear protective clothing.
Among others, cyfluthrin is one of the most common active ingredients in chemical treatments for dragonflies. It is a systemic insecticide that can cause both stomach and contact poisoning. One popular brand of insecticide that makes use of this ingredient is Solfac EW50, which contains 5% cyfluthrin emulsion. The liquid is odorless and can also be effective in the control of ants, cockroaches, grasshoppers, and crickets, among others.