MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Can I attract carnivorous insects to my yard to control mosquitoes?

Date: Tue Apr 6 14:47:21 2004
Posted By: David Richman, Staff, Entomology
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1080303493.Gb

While it is true that many dragonflies eat mosquitoes it is also true that 
no plan to increase their numbers is practical.  First you need to have a 
marsh or pond for the dragonflies to breed (also a great place for 
mosquitoes to breed as well!)  Dragonfly nymphs feed on other insects, 
tadpoles and small fish (this latter habit makes the nymphs pests in fish 
hatcheries!) For garden pests there are many things (such as raising good 
nectar producing flowers)you can do to attract beneficial insects, such as 
parasitic wasps, but mosquitoes are not as easily controlled (keep in mind 
that millions are eaten by dragonflies, predatory flies, spiders, birds, 
reptiles and amphibians) by predators to the point where they are not a 
problem to us at all (although they would be much worse without the 

For information on dragonflies try:

Silsby, Jill. 2001. Dragonflies of the World. Smithsonian Institution 
Press, Washington, D.C. 200 pp.

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