Dragonflies and damselflies live their entire life around water. So as a gardener attempting to attract the right insects and wildlife to your backyard habitat you want to make sure you have a small water source so you can attract these aerial acrobats that not only act as a food source for birds but make a great alternative to mosquito control than harsh bug sprays. Catering to these large flying insects is not hard they only need # things to attract them and keep them coming back.
A water element. Typically an earthen or plastic lined pond with sloped sides works best. However, you can be successful using a whiskey barrel or a fountain basin. The water needs to be clean and oxygenated. That means you will need a small pump to add some movement to the water. The larvae will also need sunlight to provide warmth to their cold-blooded bodies. At least 70% of the pond should receive sun. The remaining 30% should be covered with floating plants such as water lilies to provide shelter and inhibit algae growth.
No fish. Fish will eat any larvae or nymphs that happen to hatch.
Sunshine. Place your pond where it will be protected from wind and will get midday sun. Dragonflies and damselflies, much like butterflies, need the warmth of sun in order to get the energy they need to eat and mate. Put a few flat rocks near your pond's edge or try putting a few perching sticks in the middle of your pond. Ordinary bamboo stakes, the kind you use to stake tomato plants, will do the job just fine.
Varied plant life in and around the pond. Provide erect and submerged plants as well. Submerged plants are home for the larva and erect plants allow a way out of the water when the nymphs reach the adult stage. Floating plants provide an area where adults can mate. A grassy next the pond can act as a safe haven for new adults while they dry out and spread their wings. It will also attract small insects that they will feed on.
Related: Building a Butterfly Garden
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05.01.13 12:00PM KAREN B
Categories: backyard habitat,gardening