What Does It Mean When There Are Swarms of Dragonflies?
Growing up, I was fascinated by dragonflies and their translucent wings. They were fun to stare at during hot childhood summers, making them look like tiny birds with their wings. However, as an adult, I became more concerned rather than intrigued, as swarms of dragonflies made my yard their home. While dragonflies aren’t necessarily harmful to you or your yard, you may be wondering why they are flocking to your yard. You may also be wondering how you can get rid of them if they’re causing problems with your pool parties or outdoor dinners.
Why are there so many dragonflies in my yard? The top reason you have an abnormal amount of dragonflies in your yard is most likely due to water proximity. Whether you have a pool or standing water from recent rainfall, dragonflies are attracted to water.
Keep reading for more information on dragonfly infestation and how to manage one.
What Attracts Dragonflies To a Yard?
Water is the most likely cause of an influx of dragonflies. However, there are other reasons dragonflies may be attracted to your yard.
As we mentioned above, dragonflies love water. They are attracted by ponds, streams, and any marshy type of landscape.
Dragonflies are drawn to areas where there is standing water, such as ponds, streams, and wetlands. Suppose your yard has some amounts of water, whether a koi pond or accidental standing water, you may see more of an abnormal quantity of dragonflies.
Water isn’t just their scenery preferences, but the way they stay alive! Dragonflies breed in the water, and most of their sustenance is found in water bugs, etc. Some people even want dragonflies to frequent their yard and set up a small pond to attract them.
Fun Fact: Dragonflies spend up to two years in the water as they form and grow, only to live for about four weeks after they’ve reached adulthood.
Of course, weather can also be a significant contributor to a dragonfly infestation. Thunderstorms, rain, and snow can all leave standing water in your yard, making it an ideal environment for dragonflies to take over.
Dragonflies also have a migration pattern based on the seasons. They will move south to find a warmer climate during the winter but usually do not do this in a swarm. There are only one species of dragonflies (green darners) that migrate together for breeding. If you’re in the migration path of these dragonflies, then the infestation in your yard may be due to migration!
Another reason you may have an unusual amount of dragonflies could be due to another type of bug infesting your yard: mosquitos. Mosquitos, the arguably much more annoying bug of the two, is a dragonfly’s favorite snack.
If your yard has a high population of mosquitoes, then it could have some dragonflies as well. Mosquitos, like dragonflies, are drawn to and breed in and around the water. Even a simple water holder like a birdbath can attract both mosquitos and dragonflies.
What Are the Types of Dragonfly Swarms?
Despite their benefits, which we will discuss later, no one wants to see a swarm of any insect in their yard. Let’s take a look at the types of dragonfly swarms.
A migratory swarm is relatively uncommon, and it’s not hard to imagine why. These swarms consist of hundreds upon hundreds of dragonflies flying together. These swarms are similar to birds and butterflies who also migrate to warmer weather together come wintertime.
Migratory swarms move incredibly fast and fly up to 100 feet in the air. You may only briefly see them before they’ve disappeared from view.
A static swarm is a much smaller group of dragonflies flying in a small area. While there isn’t a ton of documented research on a static swarm, they are most likely swarming for feeding purposes. A static swarm usually contains several different varieties of dragonflies, unlike a migratory swarm.
How To Get Rid of Dragonflies From Your Yard
Dragonflies are attracted to water and mosquitos. The best solution to getting rid of a dragonfly infestation is to eliminate any standing water in your yard, which will reduce both dragonflies and mosquitoes.
If you have a pool or some other for not decreasing the standing water, there are a few different ways to decrease the chance of dragonflies making your yard their home. Frogs can be added to ponds, etc., to reduce dragonflies.
If you keep your pond fresh and very well-maintained, it’s unlikely that dragonflies will want to breed in your pond, helping from continual dragonfly infestations. Of course, you can also bring in your trusted professional team of pest exterminators to treat your yards. Many local companies have a pet and kid-friendly option to remove dragonflies from your yard safely.
Benefits of Dragonflies
As we mentioned earlier in this article, dragonflies are mosquito-eaters. In my opinion, mosquitoes are one of the worst insects to have around due to their troubling ability to carry and spread diseases.
While you may not love having an infestation of dragonflies, they can be a beneficial and beautiful insect to have around your yard. In this way, dragonflies can serve as a natural insecticide for these annoying species of insects.
Even newly hatched mosquitos living in the water eat the young mosquito larvae, also living in the water. It ends up being an overall beneficial system for those of you who have mosquitos each summer.
Attracting Dragonflies to Your Yard
In the chance that you stumbled into this article wondering how you can attract more dragonflies to your yard, then we’ve got the answers, as well! Rather than taking out water features, you can add them into your landscape to draw dragonflies and their benefits to your yard.
Some great ways to do this are through fountains that are two feet deep or more. Dragonflies are drawn to breed in the water that’s a bit deeper. On the other hand, Mosquitos prefer shallow standing water, so your fountain or pond shouldn’t spark new mosquitos if it’s at least two feet.
There’s plenty of plants you can add around and in your new pond or fountain, as well, to spark dragonflies’ interest. It’s a great idea to add some submerged greenery, some floating vegetation, and some bushes around your pond or fountain to best support a dragonfly ecosystem. While dragonflies thrive off of mosquitos, there are some other pests that dragonflies eat.
Butterflies, bees, and even moths can end up as dinner for a dragonfly. You can add plants to your landscape that will significantly add to the likelihood of drawing these types of insects. Water lilies, irises, etc., are great flowers that are both beautiful and beneficial. Whether you already have a pond or fountain or decide to build your own to attract dragonflies for their benefits, adding some water features can be a game-changer for your yard!
While dragonflies can be beneficial, we understand that you don’t want a massive infestation in your yard. There can always be too much of a good thing. Suppose you aren’t sure what else to do about an infestation of dragonflies (or any other bug). In that case, we recommend calling your local pest professionals to provide advice and possibly a solution.
If you have pets or kids in the yard, be sure to let them know to find the best solution for you and your family.