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Home » Gardening and pest control

Save the dragonflies!

Submitted by on Friday, 30 August 2013 Loading Add to favourites  One Comment

dragonflyThe other day I went to a local orchard to buy my first box of apples of the season!

You can’t beat fresh, local, seasonal food.

I was talking to the owner and was really impressed with their methods of pest control.

 

They aren’t organic, but they do care about the environment and their customer’s health.

They use minimal sprays, keep their own hives of bees for pollination and use ladybirds for natural pest control.

It got me thinking about welcoming natural predators and other beneficial insects to our gardens at home.

This year I’ve been seeing a lot of dragonflies in the garden, so decided to read up about them. I discovered they are more than just something pretty to look at!

Apparently, dragonflies consume 10 to 15 percent of their own weight per day of mosquitoes, termites, deerflies, blackflies, horseflies and midges.

As we have horses in the fields at the back of the house; they are definitely welcome!

Sadly, although dragonflies have been around for 325m years, they are now facing extinction. Experts reckon one third of British species are under threat.

This is caused mainly by changes in farming techniques, which is destroying natural habitats, plus changes in climate with mild winters and warm summers.

Here’s how to attract dragonflies to your garden

Water

Dragonflies need water because they lay their eggs in or near water. They live underwater for months before becoming adults and they hunt there too. So first step is to build a pond

Sun

Dragonflies need sun, so don’t site your pond under a tree or in a shaded area; make sure it gets plenty of sun

Rocks

Dragonflies are a bit like me – they enjoy a bask in the warm sun! By providing some rocks around the edge of the pool they’ll be able to keep warm and enjoy the occasional sunbathe.

Pond plants

Although dragonflies are meat eaters, they need plants in the water for the eggs and baby dragonflies to hide in

Pollution

Dragonflies don’t like polluted water. Using a filter from a reputable company like Hozelock pond pumps will keep the water clean and healthy for your dragonfly population to thrive.

The British Dragonfly Society is dedicated to looking after these amazing creatures. They ask members of the public to record the dragonflies they see and send in the results so they can keep an eye on what is going on. They are currently looking for volunteers for their DragonflyWatch.

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