There’s a lot to love about summer, but mosquitoes are one seasonal nuisance most people could do without. If you’d like to keep mosquitoes out of your yard so you can enjoy the great outdoors without worrying about getting a bunch of itchy bites, attracting dragonflies may best your best bet.
Sure, you can douse yourself in bug spray and light some citronella candles, but preventing mosquitoes from hanging out in your yard in the first place will stop them before they get a chance to eat you alive. Dragonflies may look pretty, but they have a killer instinct when it comes to mosquitoes, withthe ability to eat up to 100 of the bloodsucking insects a day!
Here are four ways you can attract dragonflies to your backyard, which should help take care of your mosquito problem.
Dragonflies are aquatic insects, so having a pond or other water source in your yard will make them feel right at home. The water should be about two feet deep, which is deep enough for dragonflies but too deep for mosquito larvae to survive.
A bubbler or fountain will also further deter mosquitoes. Adding some floating vegetation, such as water hyacinths or water lettuce, will make your backyard an even more attractive hangout spot for dragonflies.
Plant Meadow Sage
Meadow sage, otherwise known as blue hill, is gorgeous and easy to maintain to boot. Dragonflies love it, and as an added bonus, butterflies will flock to this tall-stemmed purple plant as well.
Plant Black-Eyed Susans
Black-eyed Susans also attract dragonflies and butterflies, as well as bumblebees. This plant grows best with full sun and regular watering. The striking flower easily adapts to most types of soil and can be found growing year-round throughout the country.
Let The Sunlight In
Dragonflies like the sun, so make sure your pond and plants are in an area that gets plenty of sunlight. Dragonflies need warmth for energy and to maximize their metabolism, so if it’s too cloudy or cool, they tend to hide out.
Skip The Fish
While it may seem like a fun idea to stock your pond up with a lot of colorful fish, if you hope to attract dragonflies, you should keep fish out of the pond, because fish prey on dragonflies. Even if they don’t manage to snap up their prey, fish can put so much stress on dragonflies that just having them in their habitat can kill the mosquito-eating insects.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.