Sources for Dragonflies?

luvmyducks(z5 ME)August 8, 2003

A friend told me that she has heard about buying and releasing dragonflies in one's yard to help control mosquitoes. She is looking for a source from which to buy dragonflies. Has anyone ever heard of this and/or know a place to buy them. Web searches have turned up nothing.


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Dragonflies require a specific environment for survival. You will never find them far away from a fresh water source such as a pond, lake, swamp, etc. Much of the life of dragonflies are spent in or near water. You cannot purchase them, as you would ladybugs, to set them free.

Adult dragonflies live to mate, not to eat mosquitoes, though they certainly do a fine job at the latter. The females must have a water source to deposit fertilized eggs into or nearby every day. Adult dragonflies live for a few days. The larvae spent their lengthy life in water, and are also a good control for mosquito larvae,too.

Most insects are more fragile than you would think.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2003 at 3:29PM
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drbugman(Zone 7 MD)

We don't recommend them here at UMaine Cooperative Extension for the following reasons:
1. At least here in Maine, you need a permit before you can release anything like that into a public waterway (including Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis AKA "mosquito dunks.") The later are effective when used in standing water as the label directs.
2. There is a very real concern that specimens purchased from "away" could displace native species and/or possibly not be able to survive the winters.
3. In my opinion, with all of the wet weather, sources, of standing water, etc. I seriously doubt that you would have much of an impact on anything other than your bank account.

Since you're in Maine, feel free to email me directly if you wish to talk about this.

Colin Stewart
UMaine Cooperative Extension IPM Specialist

    Bookmark   August 8, 2003 at 5:07PM
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Your web search turns up nothing because dragonflies are not mass produced. The larvae are aquatic, voracious eaters of live prey, and the adults are so fragile, they probably would not survive captivity or transit. When it comes to biological controls available to the general public, those that are mass produced commercially are well understood, already present in the area. Besides, dragonflies are not commercially available, not mass produced, not considered exotic, nor should they be considered biological controls. The larva of dragonflies are carnivorous and eat anything of a size they can overcome. They have even been known to consume fish in outdoor ornamental ponds here in Alaska. The adults are certainly able to feed on mosquitoes, but here in Alaska, they mostly consume flies

    Bookmark   August 10, 2003 at 12:47AM
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drbugman(Zone 7 MD)

We've been hit by a lot of requests for information on dragonfly nymphs. Could you tell me where your friend heard about them? I'm just curious as to who is recommending them (and why). Thanks.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2003 at 12:50PM
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luvmyducks(z5 ME)

Thanks for all the great info!
Colin, I believe she got the information from a friend who supposedly tried it herself. Or maybe it was the infamous "friend of a friend!" Anyway, she's on vacation right now, but I have forwarded her your messages.
I am a Master Gardener with Cumberland Co., so I get lots of strange requests for information. Can you tell me what you recommend to people overwhelmed with mosquitoes? Especially since WNV is now so much in the news.
Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2003 at 9:50PM
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If its mosquitoes..why not try using guppies? As long it does not threaten the ecological balance. Though guppies have been widely introduced around the world as mosquitoe control.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2003 at 10:57PM
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I heard years ago from a friend of mine who lived in R.I. that Rhode Island disperses dragonfly eggs as a means of mosquito control in the ditches and ponds along state roadways. Of course, this was back in the 1970's and she was a teenager, so she may have been mistaken. Maybe there is some R.I. state office you can contact for verification?


    Bookmark   October 23, 2003 at 12:07PM
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How about building a small decorative garden pond?

Build it......and they will come.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2003 at 3:59PM
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Ten of our twenty acres are wetlands, including a Grady Swamp and Pond. We have so many birds, frogs, dragonflies and toads that we hardly see any mosquitoes, even though they're a problem nearby!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2003 at 10:08PM
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mkirkwag(Puget Sound)

Well, here's a commercial source:

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:16PM
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Here's another source that ships live dragonfly nymphs

Here is a link that might be useful: My Site

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 1:58PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

Dragonfly nymphs are one of my all-time favorite fly-fishing fly patterns. When you don't know what to use, start with one of those on sinking line.

Oh yeah we were talking about gardening right? sorry!
Put in a nice little goldfish pond. (and practice your casting technique! haha)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 12:55AM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

I meant Dragonfly pupae.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 8:59PM
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I am not sure if my first post went thru or not. Yes you can buy dragonfly nymphs in maine. I was doing research on it a year or so ago for my property that I was building on. I believe it is somewhere in Scrarborough. My e-mail is I just noticed that you posted this quite sometime ago. I have misplaced teh disk that I have my info stored on so if you have had any luck finding them. please let me know. Thanks--- Rebecca

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 9:08AM
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I live in Minnesota and have a slew on one side of the farm and a drainage ditch on the other. I have frogs that live in the slew but there is not one butterfly or dragonfly around tons of biter bugs though how can I get the dragonflies or anything that likes to eat the biters. I have read plant bambo. How do you do that in a slew and where do you buy it. I have a sister that lives in Alex and has a million draqon flies and you can sit in her yard and not get bit, they are just there. Help please getting eaten alive

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 12:43AM
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A company in Massachusetts for damselfly larvae.

I have used them before in a small private pond. My sister released them into a childs wading pool with natural water and it was in the shade. They eat mosquito larvae while in the water.

We do have some adult damselflies around here, I don't know if they were prolific before. We have many many more dragonflies, which we have never purchased. It may be worth noting that there are a few sources of natural habitat near my home here in far northern New England.

Here is a link that might be useful: Berkshire biological

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 4:14PM
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If you create an environment that is something the Dragonflies can live in you will have them. However, even if you spend your money purchasing them if you do not have an environment they can live in you will not have them because those you bought will die.
Create the environment first and then see if you need to spend money on them.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 6:35AM
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