Plants to attract mosquito predators?

rebulahcApril 7, 2010

Hi everyone!

Sorry if this is has been covered in a previous post, but I'm desperate for some assistance for plants that might help to remove mosquitoes from our garden.

Our garden in Wayland, Massachusetts backs onto a large neighbouring standing water swamp which we do not have access to and which is a breeding ground for mosquitos. The swamp itself is a protected wetlands and we are unable to approach the swamp water directly.

I was wondering if there are any specific shade loving plants that you would recommend which are native to Massachusetts which might help to attract predators of mosquitos (perhaps in particular dragonflies?) to our garden. We would prefer to plant on the perimeter of the swamp since we would prefer not to use chemical means if possible.

Many thanks for any suggestions and help as it is greatly appreciated from a novice gardener!

Rebulah Conundrum

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know of plants, but my husband was just told that the Purple Martin bird eats tons of mosquitos. AFter reading on the internet that this is an established myth, and PM's eat no to very little mosquitos, listen with caution to anybody advising you to attract purple martins. I was so excited about getting flowers and birdhouses to attract them! But, ah, reality is not so friendly...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 1:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

You might install a bat house or two - bats eat mosquitoes. Some sort of water garden (pool plus a few plants) should attract dragonflies.

Skunk Cabbage is a native plant that attracts insects that dragonflies eat. You may not care for the smell but you get used to it (at least I did as a kid).

That site also recommends yarrow, which is native.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 3:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I toss mosquito dunks into our wetlands. Completely organic and nonchemical, they contain a bacteria which infects mosquito larvae and only mosquito larvae. It doesn't completely eliminate the mosquitoes and they are relatively expensive, but I figure that once the population gets going for the season, it will self-regenerate. The years I haven't used them the mosquitoes have been much worse.

I would second the recommendation for bat houses and add the suggestions of homes for insect-eating birds. I see the swallows consuming many insects and also the flycatchers like phoebes and kingbirds, but I don't know what kind of insects. They are out early morning and late afternoon when there are mosquitoes out and about. You can find directions on the internet for making bluebird houses, and the tree swallows will nest in them as well. Or you can find them ready-made.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 8:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
singleton165(z5 NH Seacoast)

A pool is a good suggestion for attracting dragonflies...we have a swamp nearby and I love watching them swarm in the summer. I don't have the woodline to grow skunk cabbage or I would in a heartbeat!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 8:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spedigrees z4VT

Barn swallows are wonderful mosquito predators. They love open fields and nest in and about barns and other buildings. We have a couple who nest in the eaves of our front porch every year.

I'd also echo what others have said about bats. Unfortunately their populations are way down due to the "white nose" virus.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 1:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

singleton - the problem with the pool attracting dragonflies is that the pool also attracts mosquitos.

I also use mosquito dunks. I need so many that I usually buy them wholesale. I've tried to find a place to buy dragonfly larvae online, but no luck.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Try putting up bat boxes high in a tree. Bats eat lots of mosquitos. The problem is that even with lots of mosquito predators you will still have more of the pesky biters than you want. The predators require a certain amount of prey in order to stay local. I would try the BT dunks if the swampy area is on your property. Don't under any circumstances get a bug zapper. Those things kill lots of beneficial insects.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 5:53PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Mason Bee House - - Where to position?
I could go to the Bee Forum, but thought I would ask...
prairiemoon2 z6 MA
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2015 #4
This thread is intended to give people a place to post...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
Open Gardens for 2015
I got a brochure in the mail from the Garden Conservancy...
Any Senior Housing with Gardening Amenity?
Mom will not give up her house unless she can continue...
How do I add a zone to my user name?
I've been trying to edit my profile in "Your Houzz"...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
Sponsored Products
UMA Enterprises 4 Shelf Corner Etagere - Floral - 63066
$119.99 | Hayneedle
BluWorld Triptych Falls Fountain - WWTSVS-CV
$995.00 | Hayneedle
GARDENA Classic Hose Box Set - 2662
$119.99 | Hayneedle
Art Virtuoso Etched Florals Framed Art Print-P5935B-05418
Beyond Stores
Forever Green Art Gather In gs of Fall Elegance
Beyond Stores
Cubico 40 Self Watering Planter by Lechuza
$249.99 | Lumens
Pre-lit Tinsel Quick Light Copper Artificial Tabletop Tree
$199.00 | FRONTGATE
Forever Green Art Organic Floral Tray
Beyond Stores
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™