NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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August 1, 2011 Horticulture Column

Howdy!!!

What a beautiful weekend, it really does not get any better than this.  Thunderstorms rolled through last night but all in all we faired pretty good. 

Why are there so many Dragonflies?

            Dragonflies belong to the Order Odonata and there are about 400 species in United States. There are many dragonflies flying around fields and yards this year. One of the reasons could be they are aquatic insects requiring water to complete their life cycle, and there lots of standing water this year from the frequent rains. Dragonflies lay eggs in water and their nymphs are aquatic. They live in ponds, lakes and slow-moving streams. Dragonflies spent most of their lives in the larval stage (up to 3 years depending on the species). Adults only live for a few weeks. Dragonflies are predatory. Nymphs feed on tiny fish to mosquito larvae to other aquatic insects. As an adult, they eat other flying insects. Mosquitoes are one of their primary food sources. Dragonflies are harmless and like to fly around people, but will not sting or bite.

            A lot of my summer articles include info about out door plants but we should mention our indoor plants also.  This is just a reminder to be checking for any insect damage.  If you should find some insects on your plants there are two options: first off you can wash them off with water, I KNOW some plants are too big but smaller plants can be moved to the kitchen sink and washed off with spray nozzle.  This also washed the leaves clean giving them a brighter look.  Secondly Insecticidal soap can be used to treat for insects.  This a safe indoor treatment and can be used on any indoor plant and out door plant for that matter.

 

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