My ? brings the damselflies to the yard, my bugs are better than yours
June 20, 2020 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Why are all these beautiful dragonflies and damselflies suddenly hanging out in my city backyard?

Entomologists of Metafilter, please help with this very insignificant question! I’ve lived in my seattle house for three summers, and this year my yard has become a hangout for dragonflies and damselflies of many kinds. My only standing water is a screen-covered rain barrel, I water my garden with a drip system, and it’s not terribly mosquitoey here normally. How have I attracted these magnificent beasts, and how can I keep giving them what they want?
posted by centrifugal to Science & Nature (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My guess, for the damselflies at least, is that they are looking for a good spot to lay their eggs. It's about the right time for that.
posted by PlantGoddess at 9:00 PM on June 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In our case, it's gnats. Gnat season is followed by dragonflies (delicious, delicious gnats) is followed by deerflies and Japanese Beatles. They're key to not having gnats in your hair.

An overlooked source of incidental breeding ground is gutters--they get clogged over winter in various points and create little ecosystems.

Anything lying around your yard (birdbath) that has been overlooked is a potential breeding spot. But gutters are typically overlooked easily.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:09 PM on June 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, both of you. I don’t have a lot of gnats in the yard, but maybe these visitors are why. And A Terrible Llama, I’ll bet you’re right about the gutters, I’ve been avoiding cleaning them and there are probably all kinds of ecosystems in there. But cleaning them may be DAMSELFLY MURDER, so I can carry on with procrastinating!
posted by centrifugal at 8:51 AM on June 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

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