Golden Ringed Death

We live on a small creek (crick, stream,,,?) surrounded on our side by a swampy area with areas of standing water, yet we rarely have a bloom of mosquitoes to come close to what some suburban areas have. The creek is in a gully that to my knowledge hasn’t been invaded by lawns up stream. Fortunately the penchant for humans to tidy up nature hasn’t reached us yet. We don’t even use fertilizer on our little “lawn”. Nature preferred to grow moss, so we went with that. Our stretch of the creek has intentionally been left in the natural chaotic state in which creatures thrive.

Creatures that apparently thrive on those conditions include a variety of dragonflies. This Golden Ringed Dragonfly is one example. They are interesting to watch not only for their acrobatic flying abilities but their effectiveness in catching and eating mosquitoes in flight.

Golden Ringed Dragonfly


If we were to fog the area around the house with insecticide for mosquitoes, we would probably end up with fewer predator insects and many more mosquitoes on the long term. Dragonflies begin as nymphs in bodies of water, often the same water in which mosquitoes lay eggs. That’s were the young dragonflies first begin eating mosquitoes. Once they develop into their flying version they continue grabbing them out of the air and eating them. Spraying for mosquitoes kills a multitude of insects that are a benefit to all sorts of wildlife and plants. Unfortunately It can kill dragonflies and their nymphs that are a great benefit to we humans. Once done, we would eventually have mosquitoes coming by and laying eggs that turn into mosquitoes in four two fourteen days and dragonflies possibly laying eggs that won’t develop into flying mosquito killers for up to four years. So from then on the blood suckers will be exponentially greater in number not having one of their top predators around. So what to do? Become addicted to spraying poison? Not in my neck of the woods!





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