A Welcome Predator

My town’s newspaper is called The Mosquito, and for good reason. Despite being less than thirty miles from Boston, this community is small (under 5,000 residents) because much of the acreage is wetlands. In the summer it sometimes seems as if the main thing that we grow are blood-sucking pests.

This is why there is one voracious and unrelenting predator that I welcome to my yard. The dragonfly. The dragonfly’s prey of choice are mosquitos, gnats and deer flies. I’d hesitate to work in the garden without this effervescent beauty clearing the air of biting insects. The dragonfly ignores humans. It’s as if we don’t exist. It’s not uncommon for one to land on me, as if I were just another plant. For a moment it’s like wearing living jewelry.



  1. We used to call them sewing needles. :) My little guy loves it when they land on him….as do I.

  2. That looks a bit like a Scarce Chaser! I’ve seen one here, they’re often confused with immature Broad-bodied chasers. Lovely. Very bad year for dragons this year, I’ve yet to see any whoppers, not even many damselflies…

      • yes, too cool I think; insects are struggling generally. Hardly any butterflies, and I’ve yet to get the moth trap out but I suspect numbers will be down there too.

  3. My big sister used to tell me that dragon flies would swoop down and zip my mouth shut!

  4. I had one that would come when I was in the garden and eat all the black flies swarming around me within minutes. Don’t know if the same one, but came everytime I was in the garden for weeks. Called him/her Monty. Now we watch them at dusk flying over our deck eating the bugs. Amazing creatures.

  5. as kids we called them sewing needles also! and we all believed that they sew our mouths shut – we would run screaming from them!

  6. We are hot and dry, here in the midwest, but I have noticed ALOT of dragonflies around because the mosquitos are in abundance for some reason…didn’t really notice them alot the past years..

  7. I beleive it live in the mosquito capital of NY, in a little town called Fort Hunter, I have to say this year has not been a bad year for mosquitos at all. I thought after Irene came through last year (which flooded our village we are a hamlet) that they would be terrible this year for them.. I haven’t seen dragon flies either….

  8. Lovely creatures are dragonflies. Sitting on our deck at twilight and watching the dragonfly brigade swirling, dodging and hunting mosquitos is frequently the highlight of our day. Have to admit they frightened me as a child – they’re such large and prehistoric looking things!