Pondering Ponds

Ponds are wonderful things to visit. People enjoy watching waterfowl, seeing fish jump, seeing ponds flowers blooming and even watching some insects fly around – insects like dragonflies and damselflies.

Although some people find their appearance a little unnerving, dragon and damsel flies are yet another ECOSYSTEM SUPERHERO. Why? Because these beautiful insects eat hundreds of mosquitoes throughout their entire lifecycle. As larvae that are deadly predators, they spend their time eating mosquito “wrigglers” (larva). As adults, they are equally deadly to mosquitoes, flying around and snapping adult mosquitoes out of the air with powerful mouths parts. Every mosquito a dragon or damsel fly eats is one less to bite humans and spread disease.

How can you help these pond-living superheroes? Avoid using fertilizer and herbicides on your lawns! Most fertilzer washes off your grass almost immediately and ends up in local ponds, where it causes algal blooms. Algae blooms are sudden growths of plants that will often cover the surface of a pond. When the algae quickly dies, it decomposes, using up most of the oxygen in the pond, which leads to the death of all other pond life.

Let lawns grow naturally and enjoy the weeds – AKA wildflowers. If your soil needs enriching, try planting clover mixed with grass seed. The clover will grow quickly and helps put nutrients back into the soil. As the nutrients are absorbed, the grass will grow stronger and faster than the clover, eventually leading to a healthy greenspace!