Last Updated on January 25, 2020 by Cooper Fulton

Attracting Beneficial Insects To Your Pond

Attracting beneficial insects to your pond has lots of positive effects. Instead of using chemical pesticides, having beneficial insects is a non-toxic way for your plants to grow better, and more naturally.Attracting friendly insects to your pond

Now, chemical pesticides don’t just wipe out the bad bugs (duh) they can also take out the beneficial insects. This can be very bad for the long term maintenance of your pond.

If you can build the right habitat for these insects to survive and thrive, it can be completely cost-free!

If you’re focusing on just one insect or a few, here’s a list of the best “friendly” insects to attract to your pond.

Click to zip down to each insect-

  1. Spiders
  2. Dragonflies
  3. Ground Beetles
  4. Ladybugs
  5. Praying Mantises

 

How to Attract Spiders to a Pond

How to Attract Spiders to a Pond

Now, you might be thinking, why would I want spiders in my pond, well, a spider’s goal in almost any ecosystem is controlling insect populations.

spiders eat mosquitoes so you don’t have to worry about putting on bug spray every time you check on your pond.

So, here’s the real question “How to attract spiders to a pond?” Spiders like tall plants and mulch, so if you include these two factors, you’ll be sure to have some eight-legged insects find their way to your pond.

 

Beneficial Attributes of Spiders

Spiders are very beneficial to your pond in several ways, they prey upon roaches, aphids, grasshoppers, fruit flies, and bed bugs.

Spiders also eat mosquitoes so you don’t have to worry about putting on bug spray every time you check on your pond.

 

How to Attract Dragonflies to a Pond

How to Attract Dragonflies to a Pond

Just by having a pond will automatically attract dragonflies to your area it is just a matter if they will stay around to provide their benefits. Your pond does not have to be crystal clear or even have a filter.

The body of water needs to receive between 5-7 hours of direct sunlight a day, but also must stay protected from the wind. I would recommend planting tall shrubs or rose bushes on one side of your pond to help block the wind while still letting the sun hit the pond all day.

The pond must also have plenty of plants to give dragonfly larvae a place to hide from predator fish. Providing tall plants in and around the pond will give the dragonflies a place to perch- and hunt for prey or look for a mate.

 

Unfortunately, dragonflies have quite a few predators, birds that swoop out of nowhere, frogs with their long tongues, and spiders catch them in their webs. Luckily they have great eyesight and are super quick so they can get out of danger.

 

Benefits of dragonflies

Dragonflies are one of the best beneficial bugs because they eat pretty much all flying insects, particularly midges and mosquitoes. They also will eat butterflies, moths and sometimes even smaller dragonflies.

These insects are crazy hunters, around 78% of their brain is used for handling visual information. Another cool benefit of dragonflies is that they do not bite or sting. You can hold them in your hand without any worries.

 

How to Attract Ground Beetles to a Pond

How to Attract Ground Beetles to a Pond

Ground beetles can be attracted just adding these few plants- evening primrose, amaranthus, and clovers.

Another cool fact about these beetles is that they are only active during the night, so you don’t have to worry about stepping on them or when you invite visitors over they won’t see them and “freak out!”

An easy way to get the beetles to your pond is to put in bright white lights around your pond as beetles are very attracted to light.

By adding in small food scraps around your pond will attract beetles and many other insects giving them plenty of food options.

 

Benefits of Ground Beetles

Some benefits of ground beetles in your pond are that they will gobble up slugs, cutworms, caterpillars, and ants. Yes, ants, how awesome is that! I had an ant infestation around the time I began building my first pond.

I learned that these beetles could solve the infestation and I didn’t have to hire pest control and waste a boatload of money.

 

How to Attract Ladybugs to a Pond

How to Attract Ground Beetles to a Pond

Attracting ladybugs to your pond is not hard at all, all you need are the right plant and conditions.

Ladybugs are attracted to dill and dandelions which are very common and will grow almost anywhere.

The next step to attracting ladybugs is to have a good water source which should not be a problem, make sure your pond has easy access to the water instead of steep rock faces.

By putting a few of these plants around your pond and providing easy ways to get to the water will guarantee ladybugs to your pond.

Buying and introducing ladybugs to your pond ecosystem can be super easy but can also end with all the ladybugs flying away.

If you release them in the day they will leave, no aphids for the babies, they will leave, they also need a lot of water. When your ladybugs show up they will be dehydrated and will only be looking for water, if they cannot easily drink from your pond thy will leave.

 

Benefits of LadyBugs

Ladybugs are one of the most beneficial insects you can add to your pond and surrounding plants.

The ladybug larvae are much more vicious and eat more than when they are adults and will eat all the aphids. Aphids are little insects that suck the sap and nutrients out of the plants which causes them to die.

Ladybugs will also eat mites, fleas, and whitefly, all helping with plant growth and to keep your pond clean.

 

How to Attract Praying Mantis to a Pond

How to Attract Praying Mantis to a Pond

Mantises grow between 2-4 inches long and come in a wide variety of colors to blend in with plant life.

The praying mantis kills its prey by moving in slowly and striking much too fast to be seen by the human eye with its long arms.

Both arms have hooks lined down the “forearm” to help keep prey in its grasp. The praying mantis loves to hunt and breed in dense vegetation as this provides shelter and camouflage.

By planting numerous and various plant species makes it very easy for praying mantises to populate your pond surroundings.

 

Benefits of Praying Mantis

Praying mantises will eat any insect they come across which makes them great for controlling the population of unwanted insects around your pond ecosystem.

The mantis hunts 24/7 which makes a big impact on the population of unwanted insects.

Mantises eat all insects they come across which can be good and bad if they start to eat the beneficial insects around your pond.

 

Conclusion

Attracting friendly insects to your pond can sometimes be difficult, but these insects I’ve listed above are my favorites and are what I believe to be the “friendliest” and most beneficial critters for your pond. All in all, they each have their own different benefits. So, if you don’t like all the options here, you can just use one or two, but that’s what lists are for 🙂