Facts, Identification & Control

Latin Name

Order Odonata


What do they look like?

image of a dragonfly
Adult dragonflies have two pair of wings. The back, or hind, wings are slightly larger at the base than the front wings. Dragonflies do not fold their wings when they land. Their wings extend from their body even when they are resting.

See more dragonfly pictures

How Did I Get Dragonflies?

Signs of a Dragonfly Infestation
Dragonflies thrive around ponds and streams, so homeowners with waterfront properties are more likely to encounter them. Swimming pools also attract these insects. A dragonfly may accidentally enter an open window, but it won’t survive for long indoors.

How Serious Are Dragonflies?

Dragonflies are not harmful to people. Though they will approach humans, they do not bite or sting. Dragonflies may even be beneficial, since the diet of immature dragonflies includes nuisance pests such as mosquito larvae.

For more information on getting rid of dragonflies or to schedule an inspection, please contact your local Orkin branch office.


What Do They Eat?
Adult dragonflies may eat:


Adult dragonflies deposit their eggs in water or on aquatic plants. When the eggs hatch, the immature dragonflies, called naiads, live in the water.

The naiads have gills in their abdomen so they can breathe under water. They also use the gills for a form of “jet propulsion,” so they can move around in the water. Naiads eat mosquito larvae and other aquatic insects. Large naiads can even eat tadpoles and small fish.

When it is time for the naiad to change into an adult dragonfly, it crawls out of the water. Its skin splits and the adult emerges. This process takes several hours, and it usually happens at night.

After their wings are dry, the adult dragonflies fly away to find food. They return to the water to mate and lay eggs. The male dragonflies hover over the water and are often territorial about the breeding site.

More Information

Dragonflies are large flying insects. They have been on earth for many years. Fossil records suggest that dragonflies in the Jurassic period may have been much larger than modern dragonflies. Dragonflies are members of the insect order Odonata. There are several species in the United States.

Photo of Dragon Fly
Photo of a Dragonfly

Most dragonflies can be considered beneficial. Some people call them “mosquito hawks” because they eat mosquitoes.