MECHANIC FALLS – The Masons of Tyrian Lodge 73, AF and AM, have announced that the 2005 Community Betterment Program will be the sale and distribution of dragonfly nymphs to reduce the mosquito population in Poland, Mechanic Falls, Minot and surrounding communities.

The project, under the direction of acting Lodge Master Joshua Armstrong, will involve Masons and other volunteers, who will release 3,000 nymphs into the wetlands where mosquitoes breed. The program has been run in other areas with success and is being partially funded through a matching grant from the Masonic Grand Lodge of Maine.

The lodge is also planning to sell the dragonfly nymphs in quantities of 50, 100, 500, and 1,000, with prices being $40, $65, $350 and $500. Orders for the dragonfly program will be taken through May 28 and will be delivered shortly thereafter. The program is open to the public.

The nymphs will have a two- to three-year life cycle, with adults living from four to six weeks after emerging. The dragonfly nymphs are aggressive predators and spend most of their time in heavy weed cover, climbing around aquatic vegetation and pursuing prey, which they catch by shooting out their extendible hinged lower lip at lighting speed. They consume enormous amounts of mosquito eggs, which will help control the mosquito population.

This method of mosquito reduction is ecologically safe and is most effective when the community gets together and covers wetlands and swampy areas around schools, parks, ball fields and homes. To have a lasting effect, the distribution of dragonfly nymphs should be done every year to build up the dragonfly population.

Anyone who would like to purchase dragonfly nymphs should contact a Mason or call Joshua Armstrong at 346-3005.

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