Did you know that bugs are critical to maintaining ecosystems, with 3 types; pollinators, decomposers and predators.
Pollinators are the insects that pollinate many of our flowers, fruits and vegetables. Without these bugs we wouldn't be able to enjoy the produce they help make! Pollinators include bees, wasps, ants, flies, butterflies and moths. Today they are considered to be in a state of decline.
De-composers feed on dead animals, rotting vegetation, fungi and almost anything else they encounter in their environment. De-composers include mites, millipedes, centipedes, spiders and beetles.
Predators will devour any bugs that would eat any plants in your garden which helps keeps pest populations at a manageable level. Any visiting hedgehogs and some wild birds will also will also enjoy them as a snack. These insects include; earwigs, ants, hornets, dragonflies, mantis and lady birds.
Here's how you can encourage bugs into your garden:
- Planting different flowers that will attract bugs. Lavender is a butterfly-attractor, as it provides a rich source of nectar in the summer. Chives and dill plants are great for attracting lady birds.
- Create a log pile; you can pile fallen leaves and logs in a corner of your garden and this will give worms, woodlice millipedes and centipedes a home. (you may also spot hedgehogs coming to look for for a snack too!)
- Let an area of your garden grow wild or leave the occasional weed undisturbed – they add to the diversity of plants which will increase the variety of insects in the garden.
- Create a compost heap; not only is this a great way of being sustainable it will also produce free compost for your garden and plants. Worms will enjoy feed on the food inside and insects will find a home in the heap. Wild birds will also like to snack on the leftovers on the pile.
- Keeping hedges - these are great habitats for wildlife including butterflies. Honeysuckle flowers and brambles are another great nectar sources for our pollinators, so leave these to grow in your garden if you can.
- Create a bug hotel in a darker, quieter part of your garden. We have a range of insect and bee houses that will attract an array of bugs to your garden.
Involve the children and teach them how important bees and insects are to our gardens and eco systems!