Whilst gardeners may not always like insects in their gardens, insects are part of the natural biodiversity and habitat. They play a variety of extremely important ecological roles in the functioning of the eco system. Not to mention, they are often overlooked for the part they play in the food chain. Insects are the sole food source for many amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals. It is important to recognise the benefits that insects bring to our green spaces and to learn to appreciate them rather than attempt to deter them using harmful chemicals.
Barratt Homes has shared a list of five insects that will benefit your garden this spring, explaining why you should invite them in rather than deter them. From pest control to biodiversity, good soil health to pollination, read on to explore the benefits some insects can provide.
Bees are the best pollinators for our gardens. Without bees, gardens would struggle, and plants would be unable to grow and produce food. These insects are critical to the food chain. They prefer bright colours, so having a garden full of orange, yellow and red plants can help attract them. If you want to help bees, purchase a bee box and keep water around for them. Bees are vital for the growth of our gardens, and by helping them, we are also helping to build a sustainable ecosystem.
Ladybirds provide pest control in our gardens, so if you spot a few around the plant and vegetable area, this is no cause for concern. Ladybirds (or ladybugs as they are also called), offer protection against pests such as mites and aphids. Having ladybugs in your garden means they can eat these pests and, in turn, protect your plants and vegetables. Like with bees, encourage ladybirds into the garden by directing them to a water source. Even a damp cloth or a water bowl will give them the energy they need to care for your garden.
Hoverflies, like bees, are excellent pollinators. They transfer pollen from plant to plant, resulting in garden growth without the use of harmful chemicals, which contributes to a more sustainable ecosystem. The difference between bees and hoverflies is that hoverflies do not sting and tend to hover near flowers instead of between them. Having hoverflies in the garden can prevent pests from damaging plants and stopping their growth.
Spiders are sensitive to their environments and will protect a garden if it has a potential problem. Spiders can indicate issues with gardens early. Instead of deterring them, it might be useful to closely examine your garden to identify any problems. Like many other insects, spiders make great pest controllers and will catch any unwanted insects in their web. Whilst phobias are common, spiders in the garden should be left alone and respected, rather than removed.
Lacewings are great for pest control. You may find other insects, such as caterpillars, trying to eat through your plants, whereas a lacewing will act as a predator to these insects and allow your plants to blossom. Lacewings don’t sting or bite; you can attract them by having pollinated plants in your garden. If you’re looking for a non-chemical way to help your greenery flourish, lacewings are an excellent insect to encourage into the garden.
Many insects are not desirable to have in the garden. However, some bring important benefits when it comes to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. The insects listed above are vital for keeping a garden or vegetable patch healthy and can continuously reproduce to sustain the food chain.