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National Insect Week – 5 Benefits of Bugs

June 22, 2018

Did you know…. It’s National Insect Week! The creepiest, crawliest time of year (well, maybe aside from Halloween!)

Here at Garden Wildlife Direct, we love ALL wildlife, so naturally we don’t want to leave anyone out. The little guys matter too: the bees, bugs, beetles, butterflies, ladybirds, centipedes, spiders and worms are all important for a beautiful and healthy garden.

So, let’s celebrate insect week by paying attention to the creepy crawlies in our flowerbeds, and remembering that maybe they aren’t as disgusting as we might think! Believe it or not, they’re fantastic team players in the grand game of nature. Here are five benefits that insects provide in British gardens.

5 Benefits of Bugs!

1 – Bees: Super Pollination Team!

They might annoy you a little when they buzz around your hair, but bees are an essential part of a sustainable environment. Also, it’s not the bee’s fault you smell like flowers! The pollination services provided by bees are integral to natural, effective pollination – that means fruit, veg and crops of all kinds. Yep, so these busy buzzers basically feed us! We stock lovely solitary bee hives if you want to provide a safe spot right in your garden, or if you’re wondering which of the 270+ British bee species you have in your garden, why not check The Great British Bee Count Bee Identification Guide.

2 – Insects means flowers

Not only bees, but butterflies, moths, wasps, flies and others can help plants (and so flowers) reproduce! Some insects carry pollen over considerable distances, while self-pollinating flowers gratefully accept the pollen transportation services simply between different parts of the flower. Bugs also give protection to plant life, acting as a miniature defensive army to deter other insects and animals from eating leaves and stems. Don’t forget the soil too – worms and other bugs turn the soil which enables healthy composting. This gives plants essential nutrition for growth and flowering.

3 – Insects help hedgehogs!

Come on, who doesn’t like hedgehogs? Those adorable spiky lumps that scuttle across our lawns (if we’re lucky!) ideally live on a varied diet. Some of the most nutritious elements to their nightly chomping are: Beetles, slugs, earwigs, millipedes and caterpillars. If you really don’t like bugs, a hedgehog should be your best friend! (psst, we stock loads of hedgehog stuff here, because we love them.) 

4 – Bats devour mosquitoes

If you enjoy the thrill of bats zooming around your garden, you might have bugs to thank for that. Despite roosting destinations being lost over the years, if you’re local to suitable conditions, you may spot them. While they look aimless, it’s likely that they’re snapping up mosquitoes from mid air! If you want to give bats a helping hand, we stock an excellent bat box - the Wildlife World Bat Box.

5 – Insects make a fine meal for our favourite birds!

Lastly, but probably most important to the bird lovers among us: bugs are a feast for birds. The beak of a blue tit is perfectly adapted for eating insects and spiders, and those lawn hopping Dunnocks mostly eat insects (but, as you probably know, they enjoy seed too!) Robins of course love a juicy worm, and many birds such as Woodpeckers, Wrens, Blackbirds, Greenfinches, Nuthatches, Goldcrests… and the list goes on!

In nature, insects provide essential protein for wild birds. This is why we often consider adding dried mealworms when feeding at home (which we also include in some of our seed mixes like Robin & SongBird No Mess Mix.)

This is a handy tip for everyone who wants a range of different birds visiting their gardens:
Look after the insects, and the birds will look after themselves!

 

 

Article by Andrew Jolly

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1 comment

  1. Lawn weed and feed contains hormone weed killers are you happy for your children and pets to use the grass after application , keep your gardens pesticide free and use natural pest control. Gardens can be a refuge from intensive farming and are increasingly important, the UK has lost so much biodiversity, including insects we need to wake up to the harm we are doing.