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  • Writer's pictureBesa

Standing up for Insects

We can all become better insect ambassadors. Insects often are blamed for garden problems they did not cause or are even there to fix. We should not tolerate false information or negativity about insects and instead counter these negative perceptions.

As gardeners we lead by example, welcoming insects to our gardens. Our gardening practices help to educate friends and neighbors about the benefits of insects. Pesticide free gardening benefits entire ecosystems and creates a delicate balance of predators and prey.

Insect friendly environmental policies protect food webs including supporting birds and keeping plant populations stable. Understanding what the best environmental policies are requires good science. We can support science by joining citizen science projects in our area and encouraging others to join us.

As native gardeners we are always at the front of the wave of land stewardship. We know that insects are beneficial, and we need to stand up for them. Our gardens need insects, and insects need our gardens. It is our obligation to carry insects forward with us and make sure they get the respect they deserve in the native plant movement.

“The easiest way to protect habitat is to leave it alone as much as possible. Sites with ground nests should not be tilled, mulched, or sprayed with insecticides. Rodent burrows can be left to become bumble bee nests, and beetle-riddled snags can be saved for mason and leafcutter bees. Similarly, rotting logs along forest edges can be retained as nest sites for some metallic green sweat bees such as Augochora. Sites on which good forage plants grow should be protected from insecticides and herbicides. Overgrown areas, rock piles, and brush piles may be providing cover for pupating butterflies or protected overwintering sites for bumble bees.”

~ Xerces Society,

Attracting Native Pollinators, p. 92

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