Attracting beneficial insects to your garden is a smart move to not only increase the pollination capabilities of your plants but also keep pests at bay. Just by following the four steps listed below, you can easily attract beneficial insects to your garden. Start now!
Grow Wildflowers And Flowering Herbs
According to Allison Mia Starcher, a garden author and illustrator, hybrid bedding plants have lost pollen and nectar – the most characteristic to attract beneficial insects.
- Sweet alyssum
- Rose-scented geraniums
- Queen Anne’s lace
- Lemon balm
- Baby’s breath
Obviously, you should consider which ones best suit your garden, based on their demand for sun, water, temperature, and nutrient levels, and what your garden has.
To sustain the presence of good bugs in your garden, try to grow various flowers or flowering herbs at different times throughout the year.
Choosing the places to grow these plants is also important. Avoid those areas with strong winds.
Water Your Garden Frequently
Proper irrigation is one more way to attract beneficial insects to a garden.
If you are currently using an automated drip irrigation system, place a small dish, pan, or birdbath in your garden, then fill it with pebbles so that insects won’t drown when drinking from there.
But remember to change the water in the dish or pan frequently to avoid attracting mosquitos.
Or, you can use overhead sprinklers to water yours because this will create some small puddles or wet the leaves for insects to drink from.
Build A Beneficial Insect Home
Aside from food and water sources, beneficial insects need shelter to stay warm and dry over the winter until springtime.
To encourage them to your garden, you can DIY one or more insect hotels. This could be an interesting and joyful outdoor activity with your kids, too.
Before getting started, you should determine which types of beneficial insects you want to make a home for because each of them has a specific home requirement type. Besides, consider how much free space your garden has to create.
Insect hotels are easy to make and the materials are budget-friendly. You can install one from up-cycled or recycled materials.
- Some types of post
- Wire or twine
- Glue sticks
- Hot glue gun
- Blocks of wood with drilled holes
- Thin cardboard tubing
- Hollow reeds
- Leaves, rolled up paper, wood chips, and twigs
- An open birdhouse or an old wooden box
Start with cutting all the bamboo pieces or hollow reeds, as well as tightly pre-rolling leaves or papers. Set them aside so that they’ll be ready to use whenever you need them without stopping and starting up over again.
Glue a tube at the bottom right- or left-hand corner of the birdhouse/wooden box.
Arrange other tubes (of various sizes) around the first one, then secure them by using a drop of hot glue. Make sure that they don’t impede air circulation or crush together, and they should hold one another securely.
Now, why using a wide range of tube sizes?
It’s because they help different insect species find the right home for them as well as minimizes the gap created between the tubes with the same sizes.
If you want to create a shelter for bees, take note that each bee species requires different hole sizes for sheltering and laying eggs. It’s a must to learn about the native bees of your areas before deciding to buy a beehive or build one.
Where to place this insect hotel?
It should be put as near to your garden as possible but not too close to your house or your neighbor’s properties.
The height of the place for this insect hotel is also important. It should be high enough so that you, other members, or your guests won’t head to it accidentally while walking to the garden. However, it should not be too high that you can’t reach and see it.
Understand What Your Beneficial Insects Hate The Most
To create a perfect habitat to encourage beneficial insects, aside from focusing on what they like (such as water, shelter, and pollen), you should pay attention to what they hate.
Avoid Putting Harmful Chemicals Into Your Garden
If you’re using pesticides to kill harmful pests, that also means you are keeping beneficial bugs away from your garden.
A pity that most pesticides or chemicals with similar purposes of use contain toxins that either kill all of the insects immediately or reduce their ability to thrive. These substances are unable to select objects to kill.
To make your garden a welcome paradise for beneficial insects, you should stop putting these harmful pesticides into their habitat.
Use biodegradable chemicals instead to kill harmful ones because they’re harmless to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. For example, miticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
If your garden isn’t infected seriously, attracting beneficial bugs is a great way to kill the harmful ones naturally.
Not Remove 100% Weeds From Your Garden
Though beneficial insects eat pollen, nectars, and harmful bugs, they are attracted by weeds as well. Try not to remove all kinds of weeds because some of them are very useful in protecting nearby plants from insect pests (such as wormwood and alliums) through their fragrance.
Cover The Soil
Some beneficial insects hate dust, like allies. From that point, it’s good to cover the soil by either growing plants or mulch.
And, that’s how to attract beneficial insects to a garden. In conclusion, what you should aim for is to create a habitat where your beneficial bugs friends feel at home. Transform your garden into an insectary as much as possible!