Make A Bug-Friendly Garden

May 3, 2016

By making your garden a haven for beneficial insects you will encourage pollinators, provide food for other animals and help eliminate insect pests. And…you will be growing a greener garden as these “good bugs” prey on common garden pests, thus offering a safer and natural alternative to pesticides.

Honey bees drinking

One of the best ways to make your garden more attractive to insects is to add a water feature like a small pond. A pond is home to many useful insects including dragonflies, damselflies, pond skaters and water beetles. Surrounding the pond with native plants helps to support a healthy insect population. Over the years, native fauna and flora have co-evolved to support one another and having both present in your garden helps to restore a healthier ecosystem.

Another way to increase your garden’s bug appeal is to create multiple habitats. A pond is one, but you could do a native flower bed rich in nectar and pollen. A log pile is a very easy habitat to create—preferably in the shade—and it can become a welcome sanctuary for amphibians and insects. Sunny rock gardens are beautiful ways to feature a variety of succulents and drought-tolerant plants and can be homes to reptiles and insects. Most importantly, your garden should contain a range of different plants with a balanced mix of ground cover, shrub, understory and canopy species, if possible.

By learning more about the helpful insects in your area and how they improve the ecosystem or contribute something positive to our lives, you may be more inclined to protect and support them. This website has a list of more than two-dozen beneficial insects with pictures and a description of why they are helpful.