As the weather warms up, gardens come alive with bees and flies. They are joined by butterflies, praying mantises, and beetles.
Some of us are excited to see the return of these wonderful and strange creatures. Others may be prompted to call the local pest control service or visit the store to buy sprays.
While some bugs, such as mosquitoes and snails, do us little good, killing all bugs and insects is not always effective or necessary. This can damage ecosystems as well as our health.
Read more: The hidden secrets of insect poop.
There are times when insecticides are needed (especially when pest populations are surging or the risk of disease is high ), but you don’t have to reach for the spray every time. Here are five good reasons to avoid pesticides wherever possible and live and let live.
Even the smallest garden is a focal point for flowers and fruit, and they rely heavily on insect pollinators. While we all know the importance of European honeybees ( Apis melifera), what about “home-grown” pollinators? These include our native insects, such as hoverflies and beetles. These species pollinate our native fruits, vegetables, and plants.
Read more: The common herb that could bring bees buzzing to your garden
You can encourage these helpful pollinators by growing plants that flower at different times of the year (especially natives) and looking into sugar-water feeders or insect hotels.
Delight your decomposers – they are like mini bulldozers.
Slaters improve your soil quality. Alan Kwok
Decomposers are needed to break down organic waste and leaf litter. The decomposers will eat through the decaying plants, releasing nutrients that can be used to feed your plants.
The problem is urban soils, which are often disturbed, can contain high amounts of heavy metals that affect decomposer communities. Decomposition will be slower if there are fewer “bugs” present in the soil.
Digging worm farms and compost piles into the soil can be helpful. You can also create leaf litter by leaving some parts of your lawn unmowed. Watering your garden will help the underground ecosystems. However, be careful not to encourage mosquitoes or overuse water.
A swarm of beneficial insects can consume your pests.
We are fortunate to have hundreds of beautiful and fascinating bugs in our homes. These wonderful creatures are natural predators of mozzies and other pests like house flies, cockroaches, and cockroaches. Yet, people use broad-spectrum insects to kill them along with the problems.
While it may seem counterproductive to stop using chemicals to control pests at home, organic farmers do just that. Reduce pesticides to allow natural enemies to flourish.