Sparrow and Finch Gardening Why insect activity increases during summer

Why insect activity increases during summer

Insects prefer the summer months, but the true reason behind their increase in population is the complex interaction between winter rainfall, food availability, and rising temperatures.

The temperature of insects is affected by the environment. In summer, an increase in temperature is usually correlated with a rise in insect activity.

In spring and summer, many insect species begin to emerge from their winter resting phases. They then enter the winged adult stage of life. They are highly mobile, hungry, and sex-obsessed young adults that we interact with over the summer. Imagine a three-month schoolies’ month for insects.

Aphids are attracted to rain.

We all know how beneficial a good rain is for our gardens. The second-wettest winter on record occurred last year, and rainfall in Australia was higher than average. Not only did backyard flowering plants and foliage thrive, but also common weeds. Dandelions and sowthistle are common garden weeds in eastern and southern Australia.

The population of aphids explodes when the vegetation increases over winter. The aphids (insects of the order Hemiptera), which are sap-sucking bugs, can stunt growth in trees and destroy flower buds. They also reduce fruit quality.

The majority of species, such as the peach-potato Aphid ( Myzus persicae), lay their eggs under bark, on leaves, and stems during winter. The eggs will hatch as the temperatures and length of days increase in spring or summer. The female aphid can produce up to 100 offspring within a short time.

Natural pest control

Flower flies are a natural defense against aphids in our gardens. Flower flies are harmless wasp-like flies that hover above flowers in gardens. They have this common name because they hover over the flowers. The flies are widespread around the globe and have more than 6,500 species. One hundred sixty-five are exclusive to Australia.

Most flies will not bother you at all. They are happy to eat pests from your garden. Many flower fly larvae, also known as maggots, feed on aphid nymphs and adults. Flower fly larvae can consume a large number of aphids in a short period.

Flower fly larvae are a natural way to control pests in your garden. They eat aphids.

Aphids are constantly sapping plants of their fluids and sugars. Their excrement is sweet, and so they are called honeydew. Flower flies that are adults will feed on aphid honeydew and then lay their eggs nearby to provide their larvae with a food source.

You may have parked your car under a tree that was dripping honeydew from aphids. These flies feed on the honeydew that is stuck in your vehicle.

Fly feeding on honeydew in a car that is parked underneath an aphid-infested tree. CSIRO

The flower fly larvae are not the only insect predators that feed on aphids. Ladybird larvae, adults, and lacewings (also known as aphid-lions) also compete with each other to eat the aphids.

A lot is happening in your garden this time of the year. All of these predators will be eliminated if you spray your aphids with insecticides.

Insects Gardening Australia

Having more insects in the garden or community has many benefits. Insects are vital for the pollination of many native Australian plants, such as ants, bees, and wasps. They also include flies, moths, butterflies, and beetles.

Recent studies show that fly pollen can be carried twice as far by and may even outpollinate European honeybees. Soldier flies are also great at converting organic waste to compost.

Celebrate this summer with a barbecue in your garden, and give the Aussie Salute! It’s best to let nature take its course and live in the moment. However, you should always have some repellent handy, just in case.

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