Insects are “the backbone of a healthy ecosystem,” but they’re disappearing at an alarming rate due to climate change, overuse of pesticides and loss of habitat. We at Bird decided to try to do our own small part to help, by giving away packets of seeds for native flowers that help bees, butterflies and other bugs. Stop by Bird to pick up your free seed packet, and read on for more things you can do to help bugs!
Why are insects important?
- They pollinate flowering plants, including many of our food crops.
- They help control the population of non-beneficial insects, like aphids.
- They feed birds, fish, reptiles, other animals and other insects.
- They eat fallen trees and dead animals, and then recycle those nutrients back into the soil.
- They create top soil, which is the nutrient-rich layer of soil that is fundamental to helping plants grow.
- They aerate the soil by burrowing and digging, which helps plants grow.
3 Things You Can Do to Help Bugs
So what can you do? Some very simple things can have a big impact:
- Grow native, pollinator-friendly plants. Even a mini-habitat in a windowbox or on a balcony helps!
- Avoid pesticides. You don’t have to have a garden to help bugs – buying organic or pesticide-free food and cotton clothes and other textiles is just as beneficial as avoiding pesticides in your garden and on the seeds/plants you buy. Don’t forget things like the flea treatments for your dog or cat – you can make those more insect-friendly (if not flea friendly!), too, with ingredients like rosemary, baking soda and peppermint oil.
- Leave some leaves. Leaves and grass left to decompose on the ground provide food and habitat for bugs, and nourish your soil.