Partnering with Insects
There’s just no getting around it - insects are in trouble. According to a recent New York Times article, insect populations around the globe are rapidly declining. Insects are important for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest for humans is that they help pollinate our food crops. Insects are often thought of as pests, but did you know that most are actually “good bugs” in the garden? Beneficial insects help keep the “bad bugs” in check by preying on pests, reducing the use of harmful pesticides in the garden. And if insects aren’t your thing, remember that for many animals, including those cute local birds many of us enjoy, bugs are a critical part of their diets. Our garden is a dynamic ecosystem that is healthiest when we cultivate a partnership with insects. Here are some ways you can help:
Attract beneficial insects to your garden:
Replace your lawn with a water-efficient, pollinator-friendly garden - and get a rebate!!
Check out this free pollinator-friendly garden design.
Use resources such as the Urban Ecological Planning Guide for Santa Clara Valley.
Create a Healthy Garden for beneficial insects.
Support native insect populations:
Use the California Native Plant Society’s CalScape site to find out what wildlife is supported by CA native plants local to your area!
Visit the Xerces Society to find Recommended Pollinator Plants for California.
Learn more about how Monarch Butterflies Need YOU!!!
Protect beneficial insects:
Use smart pest management in your garden.
Take your old pesticides to a free household hazardous waste drop-off and use smart pest management methods instead.
Grow It! Control pests and plant disease using less or non-toxic methods.
Eliminate the use of Neonicotinoids in Your Garden!
Cultivate healthy soils:
Healthy landscapes start with healthy soils!
Support habitat conservation and restoration efforts by:
Voting on issues that affect the environment,
Donating to organizations that protect, restore and conserve habitat,
Volunteering your time.
Insect decline is alarming but the important thing is each of us can do our part to help!