Anything gardeners can do to attract beneficial insects into their gardens has to be a good thing. When insects can act as natural pest controllers you are able to reduce or do away with the use of pesticides. While insects find their own spaces in which to set up home, the provision of a bug hotel acts as an inducement to attract them to come in. I came across this article by Robin Plaskoff Horton on the Urban Gardens Web site.
At any given time, your garden might contain over 2,000 species of insects. Some of these are pests, the kind you don?t want in your garden because they destroy your flowers and vegetables. But many others are beneficial insects, the kind you want to attract because they work with you to control pests and pollinate flowers.
Beneficial insects support biodiversity, the foundation for the world?s ecological balance. An insect hotel in your garden will attract these beneficial insects, offering them a space where they can propagate and hunker down for the winter. Encouraging biodiversity in the garden helps to increase ecosystem productivity.
Placing a bug abode in the garden increases the chances that beneficial insects will naturally visit. Also known as bug hotels, bug boxes, and bug houses, these human-made structures offer several benefits. In addition to their decorative qualities, they help supplement the increasing loss of natural habitats.
Although altered and heavily landscaped gardens can be beautiful, they often lack enough of the natural habitats needed to attract beneficial insects and encourage biodiversity. Placing insect hotels in your garden offers optimal bug real estate ? the right kinds of habitats to attract these beneficial insects, increase their numbers, and reduce the need for pesticides, since these bugs offer biological pest control. A balanced ecosystem provides numerous benefits not just for the individual garden, but for the environment as a whole.
NiteangeL? Wooden Insect House,?$25.99,?
Benefits of Insect Hotels
1. Supplement the increasing loss of natural habitat
2. Encourage beneficial insects to help control pests
3. Stimulate biodiversity and ecological balance in the garden
4. Offer an opportunity for educating children about how balanced ecosystems work
Natural Pest Control
Welcoming beneficial insects and pollinators into your garden reduces or eliminates the need for pesticides. Poison kills weeds and pesky insects, but poison is not selective: it kills beneficial insects as well.
According to the USDA?s Natural Resources Conservation Service, three-quarters of the world?s flowering plants and roughly 35 percent of the world?s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce, with more than 3,500 species of native bees helping to increase crop yields. By some estimates, one out of every three bites of food we consume depends on animal pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths, birds, bats, beetles, and other insects.
See more at Urban Garden Web