The next National Insect Week will run from 20-26 June 2016.
The purpose of the awareness week is to remind us of the importance of the role of insects in our everyday lives.
I have to say that I am not a great lover of insects, and although I know that they can’t hurt me, apart from the insects that are poisonous! For example, the Paederus or rove beetle, which has given its name to paederus dermatitis. Due to toxins in the circulatory system of the beetle many species within this genus cause a skin irritation if one of the insects is crushed against the skin.
There is one insect that most of us do have a love of – and that is the ladybird! The ladybird has an important role to play in our gardens as it eats greenfly. This lovely little insect, is also very popular with young children and features in many children’s stories and nursery rhymes:
Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home
Your house is on fire and your children are gone
All except one, and that’s Little Anne
For she has crept under the warming pan.
So what can we do during National Insect Week to help the insects?
Well, if you have a garden and some space to spare, why not allow it to become waste ground. By allowing native plants to take over it will bring a whole variety of insects into your garden. I often visit National Trust properties their beautifully manicured gardens are awe inspiring, but now you also find areas of naturual meadow where our native plants are given the chance to grow in abundance.
We are also being encouraged to avoid planting hybrid cultivars in our gardens, as they are often sterile and they are of absolutely no use whatsoever to insect life. But if you don’t think that you can give over a section of your garden to wildflowers why not plant traditional cottage garden plants, lavender and buddlia are great nectar-rich plants and very welcoming to insects like bees and butterflies.
Why not buy a ladybird nesting box, a polinating bee log or a butterfly tower to help the insects that are so important to us have a great home in your garden.
For more information about events taking place during the week visit the National Insect Week website.