Insects in your Garden

“Flowers are very important to wildlife. They provide nectar, which is food for insects such as butterflies and bees; leaves, for caterpillars and beetles to hide in and eat; hollow stems for insects to hibernate in; night scent, which attracts moths (which attract bats); and seeds, a source of food for birds throughout the winter. Many of our native creatures are also predators of garden pests.” See Garden Organic website.

Butterflies will most easily find flowers if they are in a sheltered, sunny spot and grouped together to make a strong visible and olfactory display. Native flowers with single rather than double flowers are best. They will also feed from fallen fruit. It is vital that the plants have not been treated with neonicotinoids (insecticides).

Moths are flying for more months of the year so they need nectar plants in flower from spring to late autumn.

Caterpillars of both butterflies and moths require specific plants, usually different ones from the adult’s nectar source.

Beetles are found in every part of the world where there is organic matter. In the garden different species eat plant debris or some of the less welcome inhabitants of our garden. In turn they are food for hedgehogs and birds. They lay their eggs in the soil, leaf piles or dead wood so a compost heap or log pile is an easy way to encourage their presence. See

Five Habitats to Make for Beetles – BBC Gardeners’ World

Click here for a diagram on how to make a Beetle Bucket.