Insects in the Garden
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Have you paid any attention to the insects in your yard and garden this season? It seems I am not seeing as many as I have in the past. The carpenter bees were around earlier this season, but I don’t think I have seen them recently. Usually I see many small wasps and bees working the flowers in my garden, but last weekend when I was sitting in my garden I noticed that I was not seeing any insects to speak of which is very alarming to me.
I have seen reports that worldwide insect populations are declining. Insects make the world work and we need them way more than they need us. I know I must have a few around as I have a Mockingbird that nested in a holly. Birds feed their young caterpillars and need about 6000 caterpillars to raise a brood. Check out this article, Why Do We Need Bugs? for an interesting read about our relationship with insects.
During the June Successful Gardener class the topic is discussing insects, the good and the bad. It’s easy enough to just kill all the insects but most insects are beneficial or only minimally harmful to us. Killing them sets off a chain reaction that can affect every aspect of our garden and our ecosystem. Products that may be used to kill or control one pest insect my harm beneficials as well.
Join the Union County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers for the Successful Gardener program on June 2 at 7 p.m. Dr. Matt Bertone, Entomologist with NCSU will join us to give us a high level view of the vast insect world. So let’s learn to identify and understand some of the more common “good guys” and “bad guys”. You may find that you have a lot more insect friends than foes! The program will be held online via Webex and is free, but registration at the Master Gardeners℠ of Union County website.