Hedgehogs, birds, bees, butterflies and ladybirds help gardeners by pollinating flowers and keeping unwanted pests under control! A wildlife-rich garden is a real joy, and once you attract these beneficial insects and predators to your garden, they will repay you by keeping pests under control.
Many of our most loved species of ladybird, bee and particularly butterfly are under threat! Whether you have a balcony, garden or orchard, you can do your bit to help increase their numbers by giving them a safe haven and habitat.
There are two types of bee - solitary and pollinating. Honey bees and bumble bees are pollinating species, while the large family of solitary bees include leafcutter, orchard bees and mining bees. The best way to attract bees to your garden is with a lovely display of different varieties and colours of flowers. We use a wildflower seed pack to produce a wonderful mix of flowers, which fill your garden with colour, as well as attracting bees for pollination!
Bees are a super-star pollinator for plants, and are responsible for pollinating one-sixth of the world's flowering plant species! Bumble bees are hardworking and will keep your plants pollinated by working through strong winds, rain, low-light and are able to carry heavy loads.
Bees are valuable to gardeners and increasing their numbers will boost pollination of crops, fruit and vegetables. Most species of bee are non-aggressive and their presence in gardens and veg plots is essential for the pollination of all plants - in fact, without pollinators, the whole food chain will break down. So encouraging these insects with these flowers is a great way of helping bees and us!
Give hedgehogs a safe place to shelter and they will eat the slugs in your garden - they can eat 80 slugs in one night and are also partial to snails, beetles and earthworms!
Hedgehogs in the UK hibernate throughout winter. They feed as much as possible during the autumn, so it’s important to make sure they have plenty of hedgehog food before and after hibernation. During hibernation, a hedgehog's body temperature and heart beat fall dramatically, from 190 to about 20 beats per minute.
Hedgehogs have very poor eyesight, so when hunting they rely mostly on hearing and smell. Their long snout helps them forage for food. A hedgehog house can provide a safe retreat. Our hedgehog habitats and hedgehog feeding stations help to attract hedgehogs to your garden.
Butterflies look gorgeous when fluttering around your garden, but these are also valuable pollinators! They help to put 10% of our food on the table, but the Butterfly Conservation have shown that three-quarters of British butterflies are in decline due to habitat destruction and changing weather patterns. Providing food for butterflies helps to improve their survival rates, so why not do your bit with a butterfly feeder?
Like bees, butterflies are attracted by a vast array of different varieties and colours of flowers.
In addition to being wonderful colourful and friendly additions to your garden, birds are also a fantastic natural way of removing pests from your garden. Birds are natural predators of common garden pests, so attracting them to your garden is a fantastic way to save time and money on pest control measures.
Birds are happy to eat food in your garden all year round, so it is a good idea to set up a bird feeder and put food out frequently. It is particularly important to provide food for birds during winter, as pests are a little harder to come by. By providing fatty food, such as fatballs or cooked rice in a hanging eco bird feeder, you can provide birds with the energy to keep going longer between meals.
The ladybird population is in decline in the UK. Both ladybird adults and their Ladybird larvae are voracious eaters and can make a real difference to greenfly infestations both under glass and outside.
Adult ladybirds can eat over 4,000 aphids and lay 1,500 eggs in a lifetime, which helps the cycle of natural pest control. It's easy to see how attracting ladybirds to your garden can help control pests! If you have ladybirds in your garden there’s no need to keep buying expensive sprays, traps and other pest control products: and no more creeping round the garden after dark on a slug hunt, as your pest-guzzling friends will do the dirty work for you!
Attracting Lacewing to your garden or veg plot is a highly effective means of protecting against greenfly, aphids, red spider mite and mealy bugs.
Lacewing are very effective predators of aphid, greenfly, thrips, red spider mite and moth eggs. They fully deserve the nickname "aphid lion" as a single insect can consume 100-600 aphids in a lifetime. It is in the larval stage that lacewing feed on aphids, and as adults they feed on nectar, pollen and honeydew. During the larval stage they can eat up to 50 greenfly or aphids each day! Adult lacewings lay their eggs in the spring, producing about 20 eggs per day.
Our habitats such as the Ladybird and Lacewing Log and Bee and Bug House are designed to make your garden or veg plot attractive to these beneficial insects. It will also help if you use Lacewing Attractor Food.
If you have any more questions or tips on helping out friendly garden wildlife, feel free to call us on 0845 602 3774 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Gardening Angels are always happy to help and love to hear new tips on helping out our garden chums!