Bugs Galore …
… or, how to attract bugs to your garden so you don’t have to go hunting and can’t say you can’t find any to shoot – with the camera of course … :) You don’t have to be a gardener, sense will do, just don’t think too much.
Bugs need all the same things we do, so it shouldn’t be difficult finding any once the basics are provided – by you and the available but often unknown, unpredictable or hidden nature. These days, after so many years of insecticide and habitat destruction, ignorance of the simple fact of things, nature can do with a little help from friends – people who have some respect for the little things without the need of reward other than the nature itself. That’s the idea anyway.
Where to start? Put yourself in the creature’s shoes and look at what you need for the basics. They are no different to us, just smaller and it’s a jungle to them, or a desert, but wild and savage either way. We’ve got a piece of earth, no matter how small or barren it is, and depending on what is most obviously absent I would start with that. If it’s shelter that’s missing provide some, in the form of plants and old tree trunks if there are any handy, or anything that will provide shelter from the elements will do, even bricks or just bits and pieces.
Plants need water and so do bugs, so water is necessary, watering the plants and an open and available source which can be as simple as a bucket you keep filled – bird’s love it too – will serve many creatures as long as there is ramp access of some kind, like a stick or other stable buoyant object/s for them to drink and gather from.
For food a compost heap of only vegetable matter is a great production ground. Keep it moist and shaded and it will be a centre of life in the garden even if it’s not obviously so. Don’t be too discrimination, the spiders and plant bugs have to have their day, and the garden will eventually find its own equilibrium. Save any plants you can and be generous to the garden and its needs – and it will be generous in return. That’s the way it works, diligence is always rewarded, and you don’t have to be an expert though there’s nothing stopping you if that’s what you want in order to know and understand more.
Shelter is essential if the other basics are in place. If there’s nowhere to sleep or rest the bugs won’t stay for long – would you? So the plants are shelter to some bugs, the compost is that to others, you can have a heap of wood in another spot, and then there is the mimicry of specifics such as for bees that I have.
I have an old cut log that I drilled varying sized holes in for all the flying creatures that might take up residence. I had it up for months before any bee took an interest, and then wasps and other flying creatures came along and many holes are now occupied by the next generation.
If I am attending enough I may even see some of these babes emerging.
One thing the little nature doesn’t need is philosophy, or teaching of any kind. They are instinctively intelligent and don’t need to dwell on anything outside the moment so they are as content as can be, no problem.
One thing I have to watch out for is the Ichneumon Wasp, she parasitises the others nests and that won’t do. So I discourage them, in my way. Just as I discourage parasites of another kind, the human kind …
Other predators are also attracted to the garden if you give it enough time.