Tuesday, May 22, 2018

22 Jun

Jersey’s National Trust Bug Safari!

National Trust for Jersey has come up with a brilliant way for you and your family to learn more about local bugs. The thought of getting up close to these weird and wonderful creatures may terrify you, but it’s important that we start to appreciate their micro world.

Planting to encourage insects, minibeasts and bugs is the perfect way to get children involved in gardening. Take a look at our easy to identify list of bugs below and set out to find them in your garden! 

Cranefly – 6 Legs, 2 Wings…

Also known as daddy long legs, these bugs can be found both in your home and garden. Their undersoil larvae, called ‘Leatherjackets’ are often seen as a pest to farmers and gardeners. These bugs are a vital source of food for many of your garden birds so try to encourage them into your garden! They love cool, moist conditions and can often be found in grassland.

Common Blue Butterfly – 4 Legs, 2 Wings…

This common butterfly can be found anywhere from grassy areas to gardens, meadows and sand dunes! Unfortunately, the caterpillars are extremely attractive to ants and are often carried off to their nests! Fill your beds with colourful, nectar-rich flowers to welcome these beautiful butterflies into your garden.

Black Garden Ants – 6 Legs, No Wings…

You are likely to see these ants in a range of different places in your garden. The worker ants are about 4mm long, and the Queen ant about 9mm long. Ants often look like they are killing aphids, but they are actually milking them for their honeydew. Ants also feed on nectar and other small insects.

Garden Spider (Araneus Diadematus) - 8 Legs…

A common garden spider that you will often find hanging from the middle of it’s web. This spider catches unsuspecting insects in it’s web before wrapping them in silk to eat. The female spider is identified by a large cross on it’s abdomen. Spiders are essential for catching those unwanted pests- so try to encourage them into your garden!

Einstein once said that if all the bees disappeared man would only have ’4 years of life left!’  Bees, along with other bugs are an essential part of our environment, here is our guide on how to welcome them into your garden…

Grow long grass and colourful flowers!

Long grass is a brilliant environment for garden bugs to shelter and hide. You are likely to find beetles, grasshoppers and spiders amongst your grass. Bright coloured bedding plants are brilliant for attracting pollinating insects such as butterflies, bees and moths.

Create a garden pond!

Open water is extremely important in the life cycle of many garden bugs. A whole host of flies, including beautiful dragonflies, mayflies and caddis flies will spend most of their lives under the surface of your pond. They will only leave the pond to breed – giving you more garden bugs! There are many other pond dwellers- snails, diving beetles and backswimmers can be found feeding on your pond vegitation, or each other!

Always fill your garden with shrubs and trees!

Shrubs and trees will provide many insects, minibeasts and bugs with a brilliant source of food. Bark provides a perfect hiding spot before ambushing pray and falling fruit is a grub’s dream come true. Trees also provide shade for those bugs suffering in the summer sun.

Create your own garden heathland!

Here in Jersey we are lucky enough to have large areas of heathland, mostly on our high coastal areas. Low lying plants like gorse and heather are typical heathland plants- so try growing them in your garden! It’s a brilliant way to attract polinating bees and butterflies.

Let us know if you have created a successful wildlife garden full of bugs! Send us photographs of your garden or comments about this article to gardenersblog@jerseyplantdirect.com… or simply post them on our Facebook wall- here!


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