Wasps are welcome
Many of us, on finding a wasps’ nest in the garden, are tempted to call the local council to ask for it to be destroyed. However, unless the nest happens to be in a particularly tricky situation, such as close to the kitchen or where children play, there is no good reason to remove it and every reason to keep it. For though adult worker wasps like to eat nectar and anything sweet, they feed the grubs in the nest almost exclusively on insects - which means that huge numbers of flies and garden pests are killed by wasps every summer.
Many other insects that occur in our gardens are also beneficial. Ladybirds, for example, are effective controllers of aphids, one of the gardener’s worst enemies. Earwigs are similarly useful since they also consume greenfly along with mites and the larvae of other insect pests. Honey bees, bumblebees and solitary bees all play an important role in pollinating flowers, while spiders help control numbers of flies.
Most of the invertebrates that occur in our gardens have a valuable role to play. Problems arise when the delicate balance of nature is upset and we end up with more pests than beneficial species. You can play a vital role in helping the latter with our range of insect houses and aids.
Friends not foes:
- Wasps feed their grubs on insects so are major predators of flies.
- Earwigs feed on greenfly and other garden pests including mites.
- Ladybirds are specialist feeders on aphids.
- Both bumblebees and honeybees are vitally important in a garden as plant pollinators.
- We may dislike house flies but most breed in dung and other decaying matter and, ironically, help keep our environment clean.