Hey it’s Leslie Harris, and I think I’ve gotten more mosquito bites this year but then they have for the last several years. It really feels like the bug population is increasing, however, worldwide, there has been a decrease in our insect population over the last several years, as well as a decrease in diversity.
Causes include climate change, loss of habitat to agriculture and building development, and increased use of pesticides. This means that there are fewer insects to pollinate, and fewer insects for food sources for other animals, some of which are food sources for us. So what can we do?
Much needs to be do:
Cultivate native plants. I only have two milkweed plants, but I’m really proud of them. They are tall and hardy, and I have seen monarch caterpillars dining on the leaves.
Reduce or eliminate pesticides
Mow your lawn less, and leave one patch of it completely unmowed.
Dim your lights, or consider using amber or red bulbs which are less attractive to insects. They are attracted to light, and can become exhausted flying around outdoor lights.
Use a salt free alternative to sidewalk salt in the winter.
If you’re washing your car, use a biodegradable soap.
What are some of the ways you help our insect friends? Let me know in the Facebook comments.