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Things to do for bugs in october

Things to do for bugs in october
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Bug life should be encouraged. Without insects and other invertebrates, there would be no birds and mammals, and many flowers would fail to pollinate, set seed or produce fruit. Bugs help to keep each other in check. It is often when one pest in the food chain is killed with chemicals that others are suddenly free to multiply unchecked, so creating further problems for the gardener.

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Pond skaters and water boatmen are still seen skating on the pond surface in search of food.

Many butterflies, including the tortoiseshell, are still evident, as are hoverflies and ladybirds. These last are good ‘pest-catchers’ in the garden. Hoverflies do not sting even though they look similar to wasps - this is just the scary camouflage they use to deter predators. Gardeners have traditionally planted marigolds around the vegetable patch to attract hoverflies as pest control.

Holly blue butterfly larvae can be seen as little caterpillars feeding on ivy at this time of year.

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Wasps, despite their reputation as fruit blemishing, stinging pests, are good controllers of many garden pests, including flies and grubs, as well as being useful pollinators. They are still evident in the last rays of autumn sunshine in all but the coldest areas.

Gardens with nooks and crannies, and a few areas where debris is allowed to accumulate (perhaps a woodland area or a meadow within a more formal design), are often more insect-friendly than gardens composed entirely of paving, pots, lawn and bedding.

Put out log and twig piles made from old prunings and felled tree branches. These provide valuable shelter for wildlife, and can be made into attractive features by planting up with ferns, primroses, or other suitable plants. A site well away from the house should ensure unwanted creepy crawlies do not stray into domestic areas.

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Piles of slabs or rockery stones act as a suitable wildlife habitat, as do old bales of straw or hay.

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