By observing insects in nature, one learns a lot about their way of life. Insects known as pests are eaten by other so-called auxiliary insects.
Pollinators that forage flowers are essential for the reproduction of many plants and more generally for the conservation of plant species.
The xylophagous insects (which gnaw wood) eat and transform the plant or animal material dead, and contribute to the fertility of the soil. Their galleries allow the penetration of water and air, essential to the roots.
Chemicals used in gardens also destroy auxiliary insects and their habitats and jeopardize the natural regulation of the food chain.
What are the main insects?
1 / The ladybird is nicknamed “the beast with good god”. It is said to be lucky.
It is particularly effective against aphids because it can eat up to 150 a day!
It is possible to create a shelter for him, consisting of old barks of trees, moss and dead leaves to spend the winter.
2 / The chrysophe, or “damsel with the eyes of gold”, is a small insect with translucent wings. In the state of larva, she loves aphids, mealybugs and alderods (white flies). Once an adult, she will go from flower to flower, feast on nectar and ensure pollination.
A small box full of straw with some openings will make it an ideal shelter.
3 / Bumblebee is an excellent pollinator, even when it is cold and the other browsers stop.
We can make a small box with a hole of 10 mm in diameter and a planchette of take-off.
4 / The megachille or “bee cutter”, cut out the semicircles in the leaves not to eat them but to line up the place of reception of its larvae. If you listen well, you can hear him chew the leaves!
She likes to nest in the holes of the dead wood.
5 / The wasp Potier or mason adores the caterpillars, which she hunts on the plants in the neighborhood and brings back in its nest.
She makes her nest with balls of earth that she mixes with her saliva.
By setting up dry wood planks, she can hang her nest there.
6 / Osmia, is a kind of bee that plays an important role in the pollination of certain fruit trees. Being one of the first active bees since early spring, it also ensures the pollination of the first flowers.
The Osmia will like to settle in logs pierced with holes.
7 / The “pier-ear”, despite its name is totally harmless! It eats aphids, psylae and small caterpillars.
A flowerpot filled with straw or dry grass that will be attached by the drainage hole (opening down), will make it a magnificent refuge for the winter.
8 / Insects xylophages, eat branches, trunks, and dead roots. They contribute to soil quality and humus production.
To attract them, it is enough to have old logs and decaying dead wood.
9 / The bee, ensures most of the pollination of flowering plants. It is very important to protect it because its survival is threatened by the use of pesticides.
Holes of 4 to 8mm can be drilled in dry wood to accommodate some solitary bees and wasps, others will prefer hollow bricks filled with a mixture of clay.
10 / The carabe is carnivorous. He loves to eat caterpillars, snails, and slugs. He spends the winter in the hollows of dead stumps and leaves.
11 / The Syrph resembles a wasp, but it is a sort of foraging and pollinating fly in the adult stage. In the state of larva it eats all sorts of aphids especially those that the ladybirds leave.
By collecting fagots of hollow stems, (brambles, rosebush, elder), one can prepare a shelter for the winter.
Making an insect shelter
Some insects consume predators of vegetable crops. By protecting these useful insects, an ecosystem that is beneficial to the garden is naturally created. In the insect shelter, each species has a comfortable space for winter and breeding. (see above)