Summer is the time when insects flourish. Warm temperatures allow insect habitats to expand and populations to flourish. The heat increases survival rates, allows more time for insects to reproduce, and introduces more pests into the environment.
Among the pests that flourish in the summer are pollinators – birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, honeybees. These organisms pollinate plants, which are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants to reproduce.
National Pollinator Awareness Week took place recently. Clark, your friendly termite, mosquito, pest management, and grounds care expert, would like to remind Californians about the importance of being good stewards of pollinator health.
Why are pollinators important to the environment?
Years of urban sprawl have eliminated many of the natural habitats where pollinators access nectar and pollen sources. Why are honeybees and other pollinators so important to our environment?
- Pollination by honeybees and other insects produces nearly $20 billion of products annually in the United States.
- Foods produced with the help of pollinators are found on our dinner table daily; these include apples, strawberries, blueberries, chocolate, melons, peaches, figs, tomatoes, pumpkins, and almonds (you’ll notice that many of these crops are grown in abundance here in California).
- Approximately 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines need to be pollinated to produce the necessary resources.
Give pollinator health a boost
What can you do to promote pollinator health in your community? One way is to buy local honey and support community beekeepers, and the second is simply to plant flowers attractive to pollinators.
By planting flowers, you can play a role in protecting the pollinators as well as in supporting our nation’s food supply. Not only will bees and other pollinators benefit from this simple act of good will, but the colorful vegetation will also make your home, yard, or patio more attractive and enjoyable.
Community and private gardens that contain flowers and plants attractive to pollinators can be extremely beneficial in providing new food sources. Clark recommends planting flowering plants, herbs and vegetables, including wildflowers, lavender, sunflowers, goldenrod, honeysuckle, chives, oregano, and thyme.
Clark would like to issue a word of caution before you start planting your garden. Your garden should be a welcome oasis for bees that are being raised by professional or hobby beekeepers, as these individuals understand how to work safely with bees. It is a good idea to plant your gardens away from your house and outdoor seating areas to avoid unintended encounters.
Stinging insects that aren’t so friendly
Did you know more than a half-million people go to the emergency room due to allergic reactions after being stung? That is why understanding the differences between beneficial stinging insects (e.g., honeybees) and those that present a health threat (e.g., yellowjackets, hornets, Africanized bees) is vital.
If you do find a nest or hive in or around your home, call a licensed pest management professional to help identify the type of insect present – do not attempt to remove it yourself. Once a proper identification is made, the pest professional can safely remove the nest and threat if needed.
Have questions about pollinators? Call Clark
If you have questions on pollinator health or stinging insects, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are ready to help solve your pest issues.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.