PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Pollinators"

Fireflies 1

Glow on, Flashy Friends

July 20, 2018

July Comet!  Marsh Imp! Twilight Bush Baby! There are at least 170 different species of fireflies in the US, and they have great names. 

Did you know that different species of fireflies have their own flash patterns? 
Did you know that firefly larvae live in the ground and are voracious predators to slugs, snails and aphids – providing natural pest control.

Remember poking holes in jar lids and hunting for fireflies in a field swarming with them? Since 2010, scientists have been observing a steady decline of firefly populations and believe it is cased by habitat loss, light pollution from cities and vehicles, and of course, pesticide use.  

How to help our flashy friends, and restore the population on your property? Provide habitat, like leave mulch, and a water source, like a bird bath.  Turn your unnecessary lights off at night, and kick the toxic pesticide habit.  Don't Spray. 

Sam Droge Bees2

How you can help save these species, and your own. 

Here's the real buzz, we need native bees in order to survive as a species. 

There are 4,000 native bee species in the United States and they are responsible for 80% of the pollination of flowering plants and for 75% of fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in this country. Here's more buzz, most are stingless and no one has ever had an allergic reaction to a native bee sting. 

What can YOU do to help save native bees?

- Do not use chemicals in your yard and garden.
- Plant native flowers that bloom early in the spring like bloodroot, wild geranium, shadbush and spicebush when bees are foraging for nectar. Dandelions are another favorite of native, pollinating bees.
- Leave your biomass: turn a fallen tree into a log wall. Leave hollow reeds in an unused corner of the yard. These make great nesting spots for native bees.
- Do not buy plants that have been treated with neonicotinoids
- Ask your local garden supply stores to stop stocking products that contain them.

Pollinator on a flower

June 19-25 is National Pollinator Week. Why all the buzz?

• Bees pollinate 75% of the fruit, nuts, and vegetables grown in the United States.

• Native bees are responsible for pollinating many plants endemic to the Americas, including tomatoes and eggplant.

• Over 4,000 species of bees are native to the United States. Honeybees are not—they were brought to the Americas by European settlers.

Is your yard pollinator friendly? Here’s how it can be:

• Do not apply broadcast sprays for mosquitos and ticks, especially synthetic products. Broadcast sprays kill all insects, not just pests. Even organic sprays can be toxic to bees and butterflies.

• If you plan on having an event or are especially concerned about ticks or mosquitos, apply a plant-based essential oil-based spray using a pressurized pump sprayer with a long arm that can get into small spaces. Only spray in early morning or evening when pollinators are less active.

• Plant native plants to support native insect populations. Many insects are dependent on specific plants for shelter and food (think monarchs and milkweed), and many native crops (think tomatoes and eggplants) are dependent on native insects for pollination.

• Plant host plants, not just flowers. Before you can have a garden full of butterflies, you need to provide a food source for their caterpillars. Keep in mind that these plants will get munched, but you might not even notice the damage.

• Pollinators get dehydrated, so provide a water source for your bees and butterflies. To prevent your bug bath from becoming a mosquito breeding ground, change the water frequently.

Photo credit: Indra Widi / EyeEm / Getty Images

Clover heart

Dear clover,

Why is "love" at the heart of your name? Because there's so much to love about your lovely green leaves!

1. You fertilize our lawns—for free. No need for synthetic fertilizer when you pull nitrogen from the air and release it back into the soil every time we mow.

2. You stay green under the toughest conditions. Those nitrogen-fixing roots run deep, keeping our lawns lively and lush even in the hottest, driest months.

3. Pollinators love your flowers—and we love pollinators. (We've got tips on avoiding bee stings in clover lawns.)

4. You're the stuff of childhood memories. Doesn't every kid love hunting for your lucky four leaves?

See you in spring!

XOXO,
The PRFCT Team

Bat house

Bats Are Good Guys

October 27, 2016

Bats get a bad rap, especially this time of year. Instead of screaming the next time you see one, consider the following:

  • Every night, an insect-eating bat will eat its own weight in bugs. A whole colony? Hundreds of pounds of bugs a night. More bats = fewer mosquitos in your yard, fewer pests in your garden, fewer pesticides sprayed.
  • Bats eat more than bugs. Around the world, fruit- and pollen-munching bats are important pollinators and seed dispersers.
  • Installing a bat house (see photo above) is a great way to encourage these furry flying friends to take up residence on your property.
  • Using pesticides is not. Pesticides, especially insect sprays, limit the amount of bugs and other healthy food for bats to eat. Pesticides also build up in bats' little bodies over time, which has been linked to immunosuppression and endocrine disruption.

More Tips