Insects are all around us! Scientists estimate there are more than 1 million insect species (and more than 10 quintillion individual insects) worldwide, all arthropods characterized by their segmented bodies and exoskeletons. Not only are they some of the world’s most prolific pollinators, but insects also help organic matter decompose, keeping soil healthy. Many species serve as crucial food sources for bats, birds and other wildlife.
You’ve probably heard that some bee populations are declining, but plenty of other insects suffer from lawn chemicals and pesticides—and our ecosystems are just as reliant on them. Skip the pesticides and make your garden a haven for even the smallest wild creatures by incorporating a variety of native flowers, shrubs and trees.
One square yard of rich soil can contain between 500 and 2,000 individual insects.
No matter how big or small your outdoor space, you can create a haven for local wildlife. By providing basic needs like water, food and shelter, you can make a difference in your own backyard.