When compiling your list of things you’re thankful for, don’t forget to add a few bugs to the list. Though many people try their best to avoid insects, the world wouldn’t be with the same without them. Whether they help pollinate plants or keep true pests away, some bugs lend a helping hand. We’ve made a list of bugs to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
These buzzing bugs had to be at the top of our list. Bees help pollinate many of our favorite plants including a variety of fruit and vegetables. When bees drink nectar from a plant they often pick up pollen. As they travel to different plants, they transfer this pollen, which results in pollination. If this wasn’t enough, they also make sure we have a supply of tasty honey.
It’s hard to have a bad attitude toward the polka-dotted ladybug, especially when they help keep your garden free of harmful pests. Ladybugs have quite the appetite for aphids, which are pests that feed on plants often causing damage. This year, don’t forget to thank both adult ladybugs and their larvae for all their hard work.
Though many people are fearful of spiders, it can be beneficial having one or two around your home. Spiders feed on a variety of common pests like mosquitoes and flies. Their eating habits help to keep insect populations under control. It’s also important to remember that most spider species aren’t dangerous.
Butterflies are another helpful pollinator. When they travel to plants to drink nectar, they pass along any pollen they have picked up from other flowers. Butterflies can also be helpful in determining the health of an ecosystem. They are more sensitive to changes in the environment and their activity can be a warning sign of problems.
Flies can quickly become one of the more annoying pests you can encounter. However, there are species that we should consider thanking. Hoverflies help pollinate a variety of fruit including apples, plums, and strawberries. Their larvae also eat garden pests. The chocolate midge is a tiny fly that helps pollinate cacao trees, ensuring we have a healthy supply of chocolate.
Wasps probably weren’t on your list of things to be thankful for, but you may want to add them. While many wasps are considered pests, some species can be helpful. The great golden digger wasp is a pollinator as well as a predator of garden pests. Though females can sting, these wasps aren’t considered an aggressive species.
Like wasps, soldier beetles are beneficial for multiple reasons. These beetles are known predators to several garden pests and their eggs. They also like to feed on pollen and nectar. As they visit different plants, they carry and transfer pollen. This aids in pollination and helps keep your garden healthy.
It may not always seem like it, but there are species of bugs that like to help you out. It’s important to separate the beneficial insects from the worrisome pests. When you sit down to have your next meal, don’t forget to thank the bugs that helped provide some of the tasty treats.