other insects

Grasshoppers, beetles and other insects

Like bees and butterflies the basic habitat requirements of most other insect groups are for food and shelter.  Some insect groups include species which are predatory or parasitic on other insects.  The diversity of these species will reflect the diversity of host plant pollen and nectar feeders, and the diversity of these will in turn be affected by habitat and plant diversity.  So once again by maximising the quantity and diversity of flowers for pollen and nectar, and plants for larvae and vegetation structure, the overall chances of attracting wildlife to your site are maximised. 

Meadows and other areas of long grass are particularly valuable.  You will notice the success of new areas of meadow grassland for grasshoppers and crickets when you hear for the first time their chorus on a summer day.  The specific associations of plants with insects are too many and complex to mention, with many still to be discovered, but that is part of the interest in sowing a wide range of plants.  Some plants seem to attract a diversity of bugs and other insects, such as hedge woundwort, others seem to have specific associations as figwort does with wasps for nectar.  It has been shown that meadows and other diverse plant communities are important for hoverflies and predatory ground beetles which are important for pest control.  These habitats undoubtedly also provide resources for pest species, but with a healthy functioning ecosystem both pest and predator are maintained and a balance is more assured.