We’re experts in everything from cockroach control to mole traps, but we also know not everything that visits your garden needs to be dealt with using pest control supplies. Although common pests like rats and moles are clearly a nuisance, we sometimes hear from people looking for information on what NOT to drive out of their garden.
In an effort to do our bit for the UK environment, here are five animals that aren’t dangerous to humans and can make your garden a more eco-friendly, healthy place to be!
We all learn from a pretty young age that bees are the UK environmental good guys. They only sting as a last resort and are responsible for massive rates of pollination. Taking into account only the UK’s honeybees, the street value of plants pollinated by them is around £1 billion per year. According to some sources it would cost £200 million in labour alone to pollinate all the plants needed for that £1 billion. And that’s not taking into account the plants needed to feed other residents of the natural world.
Albert Einstein predicted that if the bee were wiped out, humans could only survive around four years before the food ran out, i.e. no pollination, no plants, no food for animals/man, no more animals/man.
Bottom line – we love bees, so do a little research to find out what plants attract them to your garden.
They’re not a good sign indoors and in large numbers can cause damage to crops and your favourite garden blooms. But most species of UK beetle are also fiercely predatory and help keep the numbers of genuine pests like aphids and small caterpillars down.
Some species of hoverfly seek out plants covered in aphids on which to lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch they have an instant food source which they devour hungrily without causing damage to the plant. They also help pollinate flowers like the bee.
The aphid-gobbling machines of the natural world, there is pretty much no downside to having lots of ladybirds in your garden. Gardeners love ladybirds thanks to their unquenchable appetite for aphids and complete ignorance to foliage.
Often recommended as a natural form of small pest control, hedgehogs are another of nature’s eating machines. They don’t pose a threat to humans or any of the plants in your garden, but they will go after slugs, snails, newts, the eggs of ground nesting birds and pretty much anything else made of delicious meaty proteins. They typically rove over an area of several kilometres per night.
Hedgehogs could be considered a pest if there were too many of them, but UK hedgehog numbers have been steadily falling for several decades. They’ve now made it onto the UK’s top 10 endangered species list. Loss of habitat is a huge problem for hedgehogs, so making your garden an inviting place could not only keep the insect population down, but also provide a safe space.