A new campaign to bring back our beetles was launched today by The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), as part of their annual ‘Wild About Gardens' initiative. The two charities are calling on gardeners to create habitats for these important but often overlooked insects, which are a vital part of every healthy garden.
Providing a patch for beetles, including ladybirds, ground beetles and rose chafers, is a great way to encourage balance in the garden and boost biodiversity, with many species under threat from habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change and the use of pesticides.
The UK has more than 4,000 beetle species and, although a handful may eat plants, many are predators, pollinators and decomposers, feeding both the soil and larger garden visitors such as birds and hedgehogs.
Ladybirds help gardeners by eating aphids, while some ground beetles feed on vine weevil grubs and water beetles keep mosquito larvae under control in ponds. Even the much-maligned lily beetle provides food for three parasitoid wasps.