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Last Updated on January 29, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster
Are you wondering how to attract butterflies to your yard this spring? Butterflies play a very important role in our ecosystem since they are considered a pollinator. Pollinators are vitally important for the health of our food system and essential for most plants to exist. Due to numerous reasons, the pollinator populations are suffering right now. Numbers are dropping and that should be a huge concern to everyone. How can we help? What can the average person do to improve the health of the pollinator population? The first thing you need to figure out is how to attract butterflies to your yard this spring! While your are working on the health of your yard, check out my post about how to attract bats to your yard. They are great for keeping down the summertime mosquito population!
How To Attract Butterflies To Your Yard This Spring
Butterflies can be a bit picky about the places they call home. Here are a few tips on how to attract pollinators to your yard to give them a safe place to eat, nest, and thrive.
Pollinators are very sensitive to chemical pesticides. By their very nature, pesticides are designed to kill bugs. Since pollinators are bugs, it stands to reason that they would not survive well in a yard that is sprayed with pesticides. Choose organic garden products and only spot treat problem areas, rather than spraying the entire yard. Using sprays after dusk rather than in the morning will also protect pollinators. Most pollinators are active during the day and are already safe in their homes by the time dinner rolls around.
Provide a food source
Pollinators need something to eat and that food is nectar from certain flowers. Plants that attract butterflies are usually brightly colored. Ask at your local nursery which types of flowers will attract the most beneficial insects. Many times, seed packets have this information right on the package.
Provide the proper water station
You will rarely find pollinators drinking out of moving rivers or deep water. They are small and drown easily. Instead, you can make a pollinator watering station from a small tray filled with an inch of water in it and a few small stones. Make sure you change the water regularly to prevent mosquito growth or algae formation.
Give them places to nest
Knowing how to attract pollinators is important but how do you keep them coming back year after year? Certain butterflies will only lay eggs on particular plant leaves. Mason bees look for tiny holes in wood to lay their eggs. Talk to your local plant expert about the right plants to encourage butterfly egg laying. You can also search on Pinterest for instructions on how to build a mason bee house.
Pollinators are prey and are naturally cautious in big, open spaces. Provide them with places to hide from birds who like to eat them! Leaf litter on the ground is a great place to hide. You can also buy butterfly houses at your local garden center. Plant a few shrubs and bushes for additional shelter as well.
Knowing how to attract butterflies to your yard will help gardeners increase their harvest and is a great educational experience for small children. It is also a great way to help ensure the survival of our food system and to keep our planet healthy!
Have any other tips on how to attract butterflies?
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.