Here in the Entomology lab at Wisley we are excitedly preparing to run events for garden visitors. National Insect Week is an initiative organised by the Royal Entomological Society that encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects and to appreciate “the little things that run the world”. There will be a display in the glasshouse gallery and we will also be running some insect-themed activities.
We are inviting visitors to ‘Bring-a-Bug’ for us to identify. Despite being insect-mad this is still a slightly scary prospect - there are more than 24,000 insect species in the UK and who knows what interesting things we might be challenged with!
We also want to help you find out what is living in your garden. Try burying a small plastic cup with the rim level with the soil and leave it out overnight. This is called a pit-fall trap and will catch mini-beasts that are running across the surface of the soil especially ground beetles and spiders. Apart from being an simple way to see insects that live in your garden, pitfall traps are also widely used in ecological research, including in the RHS ‘Plants for Bugs’ project where, over the four year project, our pitfall traps caught more than 35,000 mini-beasts. We’ll be running some traps here at Wisley too so come along to see what we find.