I know, I know, Japanese Beetles are the worst, but before you spray them with the deadliest of insecticides, remember the other insects you’ll be killing. You particularly don’t want to kill the pollinators. They are essential to our food production, they rarely sting, and (except for some beetles!) they don’t harm your plants. Flying insects are the most common pollinators, and include butterflies, bees, wasps, moths, beetles and flies.
Living magazine recently published a partial list of the insects that are flower friendly:
Common Eastern bumblebee – loves clover, rosemary, sunflower and willow
European bumblebee – loves sage, verbascum and lemon balm
Hummingbird moth – loves phlox, bee balm, honeysuckle and verbena
Monarch butterfly – loves milkweed
Native Bee – blazing star and fruit plants
Bee Fly – loves scrub mint and penstemon
Pollen wasp – loves Western wildflowers
Karner blue butterfly – loves butterfly weed, leafy spurge and blazing star
Drone fly – loves allysum, cosmos, Queen Anne’s lace and lupine.
To be proactive in attracting pollinators plant various shapes and sizes of flowers in your garden to appeal to different kinds of insects. Try to plant a selection of flowers that will produce blooms from early spring to late fall. Keep in mind that hybrids do not work well in attracting pollinators.
Here are some very helpful sites:
The Pollinator Garden is a very informative blog
The U.S. Forest Service has a great section on pollinators
and has published a booklet filled with information
Pollinator Partnership has detailed pollinator-planting guides by geographical region.
BBC Two recently aired a documentary called Bees, Butterflies and Blooms about this very topic.