Leave the Leaves, These Invertebrates Depend on It.

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September 13, 2022

When the temperature starts to drop and flowers close up shop for the winter, it’s normal to wonder where all the little creatures have gone. For most invertebrates, the answer is that they’re still right next door.

Your garden’s wild residents benefit immensely when you practice good neighbor relations, leaving things a little messy and wild with a variety of leaves, hollow stems, brush piles or dead wood, soil, and flower heads available for winter shelter.

Leave the Leaves! These Invertebrates Depend on It.

Leaving the leaves, stems, brush and soil alone during the colder months provides homes, nests and resources for invertebrates and pollinators. That’s not to say you can’t do any tidying up — we have tips for thoughtful autumn cleanup that still leaves space for nature.

By simply doing fewer autumn chores, you can provide more safe space for these six creatures, and many more.  Learn More

Harmful Pesticides Found in Milkweeds from Retail Nurseries

A new study released in Biological Conservation found harmful levels of pesticides in milkweed plants purchased from retail nurseries across the United States. Pesticides were found in all plants tested, raising alarms for monarch conservation efforts that rely on planting milkweed sourced from commercial nurseries.

“Everyone can take steps to address the risks we uncovered,” said Aimee Code, Xerces’ pesticide program director and coauthor on the study. Consumers can let their nurseries know they want plants that are free from harmful pesticides. Nursery outlets can talk with their suppliers and encourage safer practices, and government agencies can improve oversight. Read More

5 takeaways from the study

Wasp World

As the end of summer approaches, people often observe an uptick in visitors to backyards and parks — wasps! Despite their reputation for stinging people while sneaking sips of soda, only a few wasp species create conflict with people. As a group, wasps have incredibly diverse life histories. They are predators or parasitoids of a variety of pest insects, pollinate flowers, and play an essential role in home yards and broader ecosystems. Read More

Read the Latest Xerces Update

Our donor newsletter includes news and information about Xerces’ programs and conservation work. In this issue:

  • Trade Lawn for Fauna
  • Leave the Leaves
  • Bumble Bee Atlases Expand
  • DC Monarch Summit Secures Funding
  • Habitat Kits

Learn More

Upcoming Events

This Thursday, September 14, join Dr. Kass Urban-Mead as she discusses how wild bees nest and forage in woody habitats and what you can do to support them. On September 20, Stephanie Frischie will share Habitat for Pollinators – Success, Next Steps, Ready for Winter.

Learn More

Xerces is a donor supported non-profit organization. Your tax-deductible donation today will help grow and sustain our essential work.

Join or Renew your membership today!

Donation Mailing Address:
The Xerces Society
PO Box 97387
Washington DC, 20090-7387

If you need us, email us at membership or call us at 855-232-6639, option 2.

Banner photo: Sarah Foltz Jordan, XS

Body photo: Luke McGuff, Flickr

Body photo: Whitney Cranshaw, ColSU

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