Want a visit from native bees, birds, beneficial insects or even bandicoots? Here’s how to attract them.
If you’re a nature-lover stuck at home at the moment, you may be feeling a bit like you’re missing out on all the good that comes with getting out and about – including seeing and hearing animals and insects.
The good news is, you don’t have to miss out. You can encourage local fauna to visit your own backyard.
Check out our tips below on attracting birds, bees, beneficial insects, and bandicoots to your backyard – depending on the region of South Australia you live in, of course.
1. Attracting native bees to your garden
Native bees play an important role in the environment, as they pollinate native plants and help plants reproduce.
There’s about 1650 native bee species in Australia, with at least 200 of these species found in the Adelaide Hills.
With all that in mind, there’s lots you can do to entice native bees to your garden. Make sure you choose native plants for your garden that native bees would choose, avoid the use of insecticides, and give native bees somewhere to live.
2. Attracting birds to your yard
From the suburbs to the bush, every part of SA has its special group of local birds.
From the more common visitors like willy wagtails or magpies, to the more unusual blue wrens or kingfishers, many people love to see birds in their gardens.
Feeding birds can cause problems, such as illnesses caused by poor diets, and birds becoming dependent on tasty human handouts.
So how can we let birds know they are welcome in our yards without putting out food? It can be as simple as providing water for them, choosing native plants that they can feast on, leaving leaf-litter or mulch for the insects, small lizards and invertebrates that birds love, and being careful with controlling your pets.
Read our story: How to bring birds to your garden to learn more.
3. Inviting insects into your garden
You might not love bugs, but your garden does.
Nearly two-thirds of flowering plants need insects for pollination, and beneficial insects also keep unwanted bugs under control. If you grow fruit and vegetables in your garden, beneficial insects will also improve your harvests.
Building an insect hotel will make beneficial pollinating insects feel welcome in your garden. It can be a great family activity and an opportunity for children to learn more about bees and insects.
All you need is a collection of small hollows where native bees or insects can rest and lay their eggs, and a safe place to leave it where it won’t be disturbed, and you’re all set.
4. Attracting bandicoots to your yard
While there used to be eight bandicoot species across SA, now only one remains – the southern brown bandicoot. Spotting these rat doppelgangers is extremely rare because they are endangered.
If you live in the Adelaide Hills and would love for a bandicoot to visit your yard, there’s a few things you can do to help the process.
You can plant bandicoot-approved understory plants like bearded heath, common fat-pea and wire rapier-sedge or shrubs like heath wattle, large-leaved bush-pea, yacca, or hakea.
And best of all, they like the protection that dead plants and fallen branches provide, so being a little bit lazy in the backyard can be used as an excuse for trying to help these elusive creature.
Read our story: How to attract bandicoots to your backyard for everything you need to know.