From Seed to Seed:
Plant Science for K-8 Educators


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    Plant-Insect Relationships

As with microbes, many people react to the presence of an insect-any insect-by killing it. Again, there are troublesome insects and there are beneficial ones, and some are both harmful and beneficial! Before you kill any insect in your schoolyard garden, you and your students should try to identify it, learn about its habits, and especially, find out what it eats. Kill off the ladybugs, and you kill off a superb predator of aphids!

Not only are some insects useful in keeping other pests at bay, but they also provide one of the most important services to the plant world. As you will recall, many insects act as pollinators, transferring pollen from plant to plant as they forage for nectar. In addition to the familiar bees, beetles, flies, moths, and butterflies are also important pollinators.


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