Sustainability Book Chat
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You might think that someone who write a book about bugs would have been a bona fide bug lover forever. But author Jessica Walliser admits up front that she used to think nothing of spraying pesticides all over plants to kill bugs, even if the pesticide was blowing back in her face and she could smell it and taste it!
Jessica is the author of the second edition of Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden, which should be arriving in bookstores right about the time that this episode drops.
In her interview, we talk about her history with bugs, as well as how she started to appreciate them and their role in the ecosystem. She goes into an amazing explanation of how bugs find their prey, which gave me a whole new appreciation for the wisdom of bugs and how everything fits together.
We discussed a couple of specific bugs mentioned in her book that surprised me. I had no idea that there were so many different types of stink bugs and that some of them are actually beneficial. And who knew that fireflies did anything other than light up the fields in summer?
We talk a bit about purchasing beneficial insects, but Jessica really sold me on the idea of creating a garden that will naturally attract beneficial insects.
Other books authored by Jessica Walliser
- Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden
- Container Gardening Complete: Creative Projects for Growing Vegetables and Flowers in Small Spaces
- Gardener’s Guide to Compact Plants: Edibles and Ornamentals for Small-Space Gardening
- Good Bug Bad Bug: Who’s Who, What They Do, and How to Manage Them Organically
These are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after clicking on a link, Thrifty Homesteader will make a small percentage while you still pay exactly the same amount as you otherwise would.
Learn more about Jessica Walliser
- Social Media
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Want to know about organic methods of handling pests in our garden? Check out episode 5 of this podcast – The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook
Transcript – Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden
Deborah Niemann 0:04
Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever size your living space, you can do more than you think to lead a greener lifestyle. In the “Sustainability Book Chat,” we are talking to authors and experts about all the different ways that achieving sustainability is within your reach.
Deborah Niemann 0:28
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode. Today is gonna be a really fun day, because we’re gonna be talking about gardening—and most of us are stuck inside because it’s cold and wintry. And we are talking to Jessica Walliser, who is a horticulturist and the author of Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control. Welcome to the show today.
Jessica Walliser 0:52
Thank you so much for having me! It’s a pleasure to be here.
Deborah Niemann 0:56
This is a really fun book to read and look at; it’s got a ton of beautiful photos. It’s like an encyclopedia or field guide of bugs and plants. And it’s so funny, you know, a lot of times I decide whether or not I want to read a book based on like, “Well, how long could I talk about this topic?” And if you said something to me about, “Well, how do you attract beneficial bugs to your garden?” I would just say, “Oh, just plant a bunch of flowers.” So it’s like, “Okay, I think there’s a lot I could learn about this, if she wrote a whole book about it.”
Jessica Walliser 1:29
Yeah, it’s just a little more nuanced, you know, as most things in the natural world are. They’re not as easy as they seem to the human eye. It’s a very intricate system that obviously has evolved over millennia. So I think really, we humans are just beginning to understand the tip of the iceberg of the insect world and its relations and connections within that own world, but then also to the plant kingdom, to humans, to other animals, you know, to fungi and bacteria. And it’s just a big, interconnected web. And that’s one of the most fun things for me to do when I research my books, is to kind of dive into all of that good stuff and hopefully find a way to translate it into layman’s language for the reader so that they can understand it and get the same appreciation that I have—or maybe even just a portion of that appreciation would be great, you know?
Deborah Niemann 2:23
Yeah, exactly. And I think it’s important for people to understand where you came from, because you haven’t always been a bug lover. In fact, you have several confessions at the very beginning of the book, one of which is that you used to use pesticides quite a lot without even giving it a second thought. So, can you tell us, how did you go from this person spraying lots of pesticides on plants to somebody who now wants bugs in your garden?
Jessica Walliser 2:55
Yeah, it was quite an interesting transition. And that’s essentially what the foreword of the book is, or the introduction of the book, is talking about how I, you know, went from a career in a world that was solely focused on plants, transitioning over to the realization that insects are, you know… I still love plants, obviously. But insects are just so much more mobile and interesting to me nowadays, and I just love it.
Jessica Walliser 3:23
So, I went to college, obviously, for horticulture, and it was a really traditional ornamental horticulture program that I went to. And you know, my one course that I had in entomology was essentially, like, how to identify whiteflies and spider mites and then what to spray on them to get rid of them to protect my plants, right? And, it wasn’t really until I was out and running my own landscape maintenance company—where I was a certified pesticide applicator. And so, you know, I would see aphids on somebody’s honeysuckle vine, and you know, run for the malathion. Or, you know, we had spittlebugs on one gardener’s plants, and I remember going into their garage and, like, staring at the arsenal that they had in the garage and picking which poison I wanted to use, right, to spray those.
Jessica Walliser 4:13
And the transition for me really came… I was doing a little bit of work with a landscape contractor, and I was in the crew truck with one of my fellow coworkers, and he… And I had just sprayed. I was just on a six-foot-tall ladder spraying Japanese beetles on an ornamental plum and—without any protection. No respirator, no gloves, no chemical resistant clothes, nothing. And the wind was kind of blowing it back in—Orthene, it was Orthene—but back in my face, and I could taste it, and I could smell it. And I didn’t really think anything of it. I was in my early 20s, and I was, like, you know, indestructible and not really thinking much about it. And I’m in the crew truck riding back to the crew shed with this one guy, and he basically just starts telling me about the health problems his wife was having. She was also a horticulturist who worked for one of the estates in the city where I lived, and they couldn’t get pregnant; she was having fertility issues; they had gone to see a specialist; she had, you know, a buildup of chemicals in her system; and on and on. And it was this really heartfelt conversation from this big burly guy. And he was like, “I don’t want this to happen to you someday. And I think you need to ask for a respirator, and you need to ask our boss for gloves,” and, you know. And it really got my wheels turning.
Jessica Walliser 5:30
And then, maybe a year or two later, I hired this woman who was really big into sustainable and organic agriculture, and she had a certified organic sort of mini-farm. And we would talk while we worked. And it just really opened my eyes to the fact that there was a better way to garden and a better way to grow. And then, when I started meeting these charismatic insects, I was like, “Okay, there’s more good ones than there are bad. So, I don’t want to blanket-kill everybody, because I don’t want to end up harming these fabulous beneficial insects just so I can get rid of the bad guys. And so, that was sort of that evolution. It was quite a journey over a number of years. And now I’ll never look back.
Deborah Niemann 6:12
Yeah. That’s really awesome. I think a lot of people just feel like, “Oh, I need to find an organic pesticide.” Because when they do that, like, they’re just really thinking of themselves. Like, “Okay, that’s not gonna make me sick.” But you’re still gonna kill the good guys if you do that.
Jessica Walliser 6:27
You are, and I call it “collateral damage.” You know, even if you’re using, you know, a certified organic product, like horticultural oil or insecticidal soap, you know, they say, “Oh, ‘safe to use around beneficials.'” And you’re like, “Oh, okay, great! So it’s not going to harm my ladybugs.” Well, what they test those products on are the adult stage of the ladybugs and lacewings and things. But, if you’ve ever seen a larval ladybug, they are soft-bodied insects just like the aphids are that they feed on. So, when you’re spraying those aphids for horticultural oil, if there are ladybug nymphs or larvae or eggs on the plant, you are going to be harming them as well. So, I call that collateral damage. And I just don’t really think that there’s a need for it when there’s other alternatives that we can use.
Deborah Niemann 7:15
Awesome. So, at what point did you make the jump and say, “Okay, let’s try to get more of the good guys into the garden”?
Jessica Walliser 7:23
So, I was… I wrote a book in 2006—I believe the first edition came out—called Good Bug, Bad Bug. And it’s sort of a little… It’s a little field guide, so to speak, of the insects that you—some of the more common insects—that you find in the garden. And the first part of the book is focused on the pests. You know, how do we identify, how do you know what a Colorado potato beetle looks like, right? So, it’s a spiral-bound, waterproof pages, super quick flip-through guide that you can take into the garden with you. And then the second half of that book are beneficial insects. And that’s where I really started to dive into the research on these beneficials and how we can use them. And that’s really where the initial spark came from for this book that we’re talking about today, Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden, which focuses solely on the good bugs and how we can build a a garden and a garden ecosystem that really fosters them and then in turn leads to a reduction in pest numbers.
Deborah Niemann 8:25
Okay. One of the things that really surprised me about the book—because it’s something I honestly never thought about before—is that you talk about how bugs find their prey. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Jessica Walliser 8:36
Isn’t it so cool?
Deborah Niemann 8:37
Yeah! I just thought like, “Oh, they just wander around, and ‘Oh, look, there’s a bug I want to eat.'”
Jessica Walliser 8:45
Yeah, yeah. So I mean, some certainly do. So, you know, a spider prowling around on a plant, if it accidentally comes across a young caterpillar that it wants to feed on, of course it’s going to. You know, just by happenstance came across it, and it’s going to eat it and use it as prey, right? But it’s certainly more intricate than that. So, they definitely use visual cues, right? Which was where, “Hey, I see my prey, and therefore it’s time for lunch,” right? So, that’s the visual cue. Or they’re flying by, and they’re like, “Oh, look, something I can eat,” and they get it, right? But it’s also a series of olfactory cues as well—or, you know, what we would think of as smell, right? So, they don’t have a nose like we have; instead, they have antenna, which are obviously very highly receptive. And what we’ve come to realize in the last few decades of entomological research is that plants are consistently releasing what are called “semiochemicals”—or to our mind, they’re odors, right—into the air. They’re chemicals that—they’re released into the air—that can serve many different purposes. And one of the purposes that some of them can serve is to attract and lure a particular kind of beneficial insect to the plant.
Jessica Walliser 10:01
So, one of the most fascinating pieces of research that I read way back when was from my alma mater, Penn State University. And in this piece of research, they were studying cabbage worms. And the cabbage worms, they were feeding on some cabbage plants, right? And what they discovered was that the cabbage plant was releasing a particular semiochemical called HIPV—herbivore-induced plant volatile—which is a chemical that they release into the air when that herbivore, or the cabbage worm, is feeding on the leaf, right? So, they’re feeding on the leaf, the plant releases this HIPV or semiochemical into the air, and the exact composition of that semiochemical depends on which species of predator that plant is… I wouldn’t say “hoping,” because plants can’t hope, but what they need to attract to prey upon that cabbage worm. So, the plant is essentially sending out an SOS. It’s saying, “Hey, some, you know, parasitic wasp or ladybug come over here, because there’s a cabbage worm eating me!” And what was even cooler is it the exact composition of that HIPV, that semiochemical that’s released, it’s chemically slightly different depending on which predator they want to attract. So, if it was a cabbage looper—which is a different set of parasitic wasps that use it as a host—it’s going to release one kind of HIPV. If it’s a cabbage worm, which is a different kind of parasitic wasp—different group of species of parasitic wasp—it will be a slightly different HIPV that it releases. So, it’s almost targeted based on what particular pest is feeding on it and what beneficial that is needed—the troops that they need to call in to help. And that is just mind-blowing. Mind-blowing.
Jessica Walliser 11:58
And the entomological community has known this since the 80s. Like, that piece of research at Penn State came out, I believe, in the 80s. And then, it’s more, it’s continuing, right? So, the trees. The trees are not… We don’t know that every species of plant releases HIPVs, because we haven’t studied every species of plant. But we certainly know that a lot do. And it’s pretty groundbreaking. And it’s continuing; the research is continuing. And it’s really, really amazing. So, it’s not just that plants can communicate with each other through these. It’s also that they can cross kingdoms and communicate with the insect world, which is really, really neat.
Deborah Niemann 12:34
That is so fascinating. Truth is stranger than fiction. Like, I never would have guessed that it was that complex.
Jessica Walliser 12:41
Yeah. And this was like a lightbulb moment for me. One day I was out in my garden, and there were aphids all over my heliopsis. If you ever grow heliopsis, a lot of times they end up with just the massive clusters of aphids sort of on the tips of all the flowering stalks. And because I’m a giant nerd, I love to just sit, like, cross-legged on the ground in my garden and just like watch what’s buzzing around me, right, and watching the activity. And so, I’m sitting in the garden; it’s my front yard—my neighbors love me, by the way. Sitting out there, and I’m watching this plant, and I’m watching the aphids, and I’m like, “Oh, man, look at all these aphids on this plant.” By this point, I knew something good was gonna happen. If I sat there long enough, I was gonna get to see this in action.
Jessica Walliser 13:23
And so, I sat there with my camera and my macro lens on it, and I watched, and sure enough, within five minutes of me sitting there, I start to see these little teeny-tiny parasitic wasps coming. And I watched the female walk around on the plant, tapping it with her antenna, because she knew that the aphids were there, right? Because the plant had called her in, right? And tapping around to find them. And then, she has to find just the right aphid—has to be at just the right life stage—in order for her to insert a single egg into the back of that aphid. And she tips her abdomen up underneath, inserts the egg into that aphid, and finds another one that’s at the right life stage, and does that. And she laid maybe 10 eggs in the time that I was watching her, and then flew off. And then that larval wasp will spend its entire larval life stage inside the body of that teeny-tiny aphid, and it will pupate into an adult inside the body of that aphid, and then once it’s an adult, it chews, like, a perfectly round hole in the top of the aphid and pops the top off like a manhole cover and flies off. And if you’re lucky, and you’re willing to spend the time to sit in your garden and watch this, you can see it happening right before your very eyes.
Deborah Niemann 14:39
Jessica Walliser 14:40
It’s so amazing. And there’s pictures of it in the book! So, because I always have my camera with me. So, you can see, “This is what you need to look for in your garden. This is what it looks like.”
Deborah Niemann 14:49
Wow, that is so fascinating. So, another one of the things that I thought was really interesting… You know, we talk about stink bugs. I just think of stink bugs as these horrible, stinky things that kill my squash plants. And I was really surprised to learn how many different varieties of stink bugs there are, and to learn that some of them are good bugs. I just assumed that they were all plant-eating pests. Well, I assumed there was one stink bug, and that it was a plant-eating pest. So, it was two big “Aha” moments: one that there’s so many different varieties—like, there was dozens of different varieties. And the other is that some of them are good.
Jessica Walliser 15:33
Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, there’s two basic groups of stink bugs that live in our garden. And the first group are the herbivores; they’re the ones that suck the juices from our plants, right? They have, like, a mouth part that’s like a needle, and so, they pierce the plant, and they suck out the plant juices. And that’s what you might think of if you think of a brown marmorated stink bug or a southern green stink bug, right? And you… They’re called stink bugs, because you squish them, and they emit this really stinky odor, right? So, that’s that group of stink bugs.
Jessica Walliser 16:04
Then, there’s another subfamily in there that are the predacious stink bugs. They are not herbivores; they are carnivores. And what they do is they—instead of sucking juices from plants—they suck the juices out of other bugs. So they’re like, the anchor stink bug is one of my favorites; the spined soldier bug is another really good one. So, there’s a whole host of species that are actually really, really beneficial. I think there’s about 35 species of predatory stink bugs that help us control really common pests. And there’s a cool picture in the book, actually, of one of them. Of a predacious stink bug sucking the juice out of a gypsy moth caterpillar. And so, it’s really easy to see in your garden, if you know what you’re looking for.
Jessica Walliser 16:49
Sometimes, the thing to understand, too, about these good bugs is they’re not always discerning. So, if they come across, let’s say, a butterfly caterpillar, they’re going to suck the juice out of that just as much as they would what we perceive as a pest caterpillar. So sometimes, you know, people who rear monarchs or, you know, you pay really careful attention to the monarch caterpillars on your milkweed, and you go out there one day, and it’s black and shriveled and dead, and you’re like… Or, you actually see the stink bug, you know, sucking the juice on it, it’s like… And then people get all mad at the stink bug. I’m like, “The stink bug is just doing what it evolved to do. This is what it does,” right? So, it’s just doing its thing. If it’s a native species of stink bug that belongs here, then you just have to let it do its work. You don’t have to like it, but you have to let it do what it needs to do.
Deborah Niemann 17:43
Yeah. Wow, that’s so interesting. Another one that just completely surprised me was… When I saw fireflies in the book, I was like, “What? Fireflies?” I mean, I just thought fireflies were ornamental. You know, they just fly around in the summer looking pretty. I had no idea that they were actually beneficial insects.
Jessica Walliser 18:04
Yep, they are predacious in their larval form, which is amazing. So, I could talk about fireflies for a whole hour, but I’m not gonna. I’m just going to tell you that there are… There’s about 150 different species of fireflies in North America.
Deborah Niemann 18:19
Jessica Walliser 18:19
So, people think there’s just like one or two, right? There’s 150 different species. Now, not all of them glow as adults. So they’re still fireflies, but they don’t glow as adults; they only glow in their larval stage, because all, all 150 of those species, glow as larvae. And it’s the larvae that are predacious. And there’s a picture of one in the book, and they are the most amazing things if you can see them. If you have adult fireflies lighting up your yard at night… Like, if you’re in the East, and you have them, if you go out in the evenings, and you have, like, a low-lying area of your yard or of a neighbor’s yard or in a community park where there’s a lot of, like, rotten leaves and sort of damp spots on the ground, go out; have a couple glasses of wine; lay on the ground on your belly in that area and let your eyes adjust to the complete darkness; and you will see—dig around there in the ground a little. You will see glowing, larval fireflies crawling around on the ground. And it is one of the most spectacular things you can ever see. To me, it’s just as exciting, if not more so, than seeing the adult fireflies glow.
Jessica Walliser 19:37
So, the larvae are predacious; they are ground-dwelling, so they live at ground level or in the debris. They love slugs. They love slug eggs. They love snails. They love, you know, any ground-dwelling larvae, like the larval flea beetles or cucumber beetles. So, they just… They do a lot of good in the garden, and it’s unfortunate that people douse their lawns with, you know, herbicides and fertilizers. Fertilizers are salts, and salts are going to dry out, you know, any larval insect like, firefly larvae. They’re going to be killed by that. So, I wish more people would sort of transition to organic lawn care—or get rid of their lawns—so that we can really, you know, nurture and foster these little amazing, amazing creatures. And they’re cool-looking. They look like little armored tanks, like little alligators with, like, these scaled plates of armor on their back. They’re really neat, the larval ones. They’re really, really cool-looking.
Deborah Niemann 20:34
That is really good to know. Wow, there’s just so much information in this book that is really mind-blowing and making me go, “What? Oh, my gosh! I had no idea. That’s amazing!”
Deborah Niemann 20:45
So, one of the other things that I’ve had a little bit of success with—but more not—is purchasing beneficial insects. The one area where I have found them to be super helpful is to purchase these tiny little parasitic wasps that feed on flies, or fly larvae, that I put them out in my barn, because I have goats. And I’ve been using those now for seven or eight years, and it definitely helps with the fly population. People come over a lot times and say, “Wow, you don’t really have flies. How do you not have a fly problem?” And so, that’s been really helpful. I love those little guys. But it doesn’t feel like they really help that much when I buy them for the garden. So, do you have some tips for purchasing beneficial insects for your garden? Like, how to pick the right ones? And how to employ them so that they do a good job?
Jessica Walliser 21:43
Yeah. Yeah, so that’s called “biocontrol.” So biocontrol is when we purposefully release one species of beneficial insect to help control another species of pest insect. And that’s sort of a classic form of biocontrol. It’s really popular in greenhouses, obviously, because that is a contained environment; when you release those beneficials, they can’t go fly over to the neighbor’s house. They’re going to stay in that greenhouse, and they’re going to, you know, eat up the spider mites or whatever it is that you’re trying to get rid of.
Jessica Walliser 22:13
So, there’s a couple keys to all of this. And one is, if you’re going to release beneficial insects, you need to carefully select which ones to acquire, because which species you acquire is going to depend on your target. So, if you buy the wrong species of ladybugs, and you’ve got mealybugs, and the species of ladybugs you buy doesn’t eat mealybugs, they’re not going to just randomly change their diet, right? Like, they have evolved to eat and prey on particular species. So, you have to work with an insectary that knows what they’re doing to acquire the correct species for the target.
Jessica Walliser 22:47
You have to make sure that there’s enough of the target pests to sustain all of those good bugs when you release them, or basically you’re just releasing them to meet their demise, right? So, there has to be enough resources there to support them. And not just in terms of the pest that they’re going to eat, but also the right environment. Is this humidity level right? Is there enough moisture, you know, there available to them? If they also need to eat nectar, is there also nectar available to them, right? So, it’s really sort of an intricate system that requires some bit of expertise, but most of the established insectaries can help you with that.
Jessica Walliser 23:23
Now, that being said, when you go to the garden center, and you see, like, a little package of ladybugs on the counter there, you know, that you can buy and “Ooh, release these ladybugs in your garden,” they’re a species called the “convergent ladybug,” and they are a native North American species, but they’re almost always—I would even say “always”—but almost always wild-collected. So, the way that particular species of ladybugs overwinters is congregations, in massive congregations of hundreds of thousands of individuals. And there are companies that go out—unregulated—with backpack vacuums, and they suck up these convergent ladybugs, and then they put them in those little packages and ship them around the country for release into people’s gardens. So I mean, imagine if we did that with any, you know, animals or anything. We just go, “Collect them out of the wild, and then distribute them around the country,” right? So, it’s not right that they’re doing this. So, I always encourage people, “Don’t do that.” If you’re going to buy ladybugs, buy, like, the mealybug destroyer or a species that is definitely targeted to what you are looking to control, and that they were raised in an insectary rather than wild-collected.
Jessica Walliser 24:40
So for me, ladybugs—like the classic, red-and-black-spotted ladybugs—they’re off the table, because there’s really no good way to acquire them. It’s more the sort of more unusual species of ladybugs that you can get. But you can do, like, lacewing larvae; they’re a good one to release if you’ve got, like, whiteflies. So, I would work with the insectary carefully to make sure that you’re using the right insect, and then always know that, you know, they can leave whenever they want. If you don’t have the resources they need, they’re not going to stick around in your garden, and there’s nothing you can do to make them stick around in your garden. I do love the parasitic wasps; you buy them on little strips of moth eggs that have been parasitized. And the moth eggs are, like, glued to this little strip, you hang the strips up in your trees, and that can help as well. But again, make sure you’re picking the right species for whatever your problem is. I personally would much rather see gardeners create a diverse, insect-friendly garden that supports their sort of indigenous population of beneficial insects; it supports the ones that are already there, encourages them to stick around and reproduce. That’s what I’d rather see you do, so that you always have a balance in the garden, and you’re less likely to have those kinds of outbreaks in the first place. It’s all about creating a natural balance, much more so than needing to purchase and introduce beneficials. Why not use the ones that are already there?
Deborah Niemann 26:09
Yeah, and that’s what your book is intended to do. Like, it’s really cool. It’s set up kind of like an encyclopedia, and then you’ve got a section to identify the beneficial bugs, you have another section to identify plants. And so, how exactly are people supposed to use the book?
Jessica Walliser 26:26
That’s a great question. So I mean, obviously, I want them to use it to get an incredible appreciation for the insect world, as I have. But, we also know that it’s a guide to growing a garden that doesn’t have any major pest outbreaks or pest issues in it. And it’s, again, finding that balance. So, what I want them to do is I want them first of all to use it to help them identify the insects that they find in their garden—the beneficial ones. I don’t even talk about the pests, right, because I don’t want so much energy and time to be focused on the bad guys. I would like people to switch their focus into nurturing the good guys, because when that happens, the bad guys naturally step to the background, right? And they’re less problematic. So, use it to learn to identify, what do you look for? What does a parasitized aphid look like? What does the parasitic wasp look like? What does a firefly larva look like? Right? What does a ladybug larva look like? So, you use it to identify, understand their life cycles, and what to look for in your garden to know that this natural biocontrol is happening out there already in your garden.
Jessica Walliser 27:27
And then, how do you choose the right plants and the right gardening conditions and garden condition to nurture these insects? So, I want them to learn how to create a space that’s really welcoming to all. And that is done through, you know, choosing the right kinds of plants—a diversity of plants—and then caring for your garden in the right way, in a non-destructive way. Because these little critters need somewhere to spend the winter. And if we rake up every leaf, and we clean everything up like it’s our living room at the end of the growing season, they’ve got nowhere to spend the winter. And then, when you have a pest outbreak early in the spring, there’s nobody there to get an early control on it. So, we have to let our garden stand through the winter, and we have to be willing to be a little quote unquote “messy,” even though it’s not messy, because it’s nature. But you just have to let it be so that you’re creating this ecosystem that really supports them year-round.
Deborah Niemann 28:25
Wow, that is so awesome. You have shared so much incredible information with us today. I really appreciate your time and wisdom. Where can people get in touch with you online?
Jessica Walliser 28:39
Sure. So, probably the best way to get in touch with me is through my website, SavvyGardening—S-A-V-V-Y, “gardening”—.com. And, I’ve read a lot about insects, but in general, all about gardening, everything to do with gardening—flowers, vegetables, certainly insects as well, houseplants. And I do that with two partners on Savvy Gardening. And then, if they want just specifically me to reach out about, you know, a talk or lecture or something like that, they can get me on my website, which is JessicaWalliser.com.
Deborah Niemann 29:09
All right. And you’re on social media too, right?
Jessica Walliser 29:12
I am. Yep. Yep, yep, also as @SavvyGardening and myself, @JessicaWalliser. And I’m on you know, Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram and all those good things. And then, the book they can get anywhere books are sold. You can go to Bookshop.org, or your independent bookseller, or Barnes & Noble.com, or Amazon.com, or wherever you’d like.
Deborah Niemann 29:33
Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us today! This has been great.
Jessica Walliser 29:37
Thanks. This was a lot of fun! I’m glad you enjoyed the book, and I hope some of your listeners will enjoy it as well.
Deborah Niemann 29:43
And that’s it for today’s episode. You can find show notes at ThriftyHomesteader.com/BookChat, as well as a transcript. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes. You can also find Thrifty Homesteader on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. See you next week on “Sustainability Book Chat.”