They might be small, but insects can have a big impact on our lives and likewise, our actions greatly impact their survival.

In this week’s edition of the Tri-City Times, you’ll see a story about efforts done to support Monarch butterflies.

For the past three years siblings Elyssa and Ethan Gnagey of Attica have been caring for and raising Monarch butterflies and then releasing them into the wild.

The city of Imlay City has a thriving Butterfly Garden that’s a haven for all kinds of pollinators and many other public spaces have been developed in the Tri-City area with beneficial insects in mind.

As the Monarch’s populations show signs of decline, it’s vital that more is done to provide the habitat they and other pollinators need to survive.

It’s fantastic to see people within our community stepping up to help these important creatures.

Calls have also gone out for local residents to monitor and report the presence of an unwanted insect—the European gypsy moth. Last month, St. Clair County announced the launch of a Gypsy Moth Suppression Program in collaboration with MSU Extension and Friends of the St. Clair River. County residents are being asked to complete an online survey or call the Friends group at 810-294-4965 to report moth problems on their property. The suppression program seeks to provide educational information, reduce the moth’s population to a tolerable level and prevent tree defoliation. The moth’s caterpillars exact the most damage by devouring the leaves on more than 300 species of trees and shrubs, making them vulnerable to diseases and other pests that can eventually kill trees. In turn, a large presence of the moths pose a serious danger to the health of woods and forests.

It’s important that we take an interest in the natural world but that should translate into more than just an appreciation for it. Taking action as citizens—whether that be pulling weeds and watering flowers or scouting for worms, eggs and moths—is necessary if we want to keep enjoying nature as we know it.