Do it your­self… IN­SECT HOUSE

NZ House & Garden - Outdoor Living - - Design Details -

Build a bug ho­tel to at­tract ben­e­fi­cial in­sects and bees to con­trol pests and pol­li­nate plants in your gar­den

Hav­ing a bug abode in the gar­den in­creases the chances that ben­e­fi­cial in­sects will nat­u­rally visit. Land­scaped gar­dens can be beau­ti­ful but they of­ten lack enough of the nat­u­ral habi­tats needed to at­tract in­sects and en­cour­age bio­di­ver­sity. Hav­ing a bug and bee condo in your back­yard of­fers op­ti­mal bug real es­tate – a refuge for hi­ber­na­tion dur­ing the cold months and a dry place to nest when it’s wet.

Build­ing your own in­sect ho­tel is a rel­a­tively sim­ple, fun and ed­u­ca­tional DIY project you can do with chil­dren, us­ing a va­ri­ety of found nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als. Re­claimed and re­pur­posed ma­te­ri­als such as old pal­lets, drain­pipes, drilled logs, bam­boo canes, card­board tubes, egg car­tons, pieces of con­crete, bro­ken tiles, pine cones, twigs, pieces of bark and rot­ting wood, hay, straw, dry leaves, hol­low plant stems and bro­ken plant pots are some of the ma­te­ri­als that can be used.

Ar­range these ma­te­ri­als within your struc­ture, packed tightly so they stay put, but with lots of avail­able crevices and hidey-holes for the bugs. The struc­ture you use could be a wire crate, like the one shown, or sim­ply a wooden box, set on its side. Place the in­sect house in a shady area of the gar­den close to where you want the bugs next sea­son.

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