Build a bug ho­tel

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

SCHOOL hol­i­days are upon us, so keep the kids amused by help­ing them cre­ate a rus­tic and use­ful bug house to at­tract ben­e­fi­cial in­sects to your gar­den, in­clud­ing spi­ders, lacewings and la­dy­birds.

What you’ll need Any old wooden box or re­cy­cled wooden pal­let will do - you’ll need it to stand up on its end to ac­com­mo­date ben­e­fi­cial in­sects and other wildlife. You could nail boxes to­gether (end to end) to make bug tow­ers, which could be nailed on to a post or left free-stand­ing on the ground. Col­lect wood, bark, twigs, leaves, pine, larch or spruce and any other nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als.

You can also use old ter­ra­cotta roof tiles, bricks with holes in them and even ho­ley old plant pots.

Lin­ing the con­tainer

Use dead leaves to line the back of the box, prefer­ably oak or beech, as they will form the pri­mary liv­ing area for in­sects.

Fill it up Pack ma­te­ri­als into the front of the box. These could be any­thing from cut-off branches to seg­ments of bam­boo cane, pine cones and other solid gar­den ma­te­ri­als. Ei­ther cre­ate a vis­i­ble pat­tern at the front of the box or just fill it ran­domly, wedg­ing it all to­gether with dead leaves or moss, the RSPB ad­vises.

Where to put it Bugs pre­fer shel­tered spots, so place your new bug-friendly ho­tel un­der hedg­ing or close to wild ar­eas in your gar­den, where there might be net­tles, bram­bles or other wildlife-wel­com­ing plants that will at­tract

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