Providing a Roof for your Insect Friends
The use of insect hotels is gaining so much recognition, who would have thought that giving nature a helping hand in this way would be so beneficial. When I first came across these hotels I was a bit taken because I did not know about them but doing my research has proven that these hotels are used by so many to support nature, insect hotels come in many shapes and sizes.
The idea of installing an insect hotel is a great way to house our garden insect friends from the elements, for nesting and raising they’re young. Who would want to tell these beneficial insects to bug off when we can use their support to ensure that our garden plants are protected from garden insect pests ( the bad bugs ) which can cause so much damage.
If you’re interested in rolling out the red carpet for beneficial insects by building or installing an insect hotel then stick around as we learn more about these hotels and the benefits they offer.
The benefits of an insect hotel
1. Provides Shelter.
2. With the demand for more man-made structures destroying the habitat of insects, insect hotels can make up for that loss by providing a natural habitat.
3. It can add interest to a garden area ( Aesthetics ).
4. These hotels are great for teaching children about insects and how they benefit us.
5. Will help to protect pollinators.
6. Your garden will be buzzing with activity, especially during the spring and summer months.
7. The presence of these insects will help to improve soil fertility by helping to break down plant material which will add nutrients to the soil.
8. These hotels will attract beneficial insects which will in turn feed on garden insect pests ( the bad bugs ) that seek to make a meal out of our garden plants.
Insects that take refuge in these hotels
- Some Arthropods
- Beneficial Wasps
How to Make an Insect Hotel
Materials you will need.
- Bamboo Canes
- Dry Leaves
- Plant pots that are damage
- Logs and Twigs
- Corrugated Cardboard
- Drain Pipes
- Plastic Bottle
- Rotting Wood
1. Choose a location that is shady but gets some sunlight, moist and cool because most insects love these conditions the area should also have some insect activity going on.
2. Ensure that the area that is chosen has a firm base to support the hotel because the last thing you don’t want is an uneven surface where the hotel stands the risk of tilting over causing injury or even death to your insect friends.
2. The use of pallets will work wonders for the insect hotel, a stack of five pallets will do. Place pallets on top of each other ensuring they are stable and lineup with each other. Next use some string to hold or fasten the pallets for support.
Using recycle materials
3. This is where the recycled materials come in as mentioned above, with these materials, begin to fill the gaps of the pallets. Material such as dry leaves will provide a home of ladybirds to overwinter and for other insects.
Hay and Straw
Hay and straw provide a good home for insects to hibernate and burrow.
The use of deadwood will attract such insects as woodlice and beetles that burrow in wood.
Corrugated cardboard is a great material to use to attract beneficial insects such as lacewing that feeds on garden insect pests.
Stones and Tiles
Stones and tiles provide a good home for amphibians such as frogs because of the cool moist conditions.
Creating a bug hotel from a recycled plastic bottle
This is so simple and easy to do, what you will need.
- A hole puncher
- Six 2 liter Bottles
- A Scissors
- A long piece of twine
- Hallow Bamboo
- Pine Cones
- Clay pot pieces that are broken
With scissors remove the bottom from the 2-liter bottle, the size that should be removed is 5 inches. Make a circular pattern with the bottom pieces and staple them together.
Next, fill each cup with the pieces that were collected, straw, leaves, twigs pine cones, etc… Now, let’s hang the hotel to let our insect friends know we are open for business.
Punch 2 holes 1 inch apart in each cup, With the twine run it through or thread each hole until you’re completed. Ensure that the twine is wrapped around all the cups. Make a knot with the end of the twine, and you are good to go, guess what you have constructed and insect hotel and it did not cause you much not even with your time.
If you’re not the type to recycle but still would love one of these hotels make a visit to your local garden or hardware store you should find these hotels there.
1. Harmful pesticides should not be used in your garden to eliminate garden insect pests with the presence of an insect hotel, remember the goal of these hotels is not only to attract bees but beneficial insect which will feed on garden insect pests. This process is known as biological control.
2. Consider installing plants to attract beneficial insects. Some of these plants include cosmos, lantanas, sunflowers, zinnias, lavender, chives, pansy, peony, salvia, pumpkins, and zucchini are among the many that will have your garden teeming with wildlife.
3. The plants which are chosen should be native to your climate for success.
4. A great way to have your garden teeming with benefits is by purchasing and releasing them into your garden.
The final word
Building and installing an insect hotel can be so much fun especially if kids are involved, these hotels are so beneficial and will help to bring balance to our ecosystem while creating a natural habitat for our insect friends I encourage you to give these hotels a try, you will be so happy that you did.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.