Saturday, 20 August 2016

HOW TO MAKE AN INSECT HOUSE


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Kids love searching for bugs and insects, and George is no exception!  We have built an insect hotel at the end of our garden to encourage the bugs to stay.  It was great fun to make and we used up lots of old canes, pine cones and sticks.  We love it and its looks great, but more importantly the bugs have a lovely new habitat in our garden to enjoy.


Now is a great time to start making insect houses as autumn is approaching and the bugs will require somewhere to hibernate for the winter.  You can use lots of items for your insect hotel - there are no rules - just recycle items and place them together in a decorative fashion.  

Dead bark will attract spiders, beetles, woodlice and centipedes as well as supporting fungi. Stones and tiles provide a cool habitat for frogs and newts and are ideal in the lowest part of the hotel. Hollow canes and drilled holes in a sunny position provide an ideal spot for solitary bees to lay their eggs. Hay and straw provides an ideal medium for insect to burrow.  Dry leaves provide a home for insects and will attract overwintering ladybirds. Corrugated cardboard rolled up inside a plastic bottle will attract lace wings.

You could use a variety of materials including:
  • pine cones
  • sticks
  • leaves
  • bamboo canes
  • wooden pallets
  • turf
  • bark
  • straw 
  • bark
  • plastic bottles
  • bricks
  • tiles
  • stone chippings
  • corrugated cardboard
  • drainpipes
Assemble a solid (wooden) frame for your insect house. separate the hotels into individual compartments and infill with the material above to make a decorative and functional house.

Ensure your insect house has a firm base as the weight of the house can be quite heavy.  You may wish to add legs to raise the house off the ground, or you may wish to suspend the house from a tree or fix to a wall instead.  It is important that you position your insect house in a cool, moist position such as by a hedge, shed or tree that will not get disturbed during the winter.

Have fun!

How to make an insect house
Hummingbird hawk moth