The UK has just felt the force of hurricane Gonzalo which hit Bermuda earlier this week. It brought gale force winds and torrential downpours which had a big impact on both the humans and wildlife around here. The Tawny Owls have left their daytime perch in the Horse Chestnut tree. I hope they found somewhere warm and dry to shelter.
I’ve been wondering about some of our small creatures and how they will cope this winter. Many beneficial insects such as bees, ladybirds, lacewings and even some adult butterflies need homes to keep them warm and most of all dry for the next few months. This year I saw some brilliant ideas for helping garden wildlife at the NEC at Birmingham in June. The BBC Gardeners World Live Exhibition is a showcase where designers, growers and organisations promote good ideas to the gardening public.
The RSPB stand showed a simple tube made of sheep netting filled with sticks surrounded by herbs and teasels. They also made good use of spare building materials such as bricks, roof tiles and drain pipes in addition to prunings, pine cones and bamboo canes.
The National Wildflower Centre at Liverpool also has brilliant ideas for recycling material to make a Bug Hotel. Theirs is huge and has been there for years. A steel framework holds it all together there. In smaller spaces such as private gardens then off cuts of timber or wooden pallets would work well.
It’s easy to find things lying around the garden that can be grouped together to make a simple shelter for tiny creatures. Even some household materials such as corrugated card or shredded paper are suitable as long as they can be kept dry. If you would prefer something smaller… bird box sized bug homes are available to buy in many garden centres.
You may also like a couple of my earlier blog posts about making homes for wildlife.
Just click the photo for the link.
Do you have any good ideas for Bug Hotels?
I would love to hear about your projects.
3 thoughts on “How to Build a Bug Hotel”
Hi Gillian, in Australia, bugs are everywhere 🙂
But even so, in my garden (which has very rocky soil), to attract the beneficial ones I use the hundreds of rocks I dig out to make low dry-stone walls as garden edges. Lizards, skinks, beetles, spiders and so on adore this as they have the warmth of the sun on one side, the cool dampness of the soil on the other, and countless hiding spots in between the stacked rocks. It’s also quite a decorative way to edge the lawn and borders as well as building up the soil for the plants.
That sounds wonderful Matt. We are trying to keep our insects warm and dry and you are helping your native insects to keep cool. You are lucky to have so many wonderful wild creatures in Australia. Gillian
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