Build your own insect empire in your garden. Here’s a step by step guide into how to make a BUG HOUSE
Step 1 – Building a strong stable framework
This can be made from tube-like structure such as tin cans, cardboard tubes, cut open plastic bottles, old flowerpots or small wooden boxes. The idea is to tape, glue or tie these to each other to form a bundle of openings that arthropods can live in. You can add as many or as few as you like but 4 tends to be a good number to start with. Here’s the next step in how to make a bug house:
Step 2 – Fill the gaps
Now you want to provide all sorts of different nooks and crannies, crevices and tunnels for mini beasts to crawl into. Try to use natural materials you can find in the garden or shed.
This can include:
- dead wood and loose bark for creepy crawlies like beetles, centipedes, spiders and woodlice
- holes and small tubes (not plastic) for solitary bees made out of bamboo, reeds and drilled logs
- larger holes with stones and tiles, which provide the cool, damp conditions frogs and toads like – if you put it in the centre you’ll give them a frost-free place to spend the winter (they’ll help eat slugs)
- dry leaves, sticks or straw for ladybirds (they eat aphids) and other beetles and bugs
- corrugated cardboard for lacewings (their larvae eat aphids, too)
- dry leaves which mimic a natural forest floor
Step 3 – Choose a site to place your Bug House
It needs to be level and the ground firm so it doesn’t get blown over or washed away. You’ll get different residents depending on where you place your hotel, as some like cool, damp conditions and others (such as solitary bees) prefer the sun. If you have vegetable beds, keep it a good distance away from them.
Watch the video for how to build a bug house here
Send us a pic of your BUG HOUSE at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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Now, why don’t you try…?
…carefully examining your Bug House every few days and keeping a Bug House Guest Book/Diary with photos and descriptions of the mini beasts that move in!
…drawing pictures of some of the mini beasts that you find living in your garden and labelling them – can you work out what kind of arthropod it is? How many segments does its body have? How many legs? What colour is it? Does it have an exoskeleton?
…go round your whole garden (or a section of it if you have a very big garden!) and make a list of all the mini beasts you can find – look in the air for things that fly, under leaves, under rocks or loose paving slabs (never lift heavy things on your own), behind sheds.
If you do any of these things, write in to us at email@example.com!