Build a bug hotel

Creating a bug hotel has been one of our most enjoyable autumn activities. You need a small wooden box about 22cm x 15cm x 7cm which can be bought from www.dandpmarchant.com (6 boxes for £24.99). Fill it with autumn finds such as teasel and poppy heads, pine cones, bamboo stalks tied into bundles and rolled cardboard. You can also drill holes in a small log to make beetle homes. Pack all the items into the box and then tightly fill the gaps with moss and dead leaves. Using a staple gun, staple a mesh over the box so that the items don’t fall out and then position it in a warm, sheltered place. Try and ensure it is out of the rain as bugs don’t like getting wet. Then wait for the following bugs to move in!
Lacewings: Lacewings are bright green with transparent wings. They mostly come out at night and eat aphids on plants. As they don’t survive the winter easily, they will enjoy a nice cosy bug hotel.
Ladybirds: Ladybirds also eat aphids and tend to spend the winter hidden in nooks and crannies of dead wood.
Red Mason Bees and Tawny Mining Bees: These both help to control insects in the garden. They are solitary bees so don’t live in hives with other bees. They like to spend the winter in hollow stems or holes in wood.

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