Making a bug house

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Good bugs & bad bugs

Large bug house © Ita McCobb

Although most of us don’t like creepy crawlies, there are a huge number of insects and bugs that play an important role in our ecosystem and are beneficial to gardens, as they perform useful functions such as pollinating flowers or eating some of the bad bugs.

But some bugs are both good and bad. Bugs such as:

    • Earwigs – You may not like earwigs because, with their pincer-like tail, they really are creepy crawly and also because they feed on the buds and flowers of many garden plants. But earwigs also enjoy eating some of the bad bugs such as aphids and some types of larvae.
    • Caterpillars also eat plants but then later, when they turn into butterflies or moths, they help to pollinate plants and so help the plants form seeds and ensure the plants continuation and survival the following year.

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How to Make a Simple Bug House

Why not make a bug house to encourage these good guys to set up home in your garden? Create a safe place where they can lay their eggs in spring and summer or hibernate and sleep through the long cold winter months. This is very easy to do as you can find the material you need to make a simple bug house around your home.

  • Take a plastic drinks bottle, one that you hopefully would be recycling!
  • Cut off the top (you can still recycle the top).
  • Insert hollow stems cut to the length of the bottle into the empty bottle. Bamboo or cow parsley stalks are ideal to use for this.

A simple bug house © Jennifer Hope-Morley

(Alternatively, you can simply roll up a piece of corrugated cardboard and insert that in the bottle or you can even use a combination of both hollow stems and corrugated cardboard.)

  • Now place the bottle in a sheltered spot in your garden. Be sure it is in a place where the rain can’t get into it and where your bug house won’t be blown away.
  • Now just wait and watch as the bugs move in to your bug house.

End view of our simple bug house © Jennifer Hope-Morley

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