Kids Go Gardening - Bug Hotel

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Take a close look around your garden on a sunny day. How many different insects you see? Some are tiny. Others are so tiny you need a microscope to see them.

You might find some ‘bad bugs’ eating your plants, but most insects are ‘good bugs’ called beneficial insects. These helpful critters eat the ‘bad’ bugs, turn rubbish into compost and pollinate our flowers to give us fruit.

Help nature keep your garden healthy! We can get more beneficial insects to live in our garden by planting their favourite food flowers. Plus they need a habitat - a cosy place to live and lay their eggs.

A bug hotel is an ideal insect habitat! It’s a home for ladybirds and other beetles, tiny hover flies, parasitic wasps, predatory mites. Create your own piece of garden architecture!

There are lots of different ways to build a bug hotel. Let your imagination run wild!

First build your structure. Grace and Zoe found old bricks and concrete blocks. Use what you have; old pots, bits of wood, tin cans, bottles, rocks, tiles. Be sure to give your hotel a roof to keep the rain out.

Then furnish the ‘rooms’ to make lots of cosy living spaces for tiny bugs. Different bugs like different sized spaces so mix it up!

  1. Go on a scavenger hunt. Look for dead flower stems that are hollow for bugs to crawl into. Use grasses, straw sticks, rolled up newspaper, cardboard, shells, rolled up leaves, pine cones, pumice, seed heads, bits of rotting wood.
  2. To prevent cardboard or straw turning soggy, place it inside a container.
  3. If you have an adult to help, you could drill different sized holes in bits of wood and cut up bamboo stakes. This is a good place for bees.

Your bug hotel is now open for business!

DID YOU KNOW?

  1. Hoverflies, lacewings, ladybirds and other beetles eat garden pests like aphids and carrot rust fly.
  2. Hoverflies and bees, including some native bees, are great pollinators,

Flowers for beneficial insects

Phacelia flowers provide loads of nectar (food) for lacewings, hover flies and other beneficial insects. It’s like ice-cream for bees!
Rocket is a peppery salad vege, tasty in sandwiches. It grows like a rocket from seed. Hover flies love rocket flowers.

Look for these products, tips and advice at a Go Gardening Store near you.



8-Mar-2018

 

bug hotel
The finished bug hotel, waiting for residents.


Phacelia

rocket
Rocket flowers