“Insect Hotels” improve a garden’s biodiversity and provide refuge for pollinators and pest controllers

May 8th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Just as many gardeners place bird boxes in their garden, increasingly gardeners provide suitable habitat for beneficial insects that pollinate trees and vegetable crops, and control pests.  Garden centres sell attractive “insect hotels” that can be furnished with dried twigs and leaves to provide a refuge for insects that gardeners wish to attract to their garden.

An 'insect hotel' by the vegetable garden of Ed and Vanessa Adams in Guernsey

‘Insect hotels’ are easy to make.  For a simple “insect hotel” either drill holes in the ends of logs or cut some bamboo sticks of equal length, and stack them in a open-ended wooden box that can be hung up or sat down in a sheltered location in your garden.  Insects will hibernate in these refuges and come out in the spring to pollinate trees and food crops.  Adult ladybirds hibernate over winter in piles of dry twigs and leaves, which you can provide in your insect hotel. Ladybirds and their larvae consume sap-sucking aphids.

‘Insect hotels’ come in many shapes and sizes and can be made of virgin or recycled material.  To be effective they need to have many small holes and cavities that insects can crawl or fly into.  The Ulster Wildlife Trust provides instructions on how to build an ‘insect hotel’ habitat.

An 'Insect hotel' at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey ©RLLord

The Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group also provides a useful PDF flyer on making an ‘insect hotel.’

1 Response to ““Insect Hotels” improve a garden’s biodiversity and provide refuge for pollinators and pest controllers”

  1. UF Native Buzz

    We have an international citizen science project at http://www.ufnativebuzz.com focused on solitary bee and wasp habitat. Anyone interested in creating habitat for solitary bees and wasps is encouraged to participate!
    Join us at http://www.ufnativebuzz.com and/or http://www.facebook.com/NBNSProject

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