House for garden insects until a few years ago was hardly a popular landscape object. Performing both practical and decorative functions, such artificially created shelter for beneficial insects was not familiar to many gardeners at all. Thanks to the efforts of designers who paid attention to the possibility of designing art objects that serve as abodes for the smallest garden dwellers, insect houses have become fashionable. But despite all their unique artistic merits, the main task is to increase the number of useful fauna in your garden and preserve valuable insects in general.
Why do we need houses for useful insects?
The garden is filled with life by its invisible and largely unappreciated inhabitants - birds, insects, various animals. If everyone cares about attracting birds to the garden, feeding them and providing additional food in the cold season, the insects are often forgotten. And yet these humble useful helpers solve many problems in the garden. They not only pollinate plants, but also participate in the invisible fight against pests and even diseases. And useful insects in the garden should be attracted not less than butterflies or animals, even if you do not think to start collecting your own honey.
For more information about useful insects for the garden, their lifestyle and diet read the material "Useful insects in the garden".
In Europe, and in the whole world they have been loudly criticizing the problem of saving bees, the population of which catastrophically decreased, and parks, gardens and zoos are invariably equipped with little houses for insects. With us about the ecological disaster, which threatens to reduce the number of beneficial insects, almost no one even heard about it. But meanwhile everyone can and should fight the disaster. And for this there is only one way - to create special shelters - houses, which are called hotels for useful insects or simply hotels for beetles.
What is a hotel for useful insects?
A house for useful insects, a hotel for beetles, or insect house is any special structure, a small cluster of materials or a house in which useful insects, mellifers and other enemies of garden pests - lacewings, ladybugs, hoverflies, hoverflies, bug beetles and others can settle down.
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Universal pretty houses which are actually the warehouse of materials, where useful insects can equip their home, are counted among the objects of small architecture, along with garden sculptures or pergolas. They really can turn into a modern, stylish and very original decoration of the garden. Each such house for insects is unique in its own way and will be a bright individual touch in the design of the garden as a whole.
Such hotels are traditionally given a decorative form of house, like birdhouses, but of a larger size, filling the inner space with floors of cells, in which insects can settle. But it is not necessary to build a house. You can use old crates, unnecessary old containers for plants, old boards, pallets, and just bricks with cavities-holes.
Materials can be put in a pyramid, put in the form of a wall, to build the original design or make a full frame house or cottage. The main thing is to have a roof and walls that will serve as a reliable protection from wind and precipitation. Here it all depends on your imagination and time. And, of course, the desire to create not just functional, but also an attractive object, which will become a real decoration of the site.
Factually, even modest bundles of twigs spread out specially for insects can be called a hotel for insects. But usually in constructions go much further, realizing their fantasies and tastes. Most often hotels are made of wood, but any non-synthetic materials will do (and wood should be chosen not conifers).
You can make a full-fledged house with rooms, or you can simply knock down a triangle from boards, dividing the interior space into sections and areas with partitions. By placing in each zone inside the house different materials, in which insects usually settle, from porous stones and bricks to twigs and bark, and by selecting the filling with holes of different size, you will create all conditions for bees and other useful insects to eventually master such a house and turn it into a real shelter under the roof.
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For protection from birds sometimes the house is covered with netting.
How to make a house for beneficial insects?
The most important thing in setting up a hotel for bugs is to gather materials in which beneficial insects can set up their shelter. You can also use the same type of filler. But only a certain kind of insects will be tempted by it, not the different inhabitants of the garden. So if you want to build a real hotel, you should take care to have a variety of materials with holes of different shapes and sizes under one roof and in one construction. You can use for garden insect helpers:
- drilled pieces of wood with vertical or horizontal passages;
- small remnants of boards and logs;
- large sawdust;
- various plant debris, dried inflorescences or vines;
- stones and pebbles;
- hollow stems (cereals, bamboo, reeds, sunflowers, corn):
- clay bricks with holes, etc.
Materials are applied tightly or smeared with clay so that they do not crumble over time. For bees, the most important thing is holes in the rocks and hollow drilled holes or empty stems so that they can hide safely, settle in, lay eggs, and, after easily closing the hiding place, expect to have offspring. Completely harmless and very useful, osmium bees are attracted to the site by thatched roofs, marsh rushes, and other tubular hollow stems in which they create their nests. But they will also settle in long drilled holes in a piece of wood. For ladybugs, the materials are better sprayed with sugar syrup. And lacewings adore cones and dry stems of various lianas.
Hotel for insects is always placed in a place protected from precipitation and necessarily on a warm sunny site. In the shade, useful insects will not be tempted by your shelter. In the warm season houses for insects are more art objects than really functional baits for useful insects. They perform their real functions primarily in the cold season. In regions with mild winters they can be placed at any height. But in regions with harsh winters, garden hotels for beneficial insects are placed so that they can be snowed in winter - at most one meter high or on the ground. Or provide for the possibility to remove the hotel and lower it to the ground.
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