DIY: Insect Hotel
Insect hotels are all the rage now. We all hear about the declines in beneficial insect populations, and native bee numbers in particular are dropping quickly. It is nice to think about providing a specific place in your gardens for insects to safely occupy.
However, one should be careful not to create an insect home that actually causes harm to the insects you want to help. Read this post by an entomologist thoroughly to understand the particulars of what type of hotel is best and how to avoid the pretty-but-useless ones sold in decorator stores.
This insect hotel (pictured above) was given to me and fits all the criteria for a hospitable insect home. Here below is how to recreate it.
This is a suitable project for doing supervised with children or your garden club.
– a block of untreated building timber
– piece of flat wood for the roof
– drill set
– hardware cloth
– staple gun and staples
– hanger and nail
Step 1- Select a piece of untreated building timber and cut it down to a block about 6-12-inches in length or have it cut to length for you at the hardware store.
Step 2 – Drill a selection of holes into the block of about .33 inches in diameter. Do not drill all the way through the back, but go as deep as your drill bit allows.
Step 3 – Make sure the holes are smooth inside and free of splinters. Sand and clear away any sawdust.
Step 4 – Tack a roof piece on to overhang the holes.
Step 5 – Cut and shape a piece of hardware cloth to protect the area over the holes. Use the staple gun to affix it on both sides.
Step 6 – Hang your insect hotel at least 3 feet off the ground facing in full sun and facing south/southeast.
- At the end of each summer, clean it out.
- Provide nearby pollinator plantings.
- If you want to get creative and paint or decorate the roof or sides, you can, but do not put anything on the front.