A hotel for insects? What is it good for? Do I need it in my garden?
The habitat for insects is getting smaller and smaller due to human intervention in nature. By so-called habitat destruction the habitats of the animals are destroyed more and more. There is hardly any dead wood or open clay dry walls left in which insects can find shelter. Insects are an important part of the animal and plant world and help in the garden with all the small and large problems. They are natural enemies of many unwelcome pests in the garden such as the aphid, among others.
What is an insect hotel?
We have certainly all seen it at one time or another. Whether on the side of the road, in parks, in nurseries or as showpieces in schools a zoo. An insect hotel in the garden is a man-made nesting and overwintering facility for all kinds of insects. The history of insect hotels goes back to the 1840s, when the first wild bee boxes were built and are thus precursors today known insect hotels.
They come in many shapes and sizes, and from a gardener’s point of view, they are designed for the beneficial insects.
Insect hotels are made exclusively of natural materials. These include hardwood, wood wool, reeds, peat, straw or clay. Perforated bricks or old terracotta flower pots are also very popular. Furthermore, you need screws to fix it, wire mesh to protect it from birds and roofing felt to make it weatherproof.
The most common form consists in the basic framework of long squared timbers that form the unit. To create a nesting crossbars are installed. Thus, the insect hotel can be divided into different compartments, which can then accommodate the materials that are rich in cavities.
Why should I set up an insect hotel?
Would I benefit from an insect hotel in my self-sufficient garden? Let’s get to the bottom of this. An insect hotel offers a variety of benefits:
- Learning object
- Biological pest control
- Promotion of species protection
Where is the best place in the garden?
Care must be taken when choosing the right location. The insect hotel should be placed in a sunny area protected from the weather. This ensures that the brood always has a warm nest and it is protected from wind and precipitation.
Who lives in an insect hotel?
A variety of beneficial insects can find a new habitat in an insect hotel.
- Lacewings: Lacewing larvae are predators and feed on aphids. Later, they help pollinate plants.
- Ichneumon wasps: Are harmless to humans, feed on other insects.
- Wild bees and bumblebees: Pollinate plants
- Ladybugs: Feed on aphids, so a welcome guest in the garden.
Other inhabitants include earwigs, butterflies and flower bugs
Build your own insect hotel or buy one?
There are 3 ways to get an insect hotel:
- Build it yourself => you can find instructions here*.
- Buy a kit => you can buy kits here*.
- Buy a finished insect hotel*
Now you can choose from these 3 possibilities. If you are more the talented one, you can build it completely by yourself. For the less talented, a kit is suitable, where all parts are supplied in the sizes that already fit. If you only want to put it in the garden, you can also buy ready-made insect hotels.
Insect hotel in winter
The insect hotel should be left outside all year round. For most of the inhabitants frost is no problem, because they are used to it in nature. Due to the higher temperatures in the house or garage, it can happen that the animals wake up from their hibernation in December and leave the quarters.
An insect hotel should not be missing in any garden. It houses many natural predators against spider mites and aphids. In addition, you help the environment and support the biodiversity in your garden. Good luck with the construction of your insect hotel.
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