Updated: Dec 6, 2020
This is my first blog ever! I really hope you're going to enjoy it! If you have requests, feel free to comment them below! Today I'm going to talk about my #homemade bug house. I received many comments on this one because a lot of people are in love with it and wonder how I made it. Therefore I'm going to answer a couple of questions.
Why did you make it?
Well, a couple of years ago I bought my first bug house (see picture below). I was so proud and astonished by the fact that it had so much success. Several months later I discovered a small book in a bookstore about "How to make the perfect bug house". I read it and learned much about it. I learned the different type of bugs, the things they needed, which things they love/hate. In that same book there were also several examples of bug houses but I couldn't find one that pleased me. That's the moment I decided to make one by myself.
I first made a small one, about 30x30cm. But... when I got my bigger vegetable garden, I also wanted a bigger bug house (I know, I'm a bit greedy haha). I decided to make one of about 80x95cm out of recycled materials. Much bigger than the previous ones. Now you'll certainly be wondering how I made that one. And that's how we get to the second question. (read below)
Why do you recommend to make/buy a bug house?
I recommend to make (or buy) a bug house because it creates an ecosystem in your garden ánd it fights pests: ladybugs & earwigs will eat aphids, bees will pollinate your flowers & vegetables, lonely wasps will eat the vermin, etc.
It is also very interesting to see all those bugs coming and working. If you've kids, they'll love to watch them!
How did you make it?
As I already mentioned before, my bug house is completely made out of recycled materials. Why? Just because it's eco-friendly and it will reduce our ecological footprint. I'll give you my personal tips and tricks about how to make a bug house.
How to make a gorgeous and eco-friendly bug house:
Materials you need:
Recycled wooden panel (thickness: about half a centimetre thick)
Several recycled wooden planks (width: about 10 centimetres; thickness: 1 centimetre); Please note that the bugs prefer wood of fruit trees, acacia and oak. Don't use pinewood: the resin prevents the bugs to make their nest.
Screws (no glue, that's not ecological!)
Filling (I used bamboo of 10cm long, pine cones, several trunks, twigs, branches of about 3 cm thick, straw, ...). Please note that every kind of bug needs another type of filling. (Read below: "What kind of bugs does it attract? And does it really work?")
How to make it:
Draw the form (see picture below) of your bug house on the wooden panel and cut it out.
2. Now you need to make the frame with the planks. Therefore you need:
3 planks of 80 cm
1 plank of 79 cm
2 planks of 50 cm
Screw them together as seen on the plan below.
You can subdivide your bug house like you wish. I'll give the example of my own bug house:
2 planks of 48 cm
1 plank of 35 cm
1 plank of 24 cm
Once you've screwed everything together, you'll have to fill up your bug house. I'll give you my tips for each compartment:
1. Small tree trunks: drill holes in it for bees and wasps. The holes have to be 8 millimetres wide & 7 centimetres deep and the distance between them has to be minimum 2 centimetres.
2. You can fill up this space with bamboo. Just make sure that the holes are not too wide (bees aren't that big).
3. This is a nest for butterflies; fill it with some branches or straw and watch the caterpillars transform in gorgeous butterflies!
4. This place is for ladybugs and other little insects; fill it with straw, branches or moss.
5/6/7. These places can be used for several things: you can fill them with bamboo, branches with holes, clay (for mining bees: they dig their own holes), bark, twigs, chunks of wood,... The possibilities are endless!
8. You can fill up this one with pinecones. Just note that you have to close this compartment with chicken wire so that they won't fall out.
Tip: Fill it with pinecones when it's cold, humid weather because they'll expand by hot weather.
Some of you will cover the bug house with varnish to prevent it from rotting faster. Please don't do that. Varnish is very bad for those little insects. Even though it will rot faster, it's better to keep it unpainted. If you still want to paint it, just paint the frame, not the rest!
Where do you need to place it?
The only two things that bugs want are heat and dryness. Your bug house has to be fixed on a stable and dry place that has enough sunshine. If you place it in a humid environment, you have a high chance to have mould in your new bug house. And bugs absolutely hate that!
You also have to sow a lot of flowers around it. They will atract your visitors: the bees and other bugs.
What kind of bugs does it attract?
This is maybe one of the most important questions. It certainly works if you follow all my tips & tricks that I mentioned above. The kind of bugs you'll see, depends on which kind of materials you use. I made a small list of several materials and their bugs.
· Bamboo: wild bees, wasps
· Pine cones: earwigs
· Small branches/twigs: ladybugs, lacewings, earwigs, butterflies
· Clay: mining bees
· Straw/moss: ladybugs, earwigs
· Chunks of wood: earwigs, lacewings
· Tree trunks (with holes): wild bees, wasps
Well that's it! Hope you enjoyed my first blog. Feel free to like, comment and share! See you soon!