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Ladybugs are one of my favorite beneficial insects. They are actually a beetle. And, they are beneficial because they eat the insects that do harm to your garden like aphids and mites. So, we want more ladybugs to stop by and visit.
What’s one of the best ways to get more ladybugs in your garden? Build them a ladybug hotel or insect hotel to live in. You can build all sorts of bug hotels to encourage ladybugs, bees, and other good bugs to visit your garden.
So, where exactly do these insects live? Insects will live in most protected areas of your property. This may be a rotting tree or it may be under a loose board of your house. If you build a ladybug hotel or insect hotel, you encourage them to live there.
And, not only that but the parasitic insects will stop by your hotel and lay their eggs there. If you’re wondering why we want them to do that, it’s so the ladybugs and other good garden bugs will have something for their babies to eat when they hatch.
How do you make an insect hotel?
It’s not difficult to make at all. You will need a large wooden box with one open side. Make compartments in the box and fill each compartment with bedding for the bugs to lay their eggs and live.
Keep the ladybug hotel or insect hotel about 5 feet off the ground. Once the hotel is attached to a tree or building, you can start filing the various compartments with weeds, pine cones, old string, sticks, etc.
As an added step, cover the front of your ladybug hotel with chicken wire. This will help protect it from cats or birds that want to get at the bugs inside the hotel.
Where should you place an insect house?
Ideally, you should place your ladybug hotel in the area near your garden. This will encourage them to visit your garden more often. You want to place it in a spot that faces south. It’s important that you put it near a source of nectar (ie flowering plants).
Simple bug hotel
If you don’t have a large wooden box, don’t worry. There are many other ways that you can make a ladybug hotel or insect hotel. This one couldn’t be easier:
- Take a 2-liter soda bottle.
- Wash and dry it well and remove the label.
- Cut it in half carefully.
- Recycle the top.
- Fill the bottom with twigs, pine cones, and string.
- Cover the front with a fine mesh wire.
- Tie a string around the center and hang it in a south-facing area.
This is so easy that even young children can do it. You would just need to do the cutting for them.
How long do I leave my ladybug hotel up?
Ideally, it would be nice to leave this up year-round so that your beneficial insects have a place o overwinter. If you make one out of a bottle, it won’t be warm enough for them to live in the colder months.
If you plan on having the insects live in the bug hotel all year, make sure that you place it in an area that is protected. You can put the box inside a larger wooden box with slits – sort of like a honey beehive. Remember that the thicker the outdoor walls are, the warmer your insects will be.
Tips for making a ladybug hotel
Remember that ladybugs are tiny. So, you want to use small sticks and thick grasses, not big sticks. You can also fill the cracks with hay for more places for them to hide.
If this seems like too much work for you, you can get a kit on Amazon that has everything you need.
More beneficial bug articles
- Beneficial plants for your garden
- Tips for attracting native pollinators
- How to approach bee removal safely
- How to build a hotel for wild bees
Ellen is a busy mom of a 22-year-old son and 27-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.