Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hotel For Insects

Today, I completed a small construction project idea that I read about online. The idea was to make some cozy winter hibernation places in various corners for ground insects.
Having completed the rainwater butt last week, I used a leftover section of guttering downpipe and cut it into five sections, each approximately 30cm long.


Next, using saved prunings from the two fuchsia bushes, I stuffed each with small twigs. Finally, I placed each one in a sheltered corner and covered them with leaves and old pieces of timber. The timber will keep the leaves in place.

Fuchsia twigs (blurred for effect)

So, let the winter cold and frost arrive. I'm sure many of the beneficial ground insects will discover these hotels very quickly. These  are waterproof  and warm. Each one has a front and rear entrance, great for chasing games. What more could they want? I'll be watching for comings and goings during the winter, and likely these garden creatures will be active much earlier next spring. There will also be lots of sex in these new modern accommodation blocks, and there will be a big increase in the population. 

Garden sex-shop
Summary of what is needed:
  • Rainwater downpipe
  • Hacksaw
  • Twigs 
  • Leaves
  • Old disused timbers
Time: approximately 15 minutes. The fuchsia cuttings had already been minced to size. 

Well-hidden, yet both openings accessible

Some beneficial insects include (taken from Wikipedia): 
  • Ground beetles
  • Lady beetles
  • Minute pirate bug
  • Earwig
  • Assassin bug
  • Damsel bug
  • Mealybug destroyer
  • Soldier beetle
  • Green lacewing
  • Syrphid fly
  • Tachinid fly
  • Ichneumon wasp
  • Trichogramma wasp
  • Spiders
Beneficial insects are so called because they usually eat the problematic ones. I do not know which of the above are in the garden, and which ones will take up lodging, but I'll keep a close watch. I'm told that planting  angelica, marigolds, coreopsis, dill, fennel, and yarrow will attract more of them. That's a follow-on project for next summer! The marigolds are there already.

Happy gardening,
Paraig

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