Bug House: How to Build a Bug House

how to build a bug houseSpring is in the air, but the air is still a little too chilly to be doing any actual planting. Around here, Toronto, Canada, the first official gardening weekend is May 24th. By that date the cold nights are gone and the sunshine is here to stay…we cannot wait. Until then it’s all about preparing the garden and our outdoor spaces for the summer. We try and plant flowers that draw pollinators to our garden. Insects like bees and butterflies are critical to our eco-system so we try and help them out as much as possible. This year we decided to make a bug house. The idea behind a bug house is to promote the health and increase the presence of “good” bugs in our garden spaces. Some of the bugs we hope to attract, and house, are bees, ladybugs and lacewings. Ladybugs (or ladybirds) and lacewings eat pests like aphids…so they are good in my books. My daughter and I set about making a bug house for our backyard.

1. Cut a large juice container in half.bug house container

2. Cut two slits near the top/side of the container…feed a pipe cleaner end into each slit…creating a hanger for the bug house.bug house hanger

4. Cut straws to fit inside the container…the straws will serve as tight homes for the insects.bug house straws cut

5. Stuff the container with the straws and twigs…stuff it tightly otherwise the straws will come falling out when you go to hang the bug house.bug house straws sticks

6. Once stuffed, find a shady spot to hang your bug house. Since we have a dog, we decided to hang ours higher in our backyard tree…otherwise Arthur would attack it the first chance he got.hanging bug house

Now we wait to see who will come and live in our bug house. My daughter was very keen to work on this project. She was able to cut all the straws and she selected the exact spot where we hung our house. We actually ended up making 2 bug houses…she was so enthusiastic. I love the idea of helping out bugs. Often times we assume all bugs are pests, when in reality many bugs are very helpful in our gardens. What are your favourite bugs in your garden? What bugs do your kids like?

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