Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Make yourself a ladybird hotel

One of the things that I have had problems with in the allotment is aphids. By the bucket load they devour my runner beans. After doing research I knew I didn’t want to go down the pesticide route but rather encourage natural predators in the form of rather beautiful ladybirds. We have had a few and as I wanted them to stay, I looked about for a ladybird house to see if they would nest and hibernate nearby so that next year I would be onto a winner. But the prices of these houses were quite a way out of my reach so I thought I’d make one. It is something Littleun can join in with and I can use up all those broken canes at the same time.

To make you will need:
An old 2ltr bottle
Broken canes cut into short lengths
Dried grass stems
Rough string/thin rope
Glue gun

Cut the top of your bottle so that the bottom is the same-ish length as your shortened canes. Glue on the inside the grass stems creating a carpet appearance around the perimeter.
When dry fill the middle gap with lots of the canes so it is tight, if you have a wonky area then put a few more of the stems to fill it, but do remember to leave enough gaps for the bugs to crawl into.
When they are fixed tight, around the outside of the bottle glue more of the canes. This protects the bottle and also gives some extra hidey holes for the ladybirds. Finally tie your rough string/thin rope around the outside so you can hang at a slight downwards angle (don’t want water getting inside).

When the house is made hang near the vegetation that you have problems with and make sure you have sited it in a warm, sunny, sheltered position, out of prevailing winds and close to vegetation. The hanging bug house can be hung from trees, arches or pergolas. If you want to make it a wall house then the wall bug houses can be hung on a fence or wall.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I've never heard of a ladybug house before -- interesting!

The Traveler said...

That is a really cool idea!
I just need to find a way to attract bugs that eat spiders, lol.