Dig This: Craft a Ladybug Hotel

Attract beneficial insects to your yard with a house created just for them.

A place for ladybugs to call home sweet home.

A place for ladybugs to call home sweet home.

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Did you know that some insects are actually beneficial to your garden? Ladybugs, praying mantis, earwigs, bees and many others help lend a hand by combating certain pests such as aphids. Each year, I usually pick up a plastic container of ladybugs at my local garden center. It has become a ritual with the kids and me to release hundreds of ladybugs into our gardens. Knowing that these insects will stick around if they have a place to call home, this year I decided to make a place just for our ladybug friends. When seeking shelter, insects look for homes that have small nooks and crannies, are made from natural material, and provide safety from the elements—especially during the winter. I decided to add a green roof as well. I figured this is one more place for the insects to thrive. I love the idea of replacing pesticides with ladybugs!

Supplies:

  • A birdhouse
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Outdoor paint
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Bamboo
  • Bamboo sticks
  • Wood glue
  • Sheet of moss
  • Chicken wire
  • Potting soil
  • Plants. I used two varieties of sedum.
  • Staple Gun and staples
  • Screw eye hook (optional)

For all the complete directions, take a peek at the photo gallery below.

Ladybug Hotel How-To

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Home Sweet Home

Attract beneficial insects like ladybugs to your home with a house like this one.

Not Just for the Birds

Carefully pry and remove the front panel of the birdhouse with a flat head screwdriver.

Add a Pop of Color

Spray paint the entire bird house inside and outside of the house to help it weather the elements.

Add Bamboo

Cut bamboo pieces the depth of the house and glue them in place like a puzzle until you fill the entire house. Add randomly placed clusters of sticks too along the way. Bugs really dig that!

Make a Planting Pocket

Cut a piece of chicken wire a bit longer than the side of the house to form a planting pocket. Line the outside of the chicken wire with a sheet of moss and staple it into place on one side and half way across the bottom.

Turn the Roof Green

Tuck in your plants and some potting soil into the planting pocket and secure the pocket in place with staples.

Ready for Guests

Tuck in extra moss to cover any exposed staples and water your roof thoroughly. To hang your insect hotel, add a screw eye hook to the top and place or hang it in the garden.

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