Ladybugs, also known as Ladybirds in the UK, are extremely useful insects, which are the secret weapon of every gardener. Unfortunately, winter is a difficult time for them. You can help them to survive the freezing cold by building a ladybug home righ in your back yard.
How They Feed
Ladybugs are a natural enemy of garden pests. The larva, before turning into an adult, is able to absorb from 200 to 600 aphids (in 3-4 weeks). However, the insect can devour as many as 5000 aphids during its entire developmental cycle (about 14 months) (other pests are also their delicacy: Mealybugs, Spider Mites, Scale can range in colour from brown, off-white to even purple & Honeycombs). So it is worth to invite ladybugs to your garden and provide them with safe shelter over the winter. Green lacewings will also gladly use it. They are yellow-green insects of delicate structure, which feed on aphids. They are very sensitive to frost.
Fall is a good time to prepare a ladybug home. It is really easy to do and you will not need any special equipment. It is based on materials naturally occurring in nature.
What You Will Need
- Ceramic pot (one or more pieces)
- Piece of string, wire or chain
- A small wooden peg
- Conifer twigs, cones, straw, dried lilac leaves, hay, deciduous tree twigs
The Making Of Ladybug House
Attach the wire, chain or string to the peg, which will effectively support the whole structure and make it stable.
Tie together a few twigs, a clump of hay or straw. Place them in the inside of the pot. It is important not to use too many plants, as the house is supposed to encourage ladybugs to enter. The multitude of materials used may scare them away.
Fix the twigs to the previously prepared peg and feed them through the hole in the pot.
The house is ready! The only thing left is to hang it on a tree branch. It is best at a height of about 1.5 meters above the ground. Choose a relatively quiet, sheltered from the wind. You can also place such a construction on the balcony, because also city ladybugs need shelter. 😉
Hotels for Insects
In fall, other useful insects (bees, bumblebees, bricklayers, hunters) seek shelter. They are very willing to overwinter in empty plant stems or holes hollowed in a piece of wood. See how easy it is to make your own insects in hotels.
#1 Pitched Roof Cottage
#2 Tubes & Holes of Different Sizes and Thickness
#3 Powerful Design
#4 Charming Cottages Decorated With Artificial Ladybugs 😉
#5 Minimalist Style
#6 Cozy Bug Home
#7 Cottage Secured With a Net
How do you like these bughouse projects? Or maybe you have already built it? Let us know in the commentary.
Do you ever rake leaves at home during Fall 😉?