Kid’s Corner: DIY Insect Habitat at Home

We have more daylight, the temperature is increasing, and the April rains have fed the plants – allowing migrating birds and emerging insects to have food!

As the spring turns into summer, there are many great ways to care for the insects that have emerged and are busy pollinating our flowers or providing resources for other animals. As we get outside, let’s start by making generalized insect hotels!

These hotels provide insects with a place to take shelter and burrow into and are a great way to observe insects up-close!

Materials:

  • 1 Tin Can with Label Removed
  • Outdoor Paint
  • Hammer & 1 Nail
  • Real Wine Corks (not foam ones), Sticks, Hollowed out reeds, Bamboo, Pinecones

Methods:

  1. Make sure the can is washed out and dried thoroughly before painting.
  2. Use outdoor paint to decorate your insect hotel! Then let the paint dry.
  3. Using the hammer and nail, poke holes along where the bottom of your insect hotel will be to add drainage.
  4. Stuff the can tightly with the tubes, corks, pinecones, and other natural items! This will provide insects with spaces to feel protected, and crawl around. Some insects like to burrow into hollow reeds, like the bamboo (hydrangea cuttings work well too!).
  5. Place the finished insect hotel in a shaded spot, where you want to attract insects! Gardens, under some foliage, are great spots!
  6. Observe the can and the insects that live inside and be sure to clean out the can each spring and add new nesting materials!

What sorts of insects use your hotel? Are there any beneficial insects to your garden or habitat? Why do we need to clean out the nesting materials and replace them (think of moisture buildup, or general use…)?

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