Any real gardener loves when their garden crawls with insects, as long as the different species are beneficial. However, a more inexperienced gardener may find bugs in their garden to be annoying. In fact, some people find these insects to be pests. While this can be true, plenty of beneficial insects that will dodo wonders for your garden that you may not know about. These beneficial insects impact the health of your gardens by pollinating plants and eating bugs and fungus that will cause damage. With that being said, we want these powerful pollinators to stick around. So how do we attract them to our yard as well as keep them there once they arrive? That is where a bug hotel comes into play.
What Is The Function Of An Insect House?
Typically insects find homes anywhere they can, such as cracks, under rocks, or anywhere that provides a safe hiding spot. Unfortunately, it has become more and more difficult for insects to find proper homes to thrive in. Insects thrive on living in natural materials such as rotted wood, leaves, or one of the many other substrates you would find in nature. Unfortunately, the typical gardener will have a very scarce amount of these natural resources in their backyard. This means beneficial insects won't be as likely to be drawn to your yard or garden. However, by placing an insect house or insect hotel in your yard or garden, you significantly increase the chances of these beneficial insects moving in and tremendously benefiting your garden. An insect hotel works by providing a safe structure for insects to make their homes in. You will find insect hotels are made out of wood or other recycled materials. These wooden houses will also have dry wood shavings, pine cones, bamboo canes, or a variety of other substrate modifications within them to provide shelter to certain beneficial insects.
Is There A Difference Between Beehives and Insect Hotels?
There a few differences between beehives and insect hotels or, in this case, a bee hotel. First, the size of a beehive is typically much larger than a bee hotel. Beehives are built as if they are large boxes. This makes it easy for beekeepers to reach in and grab honeycombs and tend to the bees as needed. A bee hotel or insect hotel is not designed to handle the storage of honey. There is nowhere near the amount of space as there is in a beehive. Insect hotels are designed to look like small homes and have nowhere near the depth of a beehive. Finally, an insect hotel is designed to house a variety of beneficial insect species, whereas a beehive is designed specifically for bees to store honey.
What Beneficial Insects Live In A Bug House?
Insect hotels will attract a wide variety of species. Each one of these insects will offer its own benefits to your flowers or plants. There are three kinds of beneficial insects that you will want living in your insect hotel.
Pollinators - Pollinators are insects such as Bees, ants, butterflies, moths, or wasps. These bugs will help pollinate your flowers and vegetables and help you grow thriving vegetation. People often comment on not only how much healthier their gardens are doing overall but how beautiful it is to see so many butterflies in their garden each day.
Predators - Predators are insects that, as the name implies, eat other insects that can be problematic in your garden. A few kinds of predators you may find are ladybugs, praying mantis, and lacewings. Pests such as aphids or mites can destroy your garden in a matter of days. Each of these species does an incredible job at keeping any pest problem under control without the use of pesticides. Once predator insects move into your hotel, your days of trying to search for the perfect pesticide will be long gone.
Decomposers - Decomposers are a type of bug that will eat anything dead or rotting within your gardens. These include spiders, centipedes, and beetles. These bugs will help keep issues such as fungi down and take care of any rotting vegetation. By keeping the ground free of dead plant material, these decomposers create an ideal environment for any flowering plants or vegetables have planted to thrive.
If you can attract these three types of beneficial insects to your gardens and have them begin to nest within these hotels, you will increase the overall biodiversity of your backyard and see a noticeable improvement in the plants and vegetables within your gardens.
Where Should I Place My Bug Hotel?
The location of your insect house is critical for the success of attracting beneficial insects and keeping them around. First, you want to make sure that your insect house is near your plants. Ideally, these should be your plants that require pollination. Another tip is to make sure your insect house is safely secured in its location. You are going to end up limiting yourself to the type of insects you will attract if your house is not safely secured. With our bug hotel, you never have to worry about weather conditions. Our slanted roof will keep rainwater from pooling up and causing damage to the structure and keep the bugs inside nice and dry.
One of the common mistakes people make is bringing their insect houses inside their homes during the winter. We cannot state this enough, but absolutely do not do this. There is a high likelihood insects are hibernating within the insect hotel. If the bugs are in a warmer environment, it may trick the insects into thinking it's spring. The last thing you want is a bunch of insects coming out of hibernation inside your home. Leave it where it is, or if you would like, place the insect hotel in your shed. It's critical always to place the hotel back in its original location. The bugs that are hibernating inside are expecting to come out of hibernation to a specific habitat. Any location change can cost you the benefits you have been waiting so long to receive from these insects.
How Do I Attract Bugs To My Insect Hotel?
The types of bug species you will attract to your insect hotel will depend on a few factors—first, the size and location of your insect hotel. If you want to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, you may want to use one of our staked bug houses and place it near your flowering plants and vegetables. If you are more concerned about attracting predators, you may want to consider placing your bug house on the ground or hanging it in a lower location.
What Benefits Does A Insect Hotel Provide My garden?
One of the biggest selling points for owning insect houses is creating a safe location for insects that will help pollinate your plants. Offering an insect house to you will give any beneficial insect in your garden a reason to stay and help contribute positively to your garden. Whether that means helping with pollination or helping out with natural pest control, you will be happy to have a bug house filled with beneficial insects.
Another reason is creating a wide variety of diversity throughout yo. It's important to know that multiple types of beneficial insects will live within your insect house. By having this wide variety, you are going to provide your garden with a multitude of benefits. The house will give the bugs a perfect nesting place to lay their eggs to help inhabit your garden and yard indefinitely.
Insect hotels also provide bugs shelter from hungry birds looking for food. The hotel will give them enough protection to nest safely and mitigate the number of larvae eaten by birds or other predators.
Finally, an insect house makes your garden look amazing. These little structures give your garden a pop. We currently offer two different sizes of insect homes, so it is up to which you believe suits your needs. We always recommend adding one to each garden you have.
Are Insect Houses Worth The Money?
Absolutely! Look, at the end of the day, if you're into gardening at all, you are missing out on a ton of benefits by not owning at least one insect house. By placing insect hotels in your garden, you will notice an increase in beneficial insects appearing. For example, you will see more butterflies and bees that will help pollinate your flowering plants. Predator bugs such as lacewings and ladybugs living in your insect hotel will address any pest problems you may have. You will also notice decomposers such as beetles wanting to live in your insect hotels. Beetles and other decomposers will take care of any fungus or dead plants, or bugs within your garden.
Once you add one of these insect hotels to your garden, you will begin to notice a burst of life and growth. You will never have to spend money on harmful pesticides or sprays, which is a huge plus, especially for those of you who own animals. No matter how many insect hotels you choose to own, these simple wooden hotels will quickly make your garden the envy of your friends, and everyone will want to know your secret!
If you have any questions about insect hotels, gardening, or anything else, please feel free to contact us at any time!