Nick nack paddy wack…


…give a bug a home!

Insect hotel

Henry and the Insect Hotel

This year has been really bad for bugs of all sorts – the good, the bad and the (b)ugly. On the plus side you might say, there have been fewer of those aphids and blackfly and harlequin ladybirds which make gardeners and conservationists cringe. But on the other hand, there have also been fewer of the bees and lacewings and native ladybirds which bring a smile to people’s faces and eat some of the less helpful insects in the garden.

native 7-spot ladybird, busy househunting (D Stodulski)

Truth is, there’s no such thing as a good bug or a bad bug. They’re all just bugs, doing their buggy thing. Just like a weed is only a plant in the wrong place, a “bad bug” is just a bug somewhere it’s not welcome. And we at refuse to believe that any bug is ugly! (Catherine says some are still sweeter than others, though)

But our native critters need all the help they can get and that includes a nice safe spot to overwinter.  And then some really crisp cold weather so they can sleep right through in safety – if it’s too warm or wet, there’s a chance they’ll wake up before time and then there’ll be no food for them to eat.

Harlequin ladybird – pretty enough, but not welcome here (photo – Bruce Marlin)

There’s also a greater risk of them being attacked by fungus or some other disease. If you want to help, why not build an insect house – or email us and we’ll sell you one – to give them all somewhere snug to hibernate this winter. A bundle of twigs, some pine cones, a few hollow canes, some wood to bore into – anything will do. Just make sure you don’t use any material that’s treated with pesticides or fungicides, and cover it all with a nice dry roof.

Henry & Catherine’s Dad