One homeowner on Reddit recently got creative with attracting beneficial bugs to their garden.
While many people are creeped out by creepy-crawlies, not all insects are alike. Some, like bees and butterflies, are pollinators and are necessary to help fruit and flowers mature. Others, like ladybugs, are predators that will patrol through the garden eating plant pests like aphids while still being harmless to humans.
For those reasons, this Redditor decided to build an adorable home for their garden helpers. “Bug Hotel is almost finished,” they declared in their Reddit post.
As they explained in a comment, the hotel was made of recycled shipping pallets, plus a few other odds and ends. Despite the humble materials, the photo they shared was quite crafty. The multistory “building” appeared to be about two to three feet tall, resting on a foundation of bricks. It had several rooms, each open at the front, some filled with materials like bamboo stalks, pinecones, and unused pavers. A thick layer of fresh grass on top formed the roof.
“I had never heard of these until today,” said a commenter. “It was interesting to find out that they are not to trap/kill bugs, but to help the useful bugs.”
“The aim is to attract ladybugs, butterflies, toads, woodlice, and other isopods into the garden,” the user explained. They also added that it was unfinished and that they intended to continue filling the empty shelves.
Depending on exactly what materials the Redditor planned to add, this bug hotel could provide food, shelter, and breeding grounds for a wide range of species. Many of them could benefit the garden, and all would increase the biodiversity of the area — specifically the variety of different species living there, which is helpful for maintaining a balanced and resilient ecosystem.
“Nice!” said a commenter with prior bug hotel experience. “I suggest adding a mesh front to it to keep birds and rodents out of it. Unfortunately I learned that the hard way!”
“No!” another user countered. “It’s a two-in-one lol bug motel/bird buffet.”
Feeding birds is indeed another role that bugs can play in a healthy ecosystem — although it may or may not have been what the original poster had in mind.
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