Make your own bug mansion to attract all sorts of creepy crawlies into your garden.
You can be as creative as you like with this one. All you need is some planks of wood, a few bricks to hold it up and then you fill it with twigs, leaves, grass and all kinds of materials that you have lying around your house – so long as they don’t have any chemicals on them.
First you need to select a good location. Find a spot in the garden to build your mini-beast mansion. A sheltered position in sun or semi-shade will be best for most insects and a flat surface will make building easier. You can use anything from bricks, slate, bamboo, leaves, twigs, mud, old fabric, old drinks bottles – whatever you like. Just remember to check with an adult on the items you are using.
Next you need to build the foundtation. This is the bottom of your Bug Mansion. You can use whatever materials you have to hand here, but remember that untreated wood is always best. Pallets stacked on top of one-another make a great shell for your bug mansion, but the same effect can be achieved with bricks and wooden planks, or many other materials. We used an old chest of draws from a charity shop.
Next you need to think about the filling. You can use all sorts of materials to fill your mini-beast mansion. Try to use a variety of ‘fillings’ as different insects will have different needs. Straw / leaves / garden cuttings make good packing material and a mix of pots / twigs / bamboo / logs/ bark will create lots of nooks and crannies for insects to shelter in.
Finally you need some finishing touches. To make sure that your bug mansion is as snug as possible for its inhabitants, try to make sure that the roof is rain-proof. If you really want to offer 5-star facilities for your 6-legged guests, why not also plant some insect-friendly flowers nearby!
Now all you need to do is sit back and wait to see what kind bugs decide to move in. Don't forget to use our bug spotter sheet to help you identify your new guests.