Posted 27th May 2016
Make your own insect hotel - the perfect little home hub for insects
1 The colour red attracts green lacewings, which is why insect hotels for these little creatures should always be painted red. The hotels should be hung in sunny or semi-shaded areas (depending on the weather) about two metres high, or attached to a post.
2 and 3 The ideal hotel should be well ventilated and dry, with slat-like openings slanted downwards. You can achieve an equal distance between the slats by drawing the slat lines on the supporting side pieces before boring the holes for the screws. There should be no openings in the sides, back or roof of the hotel.
4 Waterproof veneer panels, as well as normal wood covered in roofing felt, can be used for the roof and back wall of the hotel. The roof should be 36cm x 36cm. The two side walls should be 30cm deep and have a tapered height going from 30cm at the back to 22.5cm at the front. This tapered height tilts the roof on a diagonal slant. The back wall should be 25cm wide and 30cm tall.
5 and 6 Screw four slats to the side walls at various angles to create a slatted bottom for the hotel. Then screw on the back wall.
7 The front of the hotel should be hinged so that it can be opened. Use two side pieces (4cm wide x 22cm long and rounded at the top) and screw four slanted slats to them to create the hotel front. Attach to the box with two screws.
8 Attach the roof, paint the hotel and drill a hole so that you can attach the hotel to a post. The final step is to fill the hotel with straw, wood shavings or hay. Replace the filling every two years. The lacewings will then actively lay their eggs wherever there are aphids to feed the hatching larvae.
The front of the hotel can also be made from one board (22.5cm x 25cm) with slots 5cm apart.