Wildlife Gardening with Paul Peace

Wildlife gardening - timely advice throughout the year, projects etc. Information on wild flowers, birds, butterflies, bumblebees, mason bees, ladybirds, lacewings, frogs, etc. If it's to do with garden wildlife, you will find it here!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ladybird and lacewing lodges - perennial stems and plastic bottles

With the arrival of autumn frosts the borders become littered with dry, brown perennial stems. It can be tempting for the tidy gardener to rush out and cut them down yet there is good reason to leave them. Apart from the fact they often look pretty when frost crystals form on them and glisten in the sun, they are also a winter refuge for hibernating insects. A number of these insects are great natural pest controllers in the summer months, especially aphid-eating ladybirds and lacewings.

Artificial refuges for insects can be made by cutting the ends off a plastic bottle to make a waterproof tube and stuffing this with hollow stems or bamboo. One end of each stem is usually plugged, e.g. with plasticine, to make it warmer and drier. The insect lodge is placed horizontally and out of sight in a shrub or hedge.

For more wildlife gardening advice, ebooks, information, projects and jokes please visit: www.thewildlifegarden.co.uk


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