Create habitats for insects

More than just a pile of stones
Create habitats for insects

Just bare land, stones in a heap or rotten wood – those who like a tidy garden do not find such beautiful corners. But they are the best insect houses.

Do you already have a bug seat? So-called “beetle banks” are common in many countries: they are the edges of a bed or fields that do not work. Because then all kinds of insects feel comfortable there, and multiply and spread there.

It is especially important in the fall to create living spaces for insects in the garden, such as a ladybug bench. Because beneficial animals need good shelter in rain, wind, frost and snow, just like us and large animals in nature.

Without insects, the cycle falters

And in the end we have one thing in common: the animals and the owners of the parks they live in. Because insects are essential to the functioning of our environment – to put it more simply: without them they do not function. They pollinate food plants, which can bear fruit.

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Soil insects break up dead plant material and give the soil nutrients, which in turn give it to plants for good growth. Without insects, this decay would be much slower.

And then, according to the Federal Ministry of Environment, insects are also an important component of the food chain. Many birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals such as bats, shrews, hedgehogs, and badgers, but also other insects eat insects.

Insects fertilize our food

Also critically important is that predatory insects keep pests at bay – which will not only endanger our garden plants, but also the plants farmers grow for our diet and those of the animals we love to eat.

That’s a lot of reasons to give insects a home in our garden. If you still do not like lice, hoverflies and many beetles: a small corner, in the last corner of the garden out of sight of the house and the usual activities in the garden, leaving enough place for the animals.

How about that behind a rain barrel or in the back of a greenhouse? At the woodworking store or at the back edge of a hedge. Here are some of his design ideas:

It is a small wall about 40 cm high. According to the Agricultural Industry Association (IVA), the dam provides a good microclimate, in which the accumulated soil warms quickly and dries up quickly after rains.

Experts advise placing the beetle seat in the north-south direction. This is the best way to use sunlight. And the beetle bank must not be deliberately planted.

Whether it is a small pile of stones or a real dry stone wall: the stones are very attractive to many insects and small domestic reptiles. They hide in crevices or breed in them. An example of this is the Rossett Mason bee.

The stones should be placed in a light and warm location, advises IVA. It is important that they are loosely layered and that the stones are laid in such a way that some of them form small terraces. Lizards want to be able to sunbathe on them. You can install the container by filling the gaps with clay or clay.

Dead wood, such as pruning or logging leftovers, is a common building material for insect dwellings. Wild bees in particular do something good with it. But that’s not all: blackbirds, robins and birds also breed throughout spring and summer.

Pieces of wood, as well as roots and remnants of bark, are simply placed between the vertical posts holding everything in place. Or you can stack them loosely in a pile. IVA recommends taking wood at various stages of decay and building a dead wood pile in a sunny spot.

You don’t have enough wood: a simple stack of leaves and brushwood is a substitute. By the way, this is where hedgehogs feel at home. Compost piles are also home to many insects.

Some insects want to get to the uninflated ground. Some wild bees, for example, make nesting tubes in them when there are no visible holes. But the habitat of raw soil is more than just a fallow area in the garden that we leave for insects. It must have a solid structure.

IVA recommends digging a hole 30 to 50 cm deep and filling it with sandy loam. This area should be kept free of vegetation, that is, also free of wild grasses and weeds. Ideally, the habitat of insects is near the flower beds that provide food.

Of course, one thing not to forget: the bug hotel. By the way, it is also an option for balcony gardeners to do something for insects.

Insect hotel is a nesting and wintering aid for a large number of insects. To name a few: wild bees and bumblebees, parasitic and curly wasps, borer or spider wasps, lacquer wasps and earlobes and many species of beetles.

But it is hardly useful on its own: only if insect plants grow near the hotel, the animals will have enough food and extend their stay. Therefore, the Agricultural Industry Association advises taking care of native trees and shrubs such as willows, wild roses or honeysuckle, as well as the hotel’s insect-friendly herbs and flowers.

Ideally, it is hung or standing in a sunny place protected from wind and rain. Important: it should not move in the wind.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220908-99-678601/2

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