Bug B&B

I am now the proud owner of a B&B for bugs. Why would I want to do that, you ask? Good question! Over the past months I’ve taken a special interest in bugs and the fact that they run the world – like this massive yet unseen factory that keeps Earth’s systems functioning. I’ve also learned more than I wanted to know about insect decline.

So I built a B&B. The point behind a backyard bug B&B is to provide shelter for the bugs and to support biodiversity in an increasingly manicured and paved world. Mind you, I’m fairly certain that my overgrown, unmanicured yard is a natural B&B, but building one was part experiment, part curiosity, part creative outlet, and part foundation for a book I have brewing. And it was kind of fun.

These built structures don’t have to be large. They simply need a variety of hidey holes and materials to attract different bugs. Solitary bees and wasps, for example, like logs with drilled holes, reeds, and bamboo. Centipedes, spiders, and beetles seek out lose bark and dead, decaying wood. Attract ladybugs with pinecones, straw, sticks, and dry leaves.

A bug hotel needs a roof too, apparently, which I find slightly ironic. They also should be placed in a sunny spot, out of the wind, and near flowering plants if possible. The best time to build a bug B&B is in late summer or early fall since that’s when many bugs are laying eggs and/or seeking shelter. While I’m a few months behind, the B&B is complete and I’m curious to see who will book a room. Let the experiment begin!