A great way to attract birds to your garden is through creating a collection of insect and bug residents. A good way to do this is by providing the insects and bugs with homes. The Mini Hanging Bug House is a cheap and easy place to start.
Offering your bug and insect garden inhabitants with shelter will help them to survive through bad weather and the colder winter months. There are plenty of ready-made bug and bee houses available from wildlife stores and garden centres but if you want a cheap and cheerful way to offer bugs shelter then you need look no further than this DIY bug house.
To make the bug house you will need a cream or yoghurt pot about 300ml in size, several empty toilet rolls (we used 6 or 7) and garden twine or thick string at least two metres in length depending on its thickness. You will also need a pair of scissors and some sticky tape.
Once all of the required materials have been collected simply follow these easy steps to building your very own hanging bug house.
Take a toilet roll and cut it lengthways, open it so that it's almost flat and cut it into several strips varying from one to two inches in width. Roll each of the strips into small tubes, using sticky tape to secure them in place. Continue to do this with each toilet roll until the small tubes fit snuggly into the cream or yoghurt pot.
Use a pair of scissors to pierce a hole in the pot, just below its rim. Thread one end of the twine through the hole and tie it into a knot.
Run the other end of the twine around the pot's rim and thread it beneath the knot you created with the other end of the twine. Proceed to wrap the twine around the pot tightly, heading from the pot's rim to its base.
Once the loops of twine have reached the base of the pot make two holes beside each other and thread the twine in through one hole and out through the other.
Take the end of the twine and thread it beneath the loop closest to the pot's base. Pull the twine taut, threading it beneath the loop closest to the pot's rim, beside the knot at the other end of the twine.
Tie the end of the twine into a knot and cut off any excess, this will leave you with miniature bug house complete with a handle for hanging.
To make your hanging bug house last as long as possible it is best to place it in a sheltered area out of any driving rain. This will help with preventing the cardboard inside from becoming too soggy. If the cardboard does become too soggy it is easily replaced by a new set made from used toilet rolls which never seem to be in short supply.
A few days after siting the bug house you can go into your garden to check if it has any new residents, if it does just be careful not to wake them!
Having insects and bugs in your garden is likely to attract insectivorous birds such as swallows and swifts, and softbill birds such as blackbirds and thrushes.
If you have any DIY ideas for wildlife please tell us about them by sending an email to email@example.com with the title "wildlife DIY” and we could feature your creation in a future post.