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How to Make an Insect Hotel

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plastic bottle

This is probably the cheapest way of providing a temporary shelter for beneficial insects like ladybirds and lacewings during the cold winter months.

Simply take an empty plastic drinks bottle (the 2 litre size is ideal) and cut the spout end off with a pair of sharp scissors (kids get a grown up to do this for you).

cut the top off the bottle

Next find a length of corrugated cardboard, or cut an old cardboard box into strips.  For a two litre bottle they need to be around 8 inches (20cm) deep.  It doesn't need to be accurate.

cut the top off the bottle

Roll up the cardboard and stuff it into the plastic bottle making sure there are gaps for the insects to come and go freely.  Also ensure that the cardboard is sitting well inside the bottle with none of the cardboard left hanging out.  If it gets damp the insects won't use it.

cut the top off the bottle

Finally mount your hotel in a tree or shrub or on a south facing wall using cable ties or string.  Make sure the open end is pointing slightly downwards to allow any moisture to drain out.

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