Tips to build your Bug Chalet

This is a wonderful project that can be completed in spring/summer, as it's best to put the bug chalet out in the fall as insects look for places to overwinter. You'll get a chance to work on your woodworking skills, as well as be creative. Also, if you happen to be a gardener, you will have the added benefit from visiting pollinators and pest predators.

There are many possibilities when building insect accommodations, however, once you do some research you will find that certain "furnishings" will attract specific bugs. For example, drilled wood attract bees and wasps; twigs and sticks attract beetles; straw and dried grass attract lacewings. Researching the different insects in your area will be part of the fun.

The creative part will be collecting and decorating your chalet. You may also choose to paint the outside of the chalet, just be sure to use non-toxic and remember to avoid painting it black, as it may heat your insect too much.

If you do choose to paint you probably want to finish your project with a weatherproofing of some sort.

Materials to look for may be twigs, sticks, rocks, leaves, grass, and even some recycled materials such as cardboard boxes.

The wood pieces included in our kit come drilled in advance with screws, which means all you need is a Robertson screwdriver to put it together, but depending on how far you want to go with this project, you may also choose to use extra nails; hammer them in for added strength. You may also use wood glue in the seams and even sandpaper the edges. However, this is not necessary.

Begin building the bug chalet by attaching the two side pieces to the base. Use two screws on each end. Add the back and use another four screws.

Then, attach the roof piece using four screws. You may add the hanger hooks on the back if you plan to hang the bug chalet on a wall or fence. You may also choose to attach the chalet to a post.

Optional: add chicken wire to the front to keep the birds from eating your guests.

That's all!

Remember to place it in a well sheltered, but sunny spot.

Hope you enjoyed this project. Please leave any suggestions in the comments.

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