In this Badge Bit you will make a house for ladybugs.
Some research is needed to come up with a design that will attract ladybugs. Please look around a bit for a design before copying the first image you find online.
To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- it must be openable for cleaning
- it must be designed/located to protect the inside from rain
- natural wood and steel/wood fasteners (no glue, plywood, stain, paint)
To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must:
- post a pic of the ladybug house under construction
- post a pic of your finished ladybug house in its final mounted location
- post a pic of the inside of the ladybug house with the nesting material
You have a location to find plans for lady bug houses that work in northern climates? That is one I have been hunting for years.
So far I haven't found them. The best I can do comes from things I have seen. Growing up I know occasionally we turned over a board or a rock in the late fall that was full underneath it with lady bugs. If they warmed up they flew away so they were dormant not dead. Also at one point we cut down a large long dead cottonwood tree with a crack that was nearly to the core. When we started splitting it the inner parts of that crack were lined with lady bugs basically as deep as they could go. There was nothing in the outer 4 to 6 inches and they only went in as far as the crack would let them. I know from taking that firewood into the house to dry that when some of it warmed up the house was crawling with lady bugs so they were not dead. The final example was stripping the 12" lap masonite siding off some of the north end of the house one late fall to repair water damage from an air conditoner. and some physical damage lower. The triangular areas between the masonite siding and the plywood were totally packed with lady bugs starting about 3 to 4 feet off the ground and going to about 8 feet off the ground. The laps above and below the main zone had a few lady bugs in them but apparently height matters?
As best I can figure it needs to be shelter with roughly a 1/8" to rough 1/4" gaps. Insulated from the weather and stays dry.(is some moisture needed?) But what else is needed?
I don't have any specific plans. I looked around a bit when setting up this BB but I didn't see anything as compelling as the info that abounds for mason bees. I'm guessing you'd satisfy this BB if you took an educated shot at a design based on a little research. If it works, report back and we'll all be the better for it.
I love ladybugs so much, and I have seen them when I didn't expect them many times. I don't think I've ever seen a whole bunch of them together indoors, but I like the idea of creating a self-cleaning ladybug habitat, perhaps that regrows each year so that it doesn't need to be cleaned by a human hand. I just love that this is a badge bit! Beetles are my favorite, and lady bugs are just such a delight to see anytime!
Community Building 2.0: ask me about drL, the rotational-mob-grazing format for human interactions.