Many beetles are voracious predators of invertebrate pests like aphids, slugs and maggots, so it’s worth creating habitats for them in your garden.
Some habitats, such as leaf piles and compost heaps, come with the added bonus of providing valuable organic matter to be used around the garden.
If you don’t have enough space for larger habitats, you could make or buy small beetle houses that can be hung up on walls or placed on the ground.
Discover five beetle habitats to make, below.
Several species of beetle lay eggs among decaying leaves and their larvae feed on small invertebrates like slugs. Leaf piles make a good overwintering place for beetles – they’ll be on hand in spring to deal with early slugs.
Collecting fallen leaves into a pile
An open compost heap, in which beetles can access the waste, provides the perfect breeding habitat for a range of ground dwelling beetles. Avoid closed, plastic bins, which prevent access to the waste within; wooden slatted units are best.
An open-topped compost heap with sides made of wooden slats
A pile of stones will provide a dark, damp place for nocturnal beetles to shelter by day. Pile a few stones in your ornamental border and the beetles will be closer to their prey – slugs and snails – when they emerge to hunt at dusk.
Stones and timber placed together on a lawn
Dead wood stack
Simple stacks of dead wood created from woody prunings or larger logs will attract plenty of invertebrate life, beetles included. Here are three ways to create a dead wood habitat.
Placing logs into a stack
Stumperies were popular in Victorian Britain and are typically created from dead wood such as logs, tree stumps and bark. They’re especially good for attracting wood-boring beetles, such as stag beetles. Here’s how to create a stumpery.
Making a stumpery of vertical logs, ends embedded into the earth, surrounded by loose leaves
Beetles to look out for
- Devil’s coach-horse (Ocypus olens)
- Lesser stag beetle (Dorcus parallelipipedus)
- Soldier beetle (Rhagonycha fulva)
- Stag beetle (Lucanus cervus)
- Violet ground beetle (Carabus violaceus)
- Black clock beetle (Pterostichus madidus)
- Blue ground beetle (Leistus spinibarbis)
- Rove beetle (Philonthus politus)
- Broad ground beetle (Abax parallelepipedus)