The simple act of hanging up a butterfly house or or butterfly hotel in your yard allows you to directly contribute to the conservation of wonderful butterflies – right in your own home!
What is a butterfly house?
These boxes give your local butterflies a place to shelter during the day and during bad weather, and to rest safely for the night – allowing you to not only help them, but to enjoy them up close as you attract them into your backyard.
And a habitat for butterflies doesn’t have to stand out like a sore thumb in your yard. There are some beautiful designs out there (or you can make your own), giving a real natural look and of course allowing it to blend in to your garden which makes it much more likely that butterflies will be attracted to it and actually use it.
You might have some questions about using a butterfly box or home in your garden. So I’ve put together a short guide that hopefully answers most of these!
Do you need to clean a butterfly house?
People who are used to putting up bird houses, feeders or nesting boxes would be aware that they need to be kept clean. But Butterfly houses don’t really need your attention in this way – they’re a lot more “set and forget”, requiring little to maintenance once you’ve got it set up. Not all boxes that are made especially for butterflies even open up at all, confirming that internal cleaning isn’t necessary.
Will butterflies actually use a butterfly box?
That’s the big question, isn’t it?
It depends: do you already have butterflies visiting your garden? Do you have plants that attract butterflies? If so, you have a much higher chance of having your butterfly structure used by them. A lot of people just love to hang them up as an attractive garden accessory, since they come in some beautiful designs. In these cases, it’s truly a bonus to see a butterfly or two (or more) taking an interest!
Are Butterfly Houses Weatherproof?
A good butterfly box should be weatherproof and able to resist rain without any modifications. They are made to be put outside after all. Unfortunately some of the cheaper, lesser quality ones might be made of regular pine or other wood that hasn’t been painted. Even having a metal roof on these boxes won’t prevent the wood from eventually rotting, so painting it with non-toxic paint is the only way to make those boxes last. It’s obviously easier to buy one that is weatherproof, so you don’t have to fuss with paint.