A cozy habitat for weta.
Weta are our buddies in the garden. Ours are the size of my hand. Over in matiu Island they're bigger than my face.
Weta like to chew on wood. They are nocturnal and need somewhere dry and dark to sleep all day. Previously they used the weeds under the lemon tree, but I pull out those weeds. So this is my peace offering to these fierce insects.
Step 1: Split a Log
Choose untreated wood, as weta will be eating the wood slowly.
Split the log horizontally halfway and then vertically halfway, to separate a piece form the log. This will become the door flap for viewing the weta.
Step 2: Measure and Chisel Out Rooms
Use a ruler and pencil to draw the rooms for the weta. Chisel out this space. Remember the weta will renovate the room to their own requirements, don't bother making it perfect. Any uneven surface will make a nice snack for a weta.
We started with a chisel, then increased depth with a dremel. And smoothed with a drill.
Step 3: Drill Doorways
Drill a doorway. Weta prefer horizontal path ways. At least 10mm. No bigger then 18mm, or you'll get mice instead of weta.
Step 4: Window
Add a see through window.
This is to stop weta jumping in your face when you open the door.
We used clear acrylic, held in place with screws.
Step 5: Light Stop
Use draft stop tape to surround the windows and make the rooms dark for the weta. We kept this in place under the edge of the acrylic.
Step 6: Latch
Use a garden gate or tool box Latch to hold the door shut tightly, allowing me light into the rooms. You could also use twine to pull it closed.
I used an old suitcase strap pulled tight.