Wildlife shelters could be a waste of money, garden and greenhouse fans have been warned.
New research from Which? Gardening shows that many of the products on the market designed to protect animals and insects over winter do not do the job they are supposed to.
This is because the shelters fail to attract the creatures they are supposed to safeguard, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reported.
The study looked at six types of shelter priced at between £9.99 and £69 and found that they were mostly unsatisfactory.
Over the course of a year, most remained unused and just two bee hibernation logs attracted anything at all.
However, even these proved a waste of cash as a cheaper home-made model proved twice as popular with the pollinators.
RHS chief entomologist Andrew Halstead explained that wildlife tends to look after itself during the winter naturally and that mild winters are more of a danger than cold ones as the heat brings the animals out of hibernation early.
"There is no shortage of suitable shelters in the countryside and in urban gardens," he noted.
Meanwhile, the RHS recently reported that a new study has shown that human activity has caused a decline in bee numbers.