The benefits of a bug hotel and how to build one

by Cat Woods

Why build a bug hotel?

Bug hotels benefit lots of different types of minibeast and insects such as ladybirds, bees, spiders and woodlice. Minibeasts can then use your bug hotel as a safe space to shelter, lay their eggs, raise their young, and seek refuge from predators.

Although you can build your bug hotel at any time of year, many animals start looking for safe spaces in autumn in preparation to hibernate. At this time of year, it will also be easier to collect all kinds of natural items that will help you with your eco-friendly creation.

How to make your own bug hotel

The best bug hotels are eco-friendly, and built using upcycled garden materials, natural items such as leaves and sticks, and re-purposed items from home that are no longer wanted. Here are some of our ideas on things you can use:

  • Wooden pallets
  • Pine cones
  • Old terracotta gardening pots
  • Some kind of solid material to cover the top or of the bug hotel, like turf
  • Old pipes or roof tiles
  • Logs and twigs
  • Rotting wood
  • Dry leaves
  • Bark
  • Straw and hay
  • Bamboo canes
  1. Choose your spot! Many bugs will look for a cooler, moist place to shelter. Try finding somewhere in the shade that doesn’t receive too much sunlight, and look for flat and stable ground. When doing this, remember that your bug hotel will be there through winter! (Tip: if you’re building a solitary bee house, try to find a slightly warmer place!)
  2. Layer up! Use palettes or logs to create layers. This way you can use the different materials in different sections. Insects may use the section that best suits them for egg laying and hibernation!
  3. Fill in gaps with all your materials! Fill up your hotel so that the wildlife can fit into the small spaces. There are no rules on how you do this, but why not take a look at our photos or videos for inspiration!

Here’s one we made we made at Momo’s cafe sensory garden.

Here’s one built in my small urban garden which was a fun activity to do with my nephews. 

If you’re interested in us creating a wildlife friendly area in your school, college or community group, please get in touch as we’d love to create one for you to promote biodiversity in your garden area. 

Commissions available. Get in touch!

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