A bug hotel, also known as a wildlife hotel, is a popular way for gardeners to attracting more wildlife into their garden. There are lots of pre-made hotels available to buy, however most gardeners that grow their own, will undoubtedly want to build their own too. It provides a sense of accomplishment and can fit perfectly into the space. Not to mention is a great way to use materials found lying around their space.
Interested in building your own bug hotel? Then read on …
Building a Bug Hotel
What is it?
A bug hotel, if you didn’t already guess, is a place that a variety of insects can find shelter. Is the thought of it making your skin crawl? If you’re not a fan of insects, then you may be put off having one of these in your garden. However, increasing your garden wildlife will boost your local eco-system and ensure that your flowers will get pollinated for years to come.
Wildlife hotels create shelter for insects all year long. Insects such as some species of butterflies, moths and ladybugs hibernate over winter, so they look for a safe, dry place to shelter. Larger animals will benefit from the hotel too, including frogs and hedgehogs.
Learn how to build a bug hotel yourself using our step by step guide…
How to build a bug hotel
A bug hotel is easy to make and should take no longer than 2 hours.
What you’ll need:
-Twigs + Dried Leaves
-Pieces of wood (from old furniture, ornaments, toys)
-Old terracotta pots
-Old roofing tiles
-Stones and pebbles
-Bricks, preferably those with holes through them
Step 1: Choosing your spot.
We know that bugs and wildlife love places where that can hide and find shelter. When picking your Wildlife Hotel location choose a wild area if possible, long, uncut grass is great. The ideal spot is somewhere that is sunny or has light shade.
Tip: Create the hotel in the location it will reside. It is much harder to create it and transfer it, than it is to build it where it will stay.
Step 2: Preparing the space.
Begin by clearing away and leveling the area for your Bug hotel. Use sheers to cut the grass and remove it from the area and then use a spade to make sure it is flat. This will be your foundation for the hotel, so it is crucial for it to be on firm ground and that it is level so that it lasts.
For it to be stable structure, keep it below 1 meter in height.
Step 3: Building the structure.
Begin by placing bricks down, it is important for the structure of the hotel that they are level. Place 2 bricks on the left side and on the right side of the area length ways.
Step 4: Fill the gaps.
Fill the space in between with a material of your choice. Use materials that you have lying around, for example twigs. Try to be neat so that lots of small holes are created, rather than large ones, it will help with the overall look of the hotel. The idea is to create as many holes and hiding space for the insects as possible.
Step 5: Building upwards.
Place a piece of wood over the top and repeat the process again. Build upwards, placing different materials in between the bricks each time.
Example design: Layer
1: Pine-cones and hay
2: Broken Tiles
3: Some twigs and logs
4: Slat, that we already had lying around the garden
5: More logs and twigs.
Get creative, there is no specific design needed to build a bug hotel, place the materials in whichever order you wish.
You may wish to add a planter or wooden box on top, the same size as your hotel which you can fill with soil and plant some wildflowers. Roof tiles are a great alternative to ensure the hotel stays dry.