Bugs are really important in nature to control pests, pollinate flowers and keep our gardens and parks looking healthy. Why not give our little friends a helping hand by making them a hotel, a really interesting and appealing place to stay and be happy. Making a bug hotel is a really fun activity that anyone can get involved in; from foraging for materials to planning your construction and you don't even need a big space.
To make your bug hotel you will need to find a flat, accessible surface in a cool semi-shaded area.
The following items are really useful for building your structure;
- Hollow tubes e.g. garden hose, cardboard tubes, toilet roll tubes, bamboo canes even plastic bottles with the end cut off – great for solitary bees and ladybirds.
- Dead wood such as twigs, sticks, bark, branches – good for beetles, woodlice and centipedes.
- Dry leaves – This mimics a woodland floor and is ideal for spiders, beetles and woodlice.
Bricks with holes or old house tiles – very inviting for frogs and toads who like cool damp crevices.
- Straw and reeds – these provide a safe home for invertebrates to burrow in.
- Plant pots (plastic or terracotta).
- Flowers and plants – very attractive for butterflies and bees.
- Rocks - great for spiders and woodlice.
Wooden pallets make a great base to your hotel if you can get hold of one (not essential). There is no one correct way of constructing your bug hotel but if you’re not sure, start by laying some twigs, leaves, straw etc inside one of the large cardboard tubes and then either lay the tubes on the floor or hang from low branches.
Once you have constructed your hotel, you will need to give it a name and decorate the entrance to make the bugs feel welcome! Visit your hotel regularly to undertake maintenance and log your guests. Why not download our ‘guest list’ spotters guide of bugs to keep an eye out for. Tick the box once you have spotted the bug.
We have also produced a spotters guide so that you can tick off your visitors when they check into the hotel