Building a bug hotel they’ll want to check in to

image showing a bug hotel made of different materials including wood and straw and other natural materials
Bug hotels are easy to make and perfect for an activity to do with the kids

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    < 50 £
  • Duration
    1-3 h


Bug hotels are easy to make, can be assembled from all manner of found, recycled, or up-cycled materials, and can provide a welcoming home for all sorts of insects. With autumn approaching they also provide a secure hibernation habitat. It’s important to make the effort to create a garden that is as insect friendly as possible. Not only do insects provide food for birds, they eat pests that damage vegetables and plants, help breakdown rotting plant and fruit debris and are essential for pollination. They don’t just make the garden more interesting, they help it to thrive.

These environmentally-friendly insect abodes are a great way to re-cycle and transform old pallets, as well as garden debris which may otherwise end up on the compost or to reuse old or damaged building materials – what’s more its easy, fun and you will have literally created a ‘home made by you’.

Bosch Home and Garden give tips on how to create a 5*hotel your garden bugs will want to check into:

You need
  • carpenter’s square
  • pencil
  • screws
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 3

Decide how you are going to create the structure of your hotel

Old pallets or off-cuts of wood in various widths and lengths can be transformed to make a great structure to begin your build. Stacked slate shingles also make a perfect protective roof for any hotel.

Step 2 3

Set out the tools you might need for the project

Bug hotel in a garden. Made up of various natural materials
Bug hotels are perfect for inviting creatures into your garden

You need: carpenter’s square, pencil, screws

It doesn’t take much, but some helpful items include a pencil, a carpenter’s square, screws, a drill and a saw.

Step 3 3

Let your imagination go wild

An image of various woods and natual materials
Creating bug hotels are great for the imagination

As for the contents of the rooms, there are no rules but you will need lots of materials for all the different types of insect friends that may want to visit. With a little research and a good imagination, many of the items can be found in your own garden.

Bug hotels can be a charming focal point, a perfect upcycling/recycling project as well as an inviting habitat for your garden creatures. Limited only by your imagination, create your design, which can be as big or small as you want, by searching your shed or garage for unused items like broken bricks and old flowerpots that will furnish and make inviting rooms in your bug hotel. Your completed residence will hopefully encourage beneficial insects to make it their home.

·  Dead wood and loose bark are perfect for both larvae and adult beetles, centipedes and spiders.
·  Tunnels, such as bamboo canes, hollowed-out cornstalks, bricks or holes drilled into wood are welcoming nesting sites for solitary bees.
·  Hay and straw create the perfect hibernation site for many beneficial garden insects.
·  Dry sticks and leaves create an area similar to the forest floor, providing areas to hide.
·  A stone on the bottom provides a cool, damp area that frogs and toads will find comfortable.
·  Corrugated cardboard rolled up like a tube can be a home for many bugs.