What are Bug Hotels good for?
Think of a Bug Hotel as an amazing resort built especially for little creatures! Bugs are hugely beneficial for biodiversity and help pollinate fruit, vegetables and other plants. These amazing critters also assist in breaking down and disposing of wastes such as dead plants, leaves and wood, ensuring we don’t have messy build-ups in our gardens. Incredibly, they also act as pest control by being part of the food chain which attracts other useful creatures such as lizards and frogs. Yes, bugs are amazing!
Top tips to create a Bug Hotel
We recently created a bug hotel at Brigit’s Garden and these are our top tips and ideas on how to build your own;
Use recycled materials
Protecting the environment is a core pillar of the work we do at Brigit’s Garden so using recycled and natural materials that we found around the Garden was the best option.
The frame we used was once part of a shelf. We took out the backboard and replaced it with small gauge chicken-wire that helps keep all our secret nooks and crannies tight, creating spaces where different size insects can live. Your frame can be any size so work with what you have available.
Use natural materials
Scavenge around your garden and find natural materials that are already on the ground to use in your Bug Hotel. These can include;
- Twigs – thin and fat
- Pieces of broken terracotta plant pot
- Cork – some wine bottles have cork lids!
- Broken slate tiles
- Corrugated cardboard
- Hollow plant stems
- Natural rope or twine
- Ice-cream sticks
- We even came across a small bird house that was no longer in use!
How to assemble your Bug Hotel
Push the thinner twigs through the wire to help keep everything in place.Bamboo works a treat so if you have a length or two that you can cut into smaller bits, they are handy.
Now fill in the gaps with the materials listed above. The idea is to keep it natural so avoid glass, plastic, or any man-made materials.
Make holes in the bigger logs
Drill different size holes into the bigger logs. Don’t worry if you don’t have a drill, just take a multi-purpose screw or wood-screw and wind it into the log by hand.
Various hole depths will attract a wider variety of critters. Any little gaps between, we stuffed with pine cones of varying sizes, pieces of bark or any other natural material to create burrowing spaces.
Where is the best place to put a bug hotel?
Place your bug hotel against a flat surface to help with wind protection. It can help if you are able to secure it to a post, a tree or even a wall. South-facing is ideal and it can be either in the sun or shade as long as it’s a nice protected space in your garden.
Sit back and welcome ants, bees, beetles, butterflies, centipedes and millipedes, frogs and toads, grasshoppers, green lacewings, ladybirds, leaf-miners, slugs, snails & woodlice. Well done on creating a new cosy home for them!
Connecting People and Nature at Brigit’s Garden
Our vision at Brigit’s Garden is to inspire people of all ages about nature, to offer the experience of being a part of the natural world rather than outside it.
Learning about biodiversity and sustainability is a part of this, but Brigit’s Garden is about much more than learning. It is also about deepening our sense of connection to the natural world in a way that is so much needed today.
Brigit’s Garden is a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity in Ireland, CHY 15512. The project was set up by Jenny Beale out of her passion for nature and education.