There are several types of insects & bugs that are highly beneficial to your garden, as they pollinate your plants and keep away pests. You can attract these ‘beneficial bugs’ by building a simple insect hotel. Watch the video below to see how it’s done, then try out your own!
The beauty of making a bug hotel is that you can do it for next to nothing. All you need is a few basic woodworking tools and some old discarded materials, such as pieces of wood, branches, bamboo canes, bricks and tiles. The more varied your materials, the more insects your hotel will attract.
How to attract different insects
- Decaying logs will attract wood-boring beetles and centipedes.
- Bark attracts wood lice and millipedes.
- Twigs and branches will attract ground & rove beetles (which eat slug eggs).
- Hollow stems (such as sections of bamboo) attract solitary bees, hover flys and ladybirds (ladybirds eat aphids, which attack plants).
- Any small, dry spaces will attract spiders.
Any shape or size
A bug hotel simply consists of a dry, sheltered area filled with different habitat materials. Depending on the time, space and DIY skills you have, you can make your hotel in any shape or size you like!
Old pallets for example are great for making the main structure of your hotel.
You can drill several holes into a piece of wood to create an ideal habitat for solitary bees (don’t drill all the way through to the other side).
Some other tips
- Use untreated wood, and if you want to paint your hotel use natural, non-toxic paint.
- Position your insect hotel where it will get plenty of sunlight.
- Keep your hotel away from buildings if you live in an area where termites are a problem.