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Build a bug hotel

Insects pollinate plants, break down compost, add nutrients to the soil, and eat pests that damage our crops. Making a bug hotel is a fun, easy way of recycling unwanted materials while inviting these helpful creatures to stay.

Entice bees and lacewings by hanging your hotel somewhere high in your garden, or on a windowsill. Or place your hotel at ground level so centipedes, beetles and other types of garden insects and arachnids can crawl inside.

You will need:

  • An old mug, flower pot, the end of a clean plastic bottle, or any snug container

  • Bamboo garden cane, hollow woody stems, cardboard tubes, corrugated cardboard, paper, bark, or any other tubes

  • A hacksaw and scissors

  • String, if you plan on hanging your bug hotel. 

  1. Roll paper, cardboard and bark into tight tubes and cut to fit the length of your container. Lacewings eat pests like aphids, and love to nestle in corrugated cardboard spirals.

  2. Use a hacksaw to cut bamboo canes to the length of your container. Some of the canes may be blocked inside. So clear them using a pencil or screwdriver.

  3. Pack your tubes tightly into your chosen container, until the whole space is filled. Variation is good – bees like holes from 2mm to 10mm. Pack any empty spaces with twigs, dry grass or straw.

  4. Choose a place to hang or place your container. A mixture of sun and shade will attract a wider range of insects.

If you have more space…

Pack more bug hotels between wooden pallets or bricks. Surround with logs, bricks, bundles of sticks and dry grass to make a minibeast mansion.

Take our pledge!

If you build a bird box in your garden or outdoor space, don’t forget to tell us! Share a photo, tag us on social media, and use the hashtag #WildlifeFriends

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Find out more about protecting wildlife in your garden

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