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Garden Idea: How to build a bug hotel

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In a bid to help encourage bugs and wildlife into Britain’s gardens, experts have revealed how to build a bug hotel.

Garden gurus from BillyOh.com are asking homeowners to collect materials and turn them into a mini ‘hotel’ to encourage insects and bugs into the garden.

Insects are an integral element of our wildlife system, as they’re great decomposers, helping to break down and dispose of waste, dead animals and plants - meaning one less job for us.

They also capture the imagination of young children, with them being able to scurry into little holes and tiny cracks.

A spokesperson for BillyOh.com said: “Building a bug hotel is a great activity for the entire family and you probably won’t need to buy anything, as it will all be lying around the garden or in wooded areas.

“Knowing exactly what bugs and insects you’re wanting to encourage means that you can tailor the hotel for them specifically.

“Thinking about whether these insects feed off smaller bugs or where they need to lay their larvae will also help with these decisions.”

These are the six steps to build a bug hotel:

1. Collect
You should collect all the materials you are going to use to build your hotel. These can include pallets, bricks, old terracotta pots and plenty of soil and leaves. In preparation you could enjoy a scavenger hunt to find the best materials.

2. Where
Depending on what insects you’re hoping to encourage into the garden, you should place the hotel in different locations. Some insects prefer cooler damper conditions, with other insects such as bees preferring the sun. Also make sure it’s not near a vegetable patch if you’re hoping to eat out of the garden this summer!

Place the hotel in an area which can also be surrounded by wildflowers to give another reason to encourage bugs.

3. Build
Lay bricks on the ground to create a sturdy base, but make sure you leave gaps between them so the insects can crawl up. Then start creating some height by adding palettes and more bricks, depending on the size of the hotel you want to build.

4. Fill Fill in the gaps with smaller materials, such as dead wood, tubes, stones and tiles to create beds and spaces for insects to hide. Having different areas filled with different materials means that you will enjoy a wide variety of visitors.

5. Roof
This is integral to ensuring the hotel stays stable and doesn’t tip over, whilst also keeping it dry to help the sheltering bugs. You could use old roofing tiles or pack it tightly with rubble and soil. Plants that can cope with dry conditions could also be planted.

6. Enjoy
Insects won’t come to the hotel straight away. It’ll take a while for it to be discovered and for them to make it their home, but don’t be disheartened. Bug hotels will have more residents during warmer months, and at night-time, so you may not see all the visitors during the day.

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