What? Who? Why? Yep, fair enough.
It’s not every day people talk about making a bug hotel or creating your own back garden ecosystem. In a nutshell, bug hotels are purpose-built constructions that provide shelter for minibeasts and insects.
They’re perfect for creating nesting and resting areas for a whole host of bug life. A place where they can raise their young, stay protected from predators and even hibernate when winter comes around.
In this article “DIY Bug Hotel: Enhance Your Garden Ecosystem” we’ll show you how to create an insect DIY project of your own using Regina toilet paper tubes and other materials that you’ll mostly find around your garden. This is how to make a bug hotel. Ready? Let’s go!
Gather Your Materials
One of the best things about building a bug hotel DIY style is that you don’t need to buy most of the materials you use. More often than not you’ll have most of them laying around in your garage or garden. And for the ones you don’t have and need to buy from a DIY store, they’ll still be quite inexpensive.
So, what do you need to build a garden bug hotel?
Bricks – these don’t need to be fresh, but they do need to be solid. They’ll become your base.
Wood – planks, pallets or broken fence panels will be the main structure of your hotel, along with toilet roll tubes.
Naturals – things like loose bark and logs will make a perfect habitat for beetles or spiders. Leaves, straw, and twigs will entice ladybirds and other bugs into your newly renovated establishment.
Gardening Tools – scissors, twine and eco-friendly glue will come in handy when pulling everything together. Building a bug hotel for kids, with kids will mean being extra vigilant when using these tools.
Terracotta pots – broken pots can be used to store sand, soil or leaves at varying angles for insects to enjoy.
Roofing felt – adding a layer of shed felt to the top of your bug hotel will keep it nice and dry for guests.
Toilet roll tubes – upcycling your empty Regina toilet rolls will help form and pack a healthy habitat.
How To Make A Bug Hotel, Step By Step.
Step 1: Pick the perfect spot
The first consideration is where to put a bug hotel in your garden. Bug houses need somewhere that’s secure and flat to thrive. If you’ve got any veg patches you wish to keep fully intact, keep it away from those too. The majority of insects like damp, cool conditions but some like the sun. Pop it in a spot that gets a bit of sunlight, but not loads of it.
Step 2: Construct its base.
Making a bug hotel starts with the laying of bricks along two sides of your building site. Place them adjacent to each other, then lay a joining line of bricks at the middle. It should look like a H shape from above, sort of like a bridge connecting two places together. Scatter some leaves in the gaps to represent a woodland floor.
Step 3: Build the structure.
Place a few layers of wood over the top of your base, if you’re using pallets this will be an easy job to layer up – if you’re using odd pieces of wood or planks, be sure to nail these down to create a sturdy structure. Make sure your build is under a meter high and use bricks in each corner to keep it steady.
Step 4: Plug the gaps.
The next step is what to put in a bug hotel. Start packing your natural materials into empty toilet roll tubes and begin placing them between your layers of wood, planks or pallets. This is how to attract bugs to your bug hotel. You’re doing this to create a range of areas for your guests. Think about beds, tunnels to get from one side to the other and small socialising areas like a crevice or nook.
Step 5: Put a roof on it.
Bug hotels for gardens need to remain fully stable throughout all weather types. So now it’s time to add a roof. You can do this by placing wooden planks over the top. Then add a layer of roof felt to keep your lodgers dry and sheltered.
Decorating Your Bug Hotel
Step 6: Beautify your bug hotel.
It’s time to give your bug hotel some curb appeal. This step is optional, but why wouldn’t you? Bug hotel ideas come in their plenty. Planting nectar-rich flowers nearby to attract pollinators is always a good start. If you want to go that little bit extra, you can add mini doormats and pathways to make it feel homely. Or create kids’ activities to help decorate and customise your own signage. Like a real guesthouse.
Now that you’ve learnt how to make a bug hotel for kids, the fun’s only just begun.
You can begin integrating your bug hotel into daily life, giving your children the chance to check in on it before school, after school and observe how the change in seasons affects its habitants.
Not only will different guests begin arriving and departing throughout the year, but the hotel itself will transform over the seasons as its guests build and renovate their new habitat.