Build your own bug palace!

Build your own bug palace!

Can you make a creepy-crawly hotel and attract some guests?

Imagine if you could have your own miniature zoo in your garden, full of amazing miniature creatures. You can, if you build your very own bug hotel!

A bug hotel is a structure full of holes and crevices where lots of different kinds of creepy crawlies can scamper, nest, burrow and feed.

Bug hotel (c) London Permaculture

Bug hotel (c) London Permaculture

In the natural world there a plenty of holes, nooks and crannies for mini-beasts to stay in - dead wood and fallen leaves are perfect, but your average bug or beatle will go for hollow stems on plants and even the gaps between rocks as well.

It may not sound like much of a place to live for us, but to an invertebrate this is five star accommodation!

The problem is that lots of gardens (including at schools) tend to be kept so tidy, with twigs and dead leaves being swept away regularly, that the mini-beasts don't get a chance to settle.

Make your own bug hotel

One option that you might want to consider is creating a custom-built palace for bugs and other mini-beasts to stay.  It can make a great project for a school, or in your own garden at home (just ask permission first). You could end up with your own beastly zoo full of ladybirds, earwigs, woodlice and spiders - perfect for getting a closer look at some truly fascinating creatures.

Bug hotel (c) Chris_Moody

Bug hotel (c) Chris_Moody

Getting started

Don't worry if you don't have lots of materials or if you only have a small garden. Your imagination is the most valuable tool! There are plenty of great ideas and resources online to help you and here are just a few:

  • The Royal Horticultural Society School Gardening website (they have a specific bug hotel guide here)

  • Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council have a great printable guide to building the perfect palace for mini-beasts here

  • Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife and the Ulster Wildlife Trust have produced another great guide here

  • Wildlife Garden Project website (the competition is now closed, but there are some good ideas and photos)

If you decide to build your own bug hotel, why not send us a picture and we can put it here for everyone to admire and be inspired!