How to build your very own bug hotel
Winter is a perfect time to get building a bug hotel as we have access to plenty of natural materials! Twigs, moss, leaves and hollow plant stems make an ideal living space for insects and help offer a sheltered safe space for them to lay their eggs and remain out of danger from predators. We’ve pulled together some information with the help of Ann from our Plants Department and The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to help you attract a multitude of creepy crawlies into your garden by building your very own bug hotel to keep in your garden!
Did you know that an average garden accommodates more than 2,000 different species of insect? Very few of these creatures cause significant damage to our plants and there are many more insects that actually help us to control the ones that do! By providing the right habitats, we can greatly increase the number of beneficial insects and pollinators into our gardens.
You can use a mixture of recycled materials to create your own haven for wildlife! Consider using some of the following materials…
Dead wood is an increasingly rare habitat and is essential for the larvae of wood-boring beetles. It also supports many fungi, which help to break down the woody material. Crevices under the bark hold centipedes and woodlice.
Hollow stems, such as old bamboo canes, or holes drilled into blocks of wood, make good nesting sites for solitary bees.
Stones and tiles
Amphibians need a frost-free place to spend the winter. Provide stones and tiles in the centre of your habitat to give amphibians the cool, damp conditions they need.
Straw and hay
These provide many opportunities for invertebrates to burrow in and find safe hibernation sites.
Dry leaves offer homes for a variety of invertebrates by mimicking the litter on the forest floor.
Beetles, centipedes, spiders and woodlice all lurk beneath decaying wood and bark.
Roll up a piece of corrugated cardboard and put it in a waterproof cylinder to create a home for lacewings.
Dry sticks are perfect for ladybirds to hibernate in.
Plant some nectar-rich flowers in and around your new bug hotel to provide food for butterflies and bees.
“Don’t pack your bug hotel too tight! Make sure your creatures and mini beasts have lots of space to move around and set up their habitat.”