Thrive Reading bug hotel
Insects play a vital role in our gardens, pollinating our plants and helping reduce pests such as aphids. Build them a home to hide away in.

Helpful information

Timing: All year around (but particularly in late summer / early autumn ahead of the cold winter months)

Where to do it: Indoors or outdoors

Garden space: Large garden, small garden, balcony

  • There is joy to be had in supporting wildlife. A bug hotel creates a place for all sorts of insects to hide in and hibernate during winter
  • A creative, moderately physical task that can be done in part using materials from the garden
  • Once in place, it gives the opportunity to pause and watch your bug hotel, enjoying seeing the mini beasts coming in and out of it
Our bug hotel at Thrive Reading
Our bug hotel at Thrive Reading

Our gardens rely on hard-working volunteers. For once, we’re not talking about the human kind. Insects do so much for our gardens, from helping fruit to grow by pollinating flowers to eating aphids that could otherwise take over.

Different insects live in different places. Many like to make homes in dark, undisturbed spots. Just pick up a plant pot and look at the life underneath! In winter, some insects find a place to hibernate. A garden that offers them places to shelter is even more appreciated at this time.

Bug hotels come in all shapes and sizes. Above, you can see an example of a larger one in our garden at Thrive Reading. You can make a simple one in about 30 minutes using our step by step guide.

I like creating wildlife habitats – bird boxes, insect and bug hotels, hedgehog shelters.

Survey respondent, gardening and dementia

Essential items

  • Dry hollow twigs, stems or bamboo canes
  • Secateurs
  • Twine
Bug hotel equipment
Equipment for your simple bug hotel

Follow these steps to create your simple bug hotel.

Step 1. Collect twigs and sticks

You want a good quantity of dry hollow twigs, stems or bamboo canes.

Step 2. Cut sticks to size

Using a pair of secateurs, cut your sticks into 15cm lengths

Step 3. Bundle and tie

Bundle a handful of cut sticks together. Around 10 - 20 sticks should be fine.

Tie around the bundle tightly with twine. Make a knot to secure the twine. Make sure there is one long length of twine still when you do this. This will be used to hang up the bug hotel.

Step 4. Hang your hotel

If possible, place the bug hotel in a sheltered spot away from the wind. If it is somewhere that will get the morning sun, even better.

Top tip

There are other simple things you can do to make your garden insect friendly over winter. A pile of leaves, sticks and logs in a corner will be enjoyed by mini beasts. Sometimes, it's a good idea not to be too tidy!

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