Bug hotels have become increasingly popular over the past few years as people have started to realise that tidy gardens do not provide the necessary habitats for the diverse range of insects needed for a healthy garden ecology.
Bug hotels provide essential spaces for insects to shelter in. They can be created in any shape, style and size so if you love a tidy garden with clean lines you can create a neat one that will fit in perfectly. They can form an attractive feature in your garden and are also fun to build. A lot of bug hotels are towers built directly onto the ground and consisting of different compartments such as the one illustrated in the photograph. Others can be made to attach to fences, walls, posts or trees. The only limit is your imagination.
Use recycled materials such as:
- tree stumps
- logs – some with holes drilled into them
- bamboo canes
- roof tiles
- paving slabs
- offcuts of timber
- fir cones
- hollow stems of perennials
- wooden pallets
- flower pots
You could even finish your bug hotel off with a green roof to absorb rain water and provide nectar for pollinators.
The most important thing to remember is that you are trying to create a range of small spaces, some dry and others damp, that will be enticing to a wide variety of insects. These insects will help to control pests in your garden and they will attract birds and other wildlife too, improving the overall health of your garden.