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How to make a Bug Hotel for Winter

Posted by Gav Grayston.
First Published Nov 2013; updated May 2023.

Making a bug hotel is a great Autumn project for you and your kids in the garden. It's good for the environment and your garden too.

***Making a bug hotel is a great little garden project for late autumn. ***

How to make a bug hotel

Sometimes you don't need to go far to get your kids outside and learn about nature: you can do it in your back garden.

Making a bug hotel will keep them busy, and it's good for your garden too.

What is a Bug Hotel?

Many insects benefit your garden, such as ladybirds and bees, which hibernate through the Winter.

They like to crawl into warm and dry spaces in the Autumn and stay there until Spring.

You can easily create such a space in your garden.

We've seen many of these at the National Trust properties, and it is a very 'organic' way of gardening. For example, Ladybirds can keep your Greenfly down without using pesticides.

These over-Winter-insect-hibernation-shelters sound much better to kids being called 'Bug Hotels' and can get their imagination running.

What you need for your Bug Hotel

Old air brick

If you have any old air bricks in your garden that have holes in them, these make a great base for your bug hotel.

You also need lots of hollow twigs. Chopped-up bits of garden cane is ideal, but you'll also need smaller twigs to fill the holes.

As well as garden cane, we found a variety of twigs from the garden, as well as some straw.

Air bricks in sheltered spot

Find a sheltered spot in your garden to place your brick.

If you don't have any bricks, you could stuff a small section of pipe or anything that will hold some sticks together in a bundle positioned somewhere dry.

Making the Bug Hotel

Filling the air brick

After you've got your kids to fetch the sticks, the part of filling the holes comes. It's as simple as that.

Pack out the holes so that the twigs are nice and snug.

Our finished bug hotel

Here's one of our finished pairs of 5-star luxury bug accommodations.

Finished Bug Hotel